ELMIRA, N.Y (WENY) – A representative for New York State Correctional Officers union is speaking out after seven correction officers were attacked by several inmates last week at the Elmira Correctional Facility.

“We have a serious problem in the department,” said Al Mothershed, Business Agent for NYSCOPBA.

Three of the seven officers had to be sent to the hospital for further treatment after they were reportedly punched, spat on, and left with multiple bruises. Four of the officers sustained minor injuries and stayed on duty.

“These facilities are like communities. The only difference between a correctional facility and lets say the city of Elmira is the correctional facility is behind walls, said Mothershed. When you take a community and you fill it full of people who don't abide by the law, you're asking for problems.”

In a Press release from the New York State Correctional officers PBA, Vice President Joe Miano says, “there is no real deterrent for inmates not to brazenly attack staff."

“Unfortunately when your faced with people that don't have a deterrent, from acting out, it happens more and more often,” said Mothershed.

The union say it's lobbying for more staff and more frisks to protect officers going forward.