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Orleans prison was locked down March 12 after live ammo found

Staff Reports Posted 30 March 2016 at 12:00 am

ALBION – The Orleans Correctional Facility, a medium-security men’s prison on Gaines Basin Road, was on lockdown March 12 after live ammunition was found.

The union representing corrections officers say inmates and their families are getting bolder with contraband in the state prisons.

On Friday, two live ammunition rounds were found on walkways inside of the Gowanda Correctional Facility, a medium security prison. At Gowanda an officer, who was escorting inmates to the main mess hall, observed an inmate bend down and pick up something off the main walkway outside of the South Tower at 5:45 p.m. The inmate immediately turned to the officer and handed him a live .32 caliber ammunition round.

The officer reported the incident to the watch commander. A search was ordered of all walkways and surrounding areas. During the search, another officer located a .9mm caliber live round on the facility walkway, not far from where the first round was located.

The search, which was limited in nature, turned up no other ammunition, according to a news release from the New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association, Inc.

NYSCOPBA representatives, once notified of the incident, requested that the facility be locked down so that a complete search of the facility, including inmates and their dorms, could be conducted. That request was denied by administration in Albany, even though approximately two weeks prior, Orleans Correctional Facility was locked down after a live .44 caliber round was found in the recreation yard.

“For everyone’s safety, the entire facility should have been locked down and searched,” said Joe Miano, Western Region Vice President for the union. “There are approximately 1,500 inmates at this facility and there is no way to determine if there is any other live ammunition in the possession of an inmate without having every inmate and their living quarters searched. Since this ammunition was live, it could easily be discharged with a make-shift weapon in the hands of an inmate. It could be used against staff or inmate, and have deadly consequences.”

The Elmira Correctional Facility and Auburn Correctional Facility earlier this month were locked down. Elmira was locked down following a series of violent incidents that left both inmates and officers injured.

Auburn was placed on lockdown recently “to frisk and search one cellblock of the facility following the discovery of a large number of weapons,” the union said.