ALBANY — Toothbrushes and spoons fashioned into deadly knives and sneaked into prisons are part of the story regarding the rise in assaults on correction officers since 2012, according to a report by the Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference.
The report released this week projected inmate assaults on staff in state prisons will reach 749 this year, from 524 in 2012. This year’s projected total would come after a two-year spike in which there were 760 assaults on staff in 2016 and 896 in 2015, according to the report.
The report also states that if seizures of contraband continue at this rate, staff will confiscate 4,225 items this year, a rise from 2,483 in 2010, according to the IDC report.
The increases came even as the state’s prison population dropped to 77,227 last year from 85,164 in 2012, the report stated.
Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx), who leads the eight-member IDC, proposed that new officers receive at least eight hours of mental health training related to treatment of inmates, that better care be provided for officers suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome after being assaulted, and that workers compensation benefits be extended to officers victimized by bodily fluids being thrown by inmates, among other proposals.