Sullivan DA creates detention facility protection task force

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MONTICELLO – Acting Sullivan County District Attorney Meagan Galligan has created the Sullivan County Detention Facility Protection Tax Force aimed at investigating and prosecuting crimes committed in county detention facilities.

There are two state prisons – Woodbourne and Sullivan Correctional – in addition to the county jail, and Galligan said her task force will spearhead and supervise investigations into assaults on staff, introduction, and possession of contraband, and any other serious offenses occurring within those facilities.

“We have definitely seen an uptick in crimes committed in our jail and in our prisons here in Sullivan County and we hope very much that the task force will come together, to not only apprehend and prosecute those responsible and to serve as a determine to those considering committing those acts,” she said.

The task force will be comprised of members of the two state prisons, the sheriff’s and DA’s offices, and State Police.

“Assaults on staff and contraband are at record levels and there is a significant need to have a deterrent for inmates who chose to disregard the rules and attack or attempt to smuggle drugs or weapons into the facilities,” said Mike Mazzella, the regional vice president of the New York State Corrections Officers PBA.

Sullivan County Sheriff’s Michael Schiff supports the creation of the task force. “Our corrections officers walk the toughest beat in Sullivan County. While a police officer on the street may run into one or two of these defendants from time to time, our corrections officers have to deal with all of these people every minute of their shift. It’s a hazardous job and there is no room for error,” he said.