ALDEN, N.Y. ( release ) Four corrections officers and one corrections sergeant are recovering today following a violent and unprovoked assault by two inmates at Wende Correctional Facility in the Town of Alden yesterday. All five were taken to area hospitals following the attack, with one suffering a dislocated knee cap. Assault charges are expected to be filed against the inmates, both of whom have a history of violence against corrections staff and are serving time for murder convictions.
The incident occurred last night in the D Block of the Wende Correctional Facility. Inmate Eric Rogers was returning from the commissary when he began to strike a corrections officer, punching him in the face, neck and head. This officer suffered head contusions, abrasions to the neck and a lacerated ear, and was kept overnight at an area hospital.
Almost immediately, inmate Luis Caban followed Rogers into D Block, and began attacking a corrections sergeant, who also suffered lacerations and contusions on his head and neck. Multiple officers responded to the incident in an attempt to protect their colleagues and subdue the two rampaging inmates. Three of those officers sustained a variety of injuries in the process, including one corrections officer who suffered a dislocated knee cap.
"As the prison population declines, you would expect the level of violence to go down too. But statistically speaking, inmate on staff assaults are going up," said Donn Rowe, president of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association. "The prison system is not being 'right-sized.' Instead, you now have fewer officers watching more dangerous criminals crammed in a tighter space. After years of cuts and closures, the state needs to do a proper assessment of the corrections system so we can finally curb the violence are officers are subjected to on a daily basis."
Since 2009, the inmate population in New York's state prisons has decreased by a little more than 8 percent. Despite the decrease in the inmate population, working in New York’s corrections system is less safe today than it was four years ago. Since 2009, New York State has closed 8 prisons, 4 camps, 5 annexes and 12 farms. 1,780 corrections officer and Sergeant positions have been lost. In that same time, total incidents of inmate on inmate assaults have increased by 10.5 percent, while the ratio of incidents has increased by 17 percent. The ratio of inmate on staff assaults has increased by 7.6 percent, while escape incidents have quadrupled, and contraband incidents are up nearly 5 percent.