Acting DA to form prison task force

By FRITZ MAYER
Posted 5/19/20

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Acting District Attorney Meagan K. Galligan announced on May 12 the formation of the Sullivan County Detention Facility Protection Task Force. It’s mission will be …

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Acting DA to form prison task force

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SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Acting District Attorney Meagan K. Galligan announced on May 12 the formation of the Sullivan County Detention Facility Protection Task Force. It’s mission will be to investigate and prosecute crimes committed inside of the detention facilities located in Sullivan County. Members of the task force will come from the Sullivan and Woodbourne State Correctional Facilities, and the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police and District Attorney’s Office. 

Mike Mazzella, Mid-Hudson Region Vice President of the New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association, praised the effort: “The safety of our members and civilian staff from unwarranted attacks by inmates is of utmost importance. Assaults on staff and contraband seized are at record levels and there is a significant need to have a deterrent for inmates who chose to disregard the rules and attack staff or attempt to smuggle drugs or weapons into the facilities,” he said.

Sullivan County Sheriff Mike Schiff also applauded the move. He said, “Our corrections officers walk the toughest beat in Sullivan County. While a police officer on the street may run into one or two of these defendants from time to time, our corrections officers have to deal with all of these people every minute of their shift. It’s a hazardous job and there is no room for error.”

 Galligan said, “The dedicated public servants who secure and protect these sites are on the front lines of public safety, yet the risks they face are too often unrecognized. No one should feel unsafe at work, and the creation of this task force to coordinate multiple resources and combat the physical dangers faced by those who work in our prisons—whether through physical assaults or the presence of dangerous contraband—is an important step forward in detecting, dismantling and deterring the commission of crimes that threaten the safety of detention facility staff and inmates alike.”

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