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Nassau COBA

Making it Safer to be a CO

Union working on treating PTSD, using body scanners and banning synthetic marijuana

Brian Sullivan's picture
May 12, 2017

I was very proud to represent Nassau County Correction Officers at a Press Conference on May 9th, 2017 conducted by the NYS Senate Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) in the NYS Capitol Bldg in Albany.  We announced several pieces of State Legislation that are being introduced to benefit Correction Officers all over New York State.  This legislation includes:

  • The introduction of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to be included in NYS Workers Compensation Law for Correction Officers.
  • The use of TSA-like Body Scanners, to be used to detect newer forms of non-metal contraband and weapons that inmates secrete in their bodies.
  • State legislation banning any business from selling synthetic marijuana (also referred to as K2 or Spice). This contraband is a major problem in Correctional Facilities. 

Also in attendance were NYS Corrections Union President Michael Powers, Westchester Corrections Union President Alonzo West and NYC Corrections Union President Elias Husamudeen.  

It is far past time that the many unique problems that Correction Officers face on a day to day basis are addressed. The IDC in the State Legislature began that today,  from the increased violence in our jails, to the Gang problem, to the lack of training and equipment.  Today was a great start but there is a lot of work to do.  - Brian Sullivan

Politico: IDC Calls for Increased Protection for Correction Officers

Members of the Independent Democratic Conference on Tuesday called for increased protections for corrections officers in light of mounting prison violence.

"We're asking these men and women to do so much, but we're not backing them up with the resources that they need," Sen. David Carlucci, whose district includes Sing Sing Correctional facility in Westchester County, said at a press conference.
The IDC released a report highlighting an increase in violence by inmates against prison staff as well as other inmates, and pushed to pass bills which they say would curb those attacks.
"We all seem to have the same problems everywhere you go, whether it's in the State System, the City System or in the County Systems, contraband/violence is a major problem in all of these systems," said Brian Sullivan, President of the Nassau County Correction Officers Benevolent Association.
The IDC's leader, Sen. Jeff Klein of the Bronx, said contraband drugs and weapons are contributing to the attacks and said body scanners would prevent illicit goods from entering prisons.
He also pushed fellow legislators to pass his measure banning synthetic marijuana, known as K-2, from being sold in stores or online.
"I think that's how we make sure it's not getting into our prisons so easily," he said. Sen. Marisol Alcantara, a former union organizer, said she introduced a bill Tuesday that would make correction officers eligible for workers' compensation if they suffer psychological injury like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder stemming from an inmate throwing bodily fluids at them.
"When you go to work you expect respect and to be treated with dignity," she said. "We cannot overlook those who have been tormented by such a repulsive [action] and the psychological effect that that has on you when you go to work." She said it would be similar to provisions included as part of a series of workers' compensation reforms in the most recent state budget.
Assemblywoman Pamela Harris, a Brooklyn Democrat who worked as a Correction Officer before entering politics, joined the IDC in calling for increased support for prison staff. Harris, pointing to a scar on her arm, said she had been attacked by inmates and suffered mental distress that led to her retirement.
"I relive over and over, and still relive that assault," she said.

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