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Thursday, February 17, 2022

PRISON ATTACKS: Union says Discipline System Indaequate:

Inmates threw urine on officers
in separate Attica prison attacks

Three corrections officers were treated for exposure last week after two inmates threw what appeared to be urine on them in separate incidents. The first incident occurred Feb. 8, according to NYSCOPBA, the state correctional officers union.

Two officers were conducting routine rounds in a Special Housing Unit when they walked by the inmate’s cell. He allegedly picked up a cell bucket and hurled liquid at them, striking one officer in the face and body and the second officer in both legs. The liquid had a strong odor of urine.

The first officer sustained a burning sensation in both eyes and face, NYSCOPBA officials said. He was taken to Wyoming County Community Hospital for treatment and did not return to duty. The second officer was treated by facility medical staff and remained on duty after receiving a replacement uniform.

Staff installed a cell shield on the inmate’s cell to prevent any further attacks.

The inmate, 27, is serving a 24-year sentence after being convicted in 2016 of first-degree criminal sexual act and second-degree burglary in Schenectady County.

The second incident occurred this past Friday. An officer was conducting security rounds when he was stopped by an inmate who wanted to ask him a question about using the phone. The inmate became agitated when the officer said he was not on the phone list.

The inmate allegedly grabbed a bucket off his cell locker and threw liquid through the cell bars striking the officer in the face and body. The liquid had a strong odor of urine.

The inmate was removed from the cell by staff and placed in a Special Housing Unit pending disciplinary charges. He is serving a 14-year sentence after a 2015 conviction for second-degree attempted murder and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

The officer was treated by facility medical staff for exposure. He remained on duty after treatment.

“This is the type of incident in which the weakened disciplinary system will serve as no deterrent whatsoever,” said Kenny Gold, western region vice president of the NYS Corrections Officers and Police Benevolent Association, in a statement. “Both inmates who threw urine on the officers, are serving lengthy sentences for violent crimes and prosecuting them for felony aggravated harassment will unfortunately not serve as a deterrent in both these cases.

“This is exactly why we have advocated for the state legislature to roll back the ill-conceived policies they enacted that have severely put our members at risk for attacks,” he continued. “There is simply no deterrent that exists within our correctional system anymore that makes inmates think twice about acting out violently.”

The incidents are among several over the past few months at the maximum-security facility.

A female corrections officer was injured in a sexual attack earlier this month, while seven officers suffered smoke inhalation and cuts and bruises after an inmate set fire to his cell in January.

An officer was also stabbed in the chest with a shank on Oct. 8. The shank was partially deflected by two pens in the officer’s pocket, likely saving his life.

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