Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

New York State
Department of Correctional Services
Glenn S. Goord, Commissioner

Office of Public Information
[518] 457-8182

For immediate release:

Tuesday, August 11, 1998

Coxsackie locked down to permit facility-wide frisk for contraband

Commissioner Glenn S. Goord today ordered a lockdown of the Coxsackie Correctional Facility so staff could conduct a facility-wide frisk for weapons and other contraband.

The order was issued after a morning fight in the center recreation yard involving approximately 30 black and Hispanic inmates. One inmate was taken to Albany Medical Center for treatment of a cut eyelid. Approximately 20 other inmates sustained minor lacerations, abrasions and bruises that did not require hospitalization. One Correction Officer was taken to Columbia Memorial Hospital where he was treated for a neck injury and released.

There were three Officers and 130 inmates in the yard when the fight erupted at 10:31 a.m. The three Officers remained in the yard while 15 additional Officers responded to help subdue some inmates who refused orders to lay on the ground. Two plexiglass shanks and two razors have been recovered from the yard. The cause of the incident is under investigation.

Earlier, a fight involving three black and three Hispanic inmates broke out in D Block. One inmate was taken to Albany Medical Center for treatment of a laceration. His injury is not life-threatening. Four other inmates sustained minor lacerations and abrasions that did not require hospitalization. No staff were injured. Correction Officers recovered one razor and three can lids from the scene. The cause of that 7:45 a.m. fight also is under investigation.

"While these two fights were among Black and Hispanic inmates, it is too soon in my investigation to say whether or not the fight was over racial issues," Commissioner Glenn S. Goord said. "We will be conducting a comprehensive investigation before commenting on any possible causes."

The lockdown of the maximum-security facility in Greene County began at 11 a.m. and is expected to last through the weekend. It means that all 1,070 Coxsackie inmates will be confined to their cells while Correction Officers search individual cells and common areas for contraband. Inmates can be escorted by Officers for visits and medical appointments. The last lockdown at Coxsackie was in April 1997.