Yes, these unions spend a fortune fighting many needed changes, primarily because the changes will cost them jobs. For every 1 person arrested, 29 benefit financially! And most of them are not helping anyone – neither society nor an individual.
What these articles do not tell you is that, in fact, guards frequently make up false “write ups” in order to place inmates in solitary to shut them up! They do not want inmates to communicate to “the outside world” all of the abuses and medical neglect! As much as 80% of those in isolation cells need not be there for any security reason.
Excerpts from the Article:
The union for New York’s corrections officers has brought a federal lawsuit against the Cuomo administration, alleging a new law restricting the use of segregated confinement of inmates reflects a “deliberate and callous indifference” to the lives of prison staffers.
The law, which takes effect next April, will cap the period of time for which an inmate can be held in disciplinary housing at 15 days. Inmates will also get counseling in rehabilitation units to aid when they return to the facility’s general population.
The measure also prohibits segregated confinement for individuals less than 21 years old, those who are 55 and older and any person who has a disability.
The union, New York State Corrections Officers Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOPBA) argues the law violates the constitutional rights of corrections officers by creating a “dangerous living and working environment” that leaves them vulnerable to inmates who have shown a propensity to commit violent assaults.
Michael Powers, president of NYSCOPBA, told CNHI that assaults behind the walls of state prisons have escalated even as the prison population has decreased.
“They all know they can get away with it,” said Powers, predicting prison violence will further escalate once the new law, the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term Solitary Confinement Act, goes into effect next April.
“While the Department cannot comment on pending litigation, DOCCS has a zero tolerance policy with respect violence in our facilities and pursues both disciplinary charges and criminal prosecution for any assault,” Mailey said. He noted a new felony conviction would result in a consecutive term of imprisonment.
The push to limit putting inmates in isolation was backed by New York State Catholic Conference, representing the state’s Catholic bishops, as well as the New York Civil Liberties Union and a host of criminal justice reform advocates.
An organizer with a group called the #HALTSolitary campaign, Jerome Wright, argued curbing the use of solitary as a disciplinary tool will improve safety behind bars.
The legislation, he said “will protect people from the terrible harms of long-term solitary, including severe psychosis and suicide, while still allowing the department to separate people for extended periods of time in secure environments with therapeutic programming proven to actually address dangerous behaviors.
While critics of putting inmates in solitary confinement argue the practice is inhumane, Powers said the housing units “are not dark, dungeon-like atmospheres.”
“They see nurses, they see their counselors, they see clergy,” he said of inmates. “They’ve got iPads, tablets, phone services to their family.”
Corrections officer Chloe Hayes, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said she was attacked by an inmate at a maximum security prison.
“He viciously attacked me, punching me several times in the face, ripping my shirt open to remove all equipment that would have helped me,” she said of the incident at Greene Correctional Facility. “If it wasn’t for someone hearing my screams, I don”t know how this situation would have turned out.”
The inmate, she said, “has been protected for his unprovoked actions while my life has been interrupted.”
The lawsuit states the percentage of inmates serving time for violent offense in maximum and medium security facilities has increased markedly over the past decade.
It also states the number of inmate assaults on staff doubled from 2010 to 2020, and inmate assaults on other inmates has also increased substantially.