Union for corrections officers details more injuries to COs at Orleans facility

Posted 31 March 2023 at 9:10 pm

Press Release, NYS Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association

ALBION – On the same day an officer was brutally attacked and beaten by an inmate inside one of the facility dorms, several staff members sustained injuries on March 25 when inmates fought with staff during random pat frisks for contraband at the medium security correctional facility.

“On a day when an officer was brutally beaten and sustained a separated shoulder and two facial fractures, officers at Orleans still continued to be attacked and injured by unruly inmates,” said Kenny Gold, NYSCOPBA Western Region Vice President. “A simple, routine frisk of a dorm for contraband resulted in half a dozen officers being injured. Thankfully, none of the officers sustained serious injuries and they all remained on duty.”

A frisk of one of the facility dorms was ordered by the administration on March 25. The inmates assigned to the dorm were removed during the search. As inmates were being escorted to the gym from the mess hall, an officer witnessed an inmate removing an object from on top of the AED station.

The officer ordered the inmate to surrender the object. The inmate refused and put both hands in his pockets. The inmate was ordered to submit to a pat frisk. The inmate refused orders to remove his hands from his pockets. He was placed in a body hold by staff and forced to the ground. On the ground and struggling, a third officer responded and administered OC spray, which was effective. The inmate became compliant and was placed in handcuffs.

Staff removed a lighter from one of his pant pockets. The inmate was escorted to a Special Housing Unit for decontamination.

Three officers sustained minor injuries to their hands, knee and forearm. All officers were treated by facility medical staff and remained on duty.

During that confrontation, two inmates began yelling at the officers as they were being escorted from the gym. During the escort, one inmate turned and kicked an officer in the shin. He was immediately placed in a body hold and forced to the ground. On the ground, the inmate remained combative. OC spray was administered and he became compliant. The inmate was handcuffed and removed from the gym area.

Three officers sustained injuries subduing the inmate. One officer sustained a thumb injury. A second officer sustained an abrasion over the eyebrow and the third officer sustained pain and swelling to his hand and leg. The officers were treated at the facility and remained on duty.

The second inmate involved in that incident was ordered to submit to a pat frisk. He became argumentative with an officer and kicked him in the knee. He was grabbed in a body hold and forced to the ground. He continued to fight and struggle with staff. One application of OC spray was administered with no effect. A second application was administered and the inmate became compliant. He was placed in handcuffs and escorted to a Special Housing Unit for decontamination.

Two officers sustained knee and ankle injuries. Both officers were treated and remained on duty.

Later in the day, at approximately 9:30 p.m., an inmate was observed exiting the gym with unknown objects inside his coat pocket. Two officers ordered the inmate to the wall for a pat frisk. The inmate refused, turned and punched one officer in the left eye. The two officers immediately grabbed the inmate in a body hold and forced him to the ground. OC spray was administered with no effect. A third officer responded and assisted in getting the inmate’s arms behind his back and applied handcuffs. Once in handcuffs, the inmate was escorted to a Special Housing Unit for decontamination.

The officer who was punched sustained pain and swelling under his left eye. He was treated by medical staff at the facility and remained on duty.

After the dorm search concluded, staff recovered two make-shift weapons. One weapon was a sharpened can lid hidden in the dayroom of the dorm. The second weapon was a toothbrush with sharpened metal on one end hidden in bed sheets.

Both weapons were secured as evidence.

“This is just a small example of what officers have to endure every day in our state prisons,” Gold said. “The number of assaults that are occurring are almost to the point that you lose track of how many there are. If the vicious assault of the officer at Orleans isn’t a wakeup call for legislators that something needs to be done immediately to curb the violence, then I am completely at a loss of what it will take for them to take measures that will.”