On prison in the Hudson Valley had a scary incident last week. In the instances where violence does break out inside a prison, oftentimes it is handled immediately and order is restored. However, in some instances, restoring order takes much more intense measures.

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Green Haven on Lockdown

Last week in Stormville New York, Green Haven Correctional Facility was forced to take some of these more intense measures, as the facility was placed on a full lockdown. The lockdown came in lieu of what was described as "24 hours of violence."

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According to a report from News 12: Connecticut, the violence started on Monday, October 2 with an altercation between inmates. In the commotion, one corrections officer suffered a broken nose at the hands of an inmate. A second officer reportedly was also injured during the altercations, though it was stated that the majority of the violence occurred between inmates.


One interesting thing regarding this lockdown was that the order came directly from the top. Acting State Correction Commissioner Daniel F. Martuscello III made the order to lockdown the maximum security prison. While on lockdown, the prison would be searched from top to bottom for any possible weapons. Reports stated that the lockdown and impending search would take days to complete.

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Correction Officer's Frustrations Continue to Grow

In recent times, a continuing and growing sentiment of frustration has been building among New York State Corrections Officers. The frustration stems from the HALT Act, a law that went into effect in 2022.

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The HALT Act was a piece of legislation that completely changed and has prevented corrections officers from being able to use "long term confinement" to deter inmates from acting up. In essence, with "watered down" punishments, corrections officers have had their hands tied, which can be linked to increased instances of violence inside correctional facilities in New York State and an increase in injuries to both officers and inmates alike.

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These sentiments were echoed by Michael Powers, President of the New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association, who said...

The HALT Act has made the prison environment extremely dangerous for both staff and the incarcerated community alike. The rate of assaults in prison is significantly up as there is little to no deterrent in place to dissuade individuals from attacking staff or settling scores with fellow inmates...

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According to an article from Corrections 1, numbers show that since the HALT Act was put through, violent events in facilities saw a 33% increase with 3,113 in 2022 compared to 2,375 assaults in New York Correction facilities in 2021. The overall message from corrections officers is this, correctional facilities in NYS are less safe right now, for officers and inmates and that is unacceptable.

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Gallery Credit: Photo: Jessica Hall

These 7 Prisons Are The Most Violent In New York State

New York released a report with the most recent number of violent assaults on inmates in state prisons. There were 134 inmate deaths noted in the report, although it doesn't break down the prisons where each death occurred or who caused them. Here's a look at some of the general violent incidents reported for 2020, which is the most recent data reported by the state. Compared to 10 years ago, inmate assaults have almost doubled. In 2011 there were 666 and in 2020 there were 1,205 reported. These numbers do not include inmate assaults on staff members. Overall, the number of unusual incidents includes things like assaults, deaths, accidents, sexual misconduct, and disruptive behavior.  According to the state,
"The number of unusual incidents has increased 132% from 5,980 in 2011 to 13,870 in 2020. These higher incident numbers were largely due to increases in assaults on incarcerated individuals (+81%), assaults on staff (+86%), contraband (+130%), disruptive behavior (+372%), and staff use of weapons (+1,035%)."
  In 2020, 1,836 weapons used to cut or stab, including ice picks, razor blades, can lids and shanks were discovered in state prisons around New York.

Gallery Credit: Yasmin Young

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