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:

Wednesday July 14, 1999

Lockdown ends at Coxsackie Correctional Facility; 15 weapons recovered

Commissioner Glenn S. Goord has lifted the lockdown of the maximum-security Coxsackie Correctional Facility as staff has concluded its facility-wide frisk for weapons and other contraband.

The lockdown began after the morning mess hall run on July 9 and ended yesterday morning following a staff search of several vocational shops and other common areas. Correction Officers recovered three weapons from the cells of three inmates during the facility-wide frisk - two of the recovered weapons were sharpened pieces of metal, the third a sharpened piece of plexiglass. The inmates found to be in possession of those weapons now are in Special Housing Unit (SHU) status facing disciplinary and possible criminal charges. Correction Officers also recovered an additional 12 homemade weapons from common areas throughout the facility, contraband which could not be directly linked to any inmates.

All Coxsackie inmates, except those in SHU and keeplock status, were let out of their cells yesterday for the lunch and dinner mess hall runs and also were allowed to participate in afternoon and evening recreation. All other programming was suspended for the day at Commissioner Goord's direction in order to assess inmate attitudes. Full programming resumed today following the morning mess hall run, which occurred without incident, and the facility has returned to normal operations.

Staff did not sustain any injuries during the lockdown and subsequent frisk of Coxsackie's 1,070 inmates, their cells, vocational and academic shops and other common areas. One Correction Officer was assaulted by an inmate yesterday morning as he attempted to transfer the inmate from his cell to a keeplock cell. The Officer was struck in the nose, and was transported via state vehicle to his personal physician for treatment. He returned to duty yesterday afternoon. The inmate who struck the Officer faces disciplinary and likely criminal charges in connection with the incident.

"I will not tolerate any assault on our staff or others by any inmate at any time," said Commissioner Goord. "Those inmates who assault our employees and others can be assured that they will face swift and severe disciplinary sanctions and, where applicable, criminal charges as well."

Commissioner Goord ordered the lockdown after a series of inmate-on-inmate and inmate-on-staff assaults and the subsequent recovery of a number of weapons and other contraband by staff. Four Corrections Officers were injured in those incidents, all while attempting to restrain inmates fighting among themselves. All four Officers sustained minor injuries which did not require hospitalization. Several of the injured inmates sustained serious cuts, puncture wounds and other injuries which required outside medical treatment. None of the inmate injuries were life-threatening.