Senator Gallivan Raises Concern About Increased Violence in Prisons

Violence Endangers Officers, Staff, Inmates and Visitors

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C, Elma) is raising concern about a spike in violent attacks inside New York’s correctional facilities, which he says endangers officers, staff, inmates and the community at large.  The issue was also acknowledged in a memo to the state’s prison population from Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Acting Commissioner Anthony Annucci, who noted the “savagery” of recent attacks.

“I share the concerns raised by Acting Commissioner Annucci,” Senator Gallivan said.  “The troubling increase in violence inside our correctional facilities endangers officers, staff, incarcerated individuals, visitors and the community at large.  The state has a responsibility to provide the resources necessary to keep those who live and work inside these facilities safe.  I support a review of current conditions, a full assessment of the violence taking place and how best to address it.”

New York’s prison population has declined in recent years and the state has closed multiple facilities, leaving violent offenders concentrated in fewer prisons.

According to media reports, in his memo Acting Commissioner Annucci said the department “will do everything within its power to keep everyone safe from assault, regardless of whether the person is an employee, other incarcerated individual, volunteer, visitor or contractor. This in turns means holding the guilty party fully accountable in a court of law." 

Senator Gallivan is also opposed to the state’s plan to close six additional prisons across the state early next year.  Gallivan says the closings will devastate communities where the prisons are located and hurt the hardworking men and women who work in the facilities. 

Earlier this month the state announced it would close Downstate Correctional Facility in Fishkill, Ogdensburg Correctional Facility, Moriah Shock Incarceration Correctional, The Willard Drug Treatment Campus, Southport Correctional Facility and Rochester Correctional Facility.  All will officially close on March 10, 2022.