Brooklyn – State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-C-I-REF, Brooklyn/Staten Island) today are calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to take immediate action in response to the Correction Officers Benevolent Association demands, asking that safety measures and protocols be reviewed, and stricter polices put in place immediately, to protect the officers at the Horizon Juvenile Center.
The lawmakers are further echoing COBA President Elias Husamudeen’s call for the City to close the Horizon Juvenile Center if they fail to make changes that will see order restored inside the facility. Much to the disbelief of Golden and Malliotakis, Mayor de Blasio has stated that “the new facilities have been set up to be secure”.
The legislators are highlighting an incident that took place on Wednesday where more than twenty correction officers, assigned to the ACS Horizon Juvenile Facility, were assaulted and wounded. The officers sustained injuries trying to get control of an inmate fight inside a classroom. There have been a number of additional fights and incidents where officers have been hurt at Horizon since its opening last week.
Senator Marty Golden stated, “The men and women who are New York’s Boldest need better protection in the performance of their duties. Mayor de Blasio and the City Corrections Department need to immediately get hold of this situation at Horizon, and elsewhere in the system and set protocols in place to more adequately protect those who serve in our jails.”
“The current policies are putting the brave men and women who wear the Corrections uniform in even greater danger, and we must end this. All those who serve our City and protect our jails want is to go home to their families, unharmed, at the end of their tour. We owe them that chance each and everyday,” continued Golden.
“The Horizon facility needs to be shut down until the city can come up with a plan in conjunction with corrections officers to address the problem of increased violence before someone gets killed. The city is being greatly irresponsible by opening this facility without such a plan and mixing violent gang members with juvenile delinquents convicted of less serious crimes,” said Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis.
Mixing the two only makes it easier for gangs to recruit new members who otherwise could have gotten on the right track. We are endangering both juvenile delinquents and corrections officers who are being stripped of the tools needed to deal with violent criminals, some of whom have been remanded for murder or attempted murder. If these offenders cannot be sent to Rikers Island because of their age, then a separate facility needs to be created to house minors convicted of heinous crimes,” concluded Malliotakis.