Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor
Brian Fischer, Commissioner (DOCCS)

DOCCS Contact: Peter K. Cutler, 518-457-8182 peter.cutler@doccs.ny.gov

Monday, July 23, 2012

DOCCS REFUTES NYSCOPBA STAFFING ALLEGATIONS

Department Statistics, Including Fact Sheet Posted Online, Provide Regularly Updated Information on Department Operations, Including Staffing and Facility Safety

ALBANY – Information disseminated today by the New York State Corrections Officers Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOPBA) presents inaccurate and misleading information regarding staffing levels and safety at DOCCS facilities.

In a press release, NYSCOPBA asserts that DOCCS employs 17,478 correction officers at its facilities across the state. In truth, DOCCS currently employs 17, 766 correction officers at its facilities (which includes seventy-six Spanish language COs). Further, DOCCS also employs 1,205 sergeants, 17 Institution Safety Officers and 13 Community Correction Center Assistants, all of whom are assigned to DOCCS facilities and who are represented by NYSCOPBA. In other words, there are currently 19,001 security personnel employed at DOCCS facilities that are represented by NYSCOPBA.

DOCCS Commissioner Brian Fischer said, “DOCCS has always acknowledged the dangers encountered by our dedicated security personnel within our facilities and we will always support the brave men and women who serve everyday, ensuring the safety and security of our facilities and the general public. Having said that, recent allegations that DOCCS facilities are understaffed, overcrowded or have experienced increased violence are not borne out in the facts.”

While DOCCS staffs its facilities based on physical layout and mission, nevertheless the inmate to correction officer ratio (3:1) remains lower than peer states (CA,TX, FL) and inmate assaults on staff were lower in 2011 (563) than in 2009 (567) following a slight uptick in 2010 (576). As of July 15th, inmate-on-staff assaults in DOCCS facilities have decreased by 21% (246) versus the same period in 2011 (311). Additionally, for all documented inmate-on-staff assaults since 2007, 96.1% result in no injury, 3.3% in minor injury and 0.6% in moderate injury (Note: a minor injury requires no treatment, minimal treatment (e.g., scratch, bruise, aches/pain) or precautionary treatment; moderate injuries generally require treatment at an outside hospital or by an employee’s own physician). This information is updated twice a month in the fact sheet DOCCS posts on its website homepage and can be viewed at: http://www.doccs.ny.gov/FactSheets/PDF/currentfactsheet.pdf.

There are currently 200 correction officers in the Department’s training pipeline. Fifty-seven will be active as of August 3rd, 67 will report on approximately August 24th and an additional 76 will report by September 28th. DOCCS has two additional correction officer recruit classes that will start within the next four to six weeks and another 11 correction officer recruit classes are anticipated before the end of the current fiscal year.

The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) is responsible for the care, custody and treatment of individuals sentenced to state prison and for working with them to ensure their successful re-entry into the community. The Department operates 60 correctional facilities (including the Willard Drug Treatment Campus and the Edgecombe Residential Drug Treatment facility) and oversees 38 community supervision (parole) field offices across the state. DOCCS currently provides care, custody and supervision of approximately 94,000 individuals: 56,000 in custody in correctional and drug treatment facilities and 38,000 under post-release community supervision.

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