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, July 7, 1998

Inmate facing charges after attack on Elmira Correction Officer

An Elmira Correctional Facility inmate faces disciplinary and likely criminal charges after he allegedly attacked a Correction Officer with a sharpened metal rod this morning.

The Officer sustained a laceration and several small puncture wounds during the 9:20 a.m. incident on the gallery of C Block. The Officer was transported by state vehicle to Arnot Ogden Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries and released. The Officer returned to the facility shortly after noon to complete his paperwork on the incident and speak with New York State Police investigators who are considering criminal charges against the inmate.

"I will not tolerate any assault on staff by any inmate," said Commissioner Glenn S. Goord of the Department of Correctional Services. "Inmates who choose to assault staff can be assured they will face swift and severe disciplinary action, both at the facility level and in criminal court."

After the incident, C Block was locked down so staff could search all 258 cells and 269 inmates in the block for contraband. Afternoon programs throughout the facility were canceled to free up staff to conduct the frisk. It is not known how long the lockdown of C Block will last.

The inmate charged in the attack, Eric Jeffery, is now in Elmira's Special Housing Unit (SHU), pending disciplinary and likely criminal charges. No one else was injured in the incident.

At the time of the incident, Jeffery was in keeplock status for a prior disciplinary infraction of refusing a direct order. That means he was confined to his cell around-the-clock with the exception of one hour a day of court-mandated outdoor exercise. The incident occurred shortly after Jeffery was let out of his cell to be escorted by staff for that mandated exercise.

Upon exiting his cell, Jeffery allegedly repeatedly attacked the Officer with a 5½-inch sharpened metal rod. The Officer called for help, and Jeffery fled down the gallery. Two other Officers confronted the inmate, who was still wielding the shank, and ordered him to drop the weapon. Jeffery complied, and he was handcuffed and shackled and escorted to Elmira's SHU.

Jeffery, 23, is serving a term of 25 years to life for two 1994 convictions out of Kings County: second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He was received into the state prison system on Aug. 26, 1994, and has been an inmate at Elmira since July 1. Inmate Jeffery is not eligible for parole until June 28, 2018.