ALBANY, N.Y. – The union that represents correctional officers is suing New York State, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision over a new law limiting solitary confinement at state prisons.
The New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association announced the federal civil rights lawsuit Monday.
The union is looking to repeal the HALT Solitary Confinement Act, which was signed by Cuomo on March 31. The law limits the time inmates can spend in solitary confinement, and reduces the number of violations that can lead to segregated confinement.
“The state pushes through reforms not based on facts or truth, but based on emotion. Enacting HALT is wrong. It does nothing to better the lives of the people inside the prison system. It does completely the opposite,” said NYSCOPBA President Michael Powers. “It will lead to more violence, our prisons will get worse, more innocent people will get hurt – and it won’t just be the violent criminal in the prison system who are to blame – the NYS legislation, Gov. Cuomo and Department of Corrections and Community Supervision are just as liable.”
According to NYSCOPBA, cases of inmates assaulting staff at state prisons has increased by almost 100%, and assaults among inmates has gone up 85%.
“It is unacceptable that our members continue to get attacked and receive little or no support from our elected officials who choose to turn a deaf ear to those men and women who provide safety and security for all New Yorkers. The stories of staff getting viciously attacked and injured are endless and will continue without any meaningful reform to these short-sighted policies,” said Powers. “ Instead of catering to the inmates, our members deserve the respect and support of every state legislator they have sworn to protect.”
To read the full complaint, click here.