WENY News - Suspected gang fights lock down parts of Elmira Correctional Fac

Suspected gang fights lock down parts of Elmira Correctional Facility

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) - Two cell blocks were locked down at Elmira Correctional Facility following a series of inmate fights.

According to the New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association, the fights happened over a five day period starting on January 30th. Several inmates were left with cuts from makeshift weapons.

The first fight happened on January 30th. Two inmates were fighting inside a cell. Officers ordered the inmates to stop fighting. After several orders, the inmates eventually complied. Both were treated at the facility's infirmary for cuts. During a cell search, officers found a three-inch folded aluminum can lid that had a wrapped cellophane handle on one end.

NYSCOPBA says six additional fights broke out between inmates inside the prison over the following few days. Several inmates suffered cuts to the head and face during the fights. In one incident, officers found a ceramic scalpel near the scene of the fight.

According to NYSCOPBA, officers needed to sue OC spray multiple times in several fights when inmates didn't follow orders and continued fighting. 

Two cell blocks were temporarily locked down over the weekend by staff. Officers searched the cells and common areas of the cell blocks for contraband. They seized 30 makeshift weapons during their search.

The inmates involved in the fights have been moved to special housing units and face internal disciplinary charges.

Joe Miano, NYSCOPBA's Western Region Vice President, says the last week was dangerous for officers at Elmira Correctional Facility.

"In what appears to be rival gangs fighting, we were extremely fortunate that only a couple of officers sustained minor injuries containing the violence.  The amount of makeshift weapons that were seized during the cell block searches is alarming," says Miano.

He's calling on Albany to help address the issue.

"Officers face these dangers every day inside our state prisons and the administration must do more to eliminate the ability for these weapons to exist,” says Miano.

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