Union: not enough being done protect corrections officers, inmates from COVID-19

WWNY Union: not enough being done protect corrections officers, inmates from COVID-19

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The union representing state corrections officers says not enough is being done to protect them and inmates from COVID-19.

Chief among the complaints is double bunking continues in prisons.

The New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association says double bunking fails to keep inmates 6 feet apart.

Also, the union says inmates are still allowed to go to indoor recreation facilities.

The union says its members have not been issued PPE, or personal protective equipment, and until two days ago, inmates were still being moved among facilities across the state.

“Within the prison system, it’s such tight quarters, it could potentially spread like wildfire. The issue is, we essentially have to be there. We don’t want to bring it home to our families. I don’t want to be in the grocery store getting groceries and affect people in the public that don’t work in the prison system,” said Bryan Hluska of NYSCOPBA.

He said a number of prison staff and inmates have tested positive.

The union would also like to see officers equipped with masks.

7 News was unable to reach anyone Friday from the state Department of Corrections for a response.

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