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COs protest for safety in local prisons

May 26, 2016 12:45 pm
Briggette Sayegh at Time Warner News reports that a picket line with dozens of correction officers protested for safety awareness outside the Shawangunk Correctional Facility in Ulster County on May 25. "This is part of our public awareness campaign," said NYSCOPBA President Michael Powers. The day before, on May 24, The Daily Mail reported that 18-year-old Devaughn Binda, an inmate at Greene Correctional Facility, was arrested and charged with promoting prison contraband with a, “razor blade-style cutting weapon.” That was just the sort of case Powers and other protesters were there to highlight, as he said there has been a 55 percent rise in violence by inmates recently. "We have seen an increase in staffing in the last couple of years, but with everything, there's always room for improvement, and we'll continue to push for that," he said. Responding to reports about Fishkill Correctional inmate Samuel Harrell, who was beaten to death last year by a group of COs, Powers said 99 percent of officers create a safe environment for the inmate population. "My brother's case was not a case where they felt unsafe," said Cerissa Harrell, Samuel's sister. "They just took the law into their own hands. And I don't know, my brother's not here now, and that's just not fair." Read the full story at Time-Warner News.