Suit claims Clinton Correctional inmates assaulted
From Press Republican :
PLATTSBURGH — A lawsuit has been filed against several correction officers at Clinton Correctional Facility, accusing them of brutally beating inmates and denying them their rights in the aftermath of last year’s escape of two murderers.
The suit, authored by Brooklyn attorney Leo Glickman on behalf of inmate Mattieu Burks, claims that Burks was beaten, threatened and called racist names.
The abuse allegedly occurred before inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped on June 6, 2015, and continued afterward.
The suit also points to a host of other problems at the prison that were reported by a prison watchdog group.
The New York State Correction Officers and Police Benevolent Association, the union representing correction officers, said the suit is baseless.
“The overwhelmingly number of use-of-force investigations statewide are unsubstantiated, and it is unfortunate that anyone is using the Clinton escape as an opportunity to file a frivolous lawsuit,” NYSCOPBA spokesman James Miller told the Press-Republican.
Burks was transferred from Downstate Correctional Facility to Clinton on Feb. 26, 2015. He is from Rensselaer County, serving a three-and-a-half-year sentence on a narcotics charge.
The suit says Burks was often subjected to verbal harassment by white officers who made inappropriate comments about a photograph in Burks’s cell of his girlfriend, who is white.
In April 2015, the legal paperwork alleges, Burks was observed having a conversation with a white female correction officer when several male officers interceded.
Burks was told, “in sum and substance,” the suit said, “you don’t know your place,” and that “he needs to be educated.”
An officer also allegedly said Burks was “just another n—–. We will kill you, do the paperwork, and no one will care about another dead n—–.”
TAILOR SHOP WORKER
The suit claims officers then took Burks out of his cell and physically assaulted him by kicking him in the testicles and otherwise roughing him up, and he was then put back in his cell and further assaulted.
Burks worked in the prison tailor shop, the suit says, under civilian employee Joyce Mitchell and with Matt.
Read Full Article Here
The CA has been monitoring the high rates of suicide and self-harm in the state prisons for more than a decade and has repeatedly drawn attention to excessively high rates of harm at certain prisons and in specific locations, such as solitary confinement and residential mental health units, to the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), the Office of Mental Health (OMH) and the legislature in the CA’s reports and legislative testimonies. DOCCS suicide rate from 2010-16 was 56% higher than the national average for all US prisons.Read More
If New York state were punishing misbehaving prisoners by pulling out their fingernails, I believe our local senators and assemblymen would put a stop to this. Yet the legislature continues to allow the extended use of solitary confinement in prisons. Make no mistake, this is torture. Don’t take my word for it. Go spend 15 [...]Read More
Reports & Research
“Solitary at Southport: A 2017 Report Based Upon the Correctional Association’s Visits, Data Analysis, & First-Hand Accounts of the Torture of Solitary Confinement from One of New York’s Supermax Prisons”
“The isolation itself is torture. Mentally and emotionally, it breaks you down. Spiritually it strips you. The way it is built is to break you down as a person and push your family away.” From “Solitary at Southport” Solitary confinement is torture. New York State subjects people to solitary confinement and other forms of isolation [...]Read More