WATERTOWN, NY — Assemblyman Scott Gray (R-Watertown) today joined his Assembly Republican colleagues and NYSCOPBA President Mike Powers to call for the immediate repeal of the HALT Act. This renewed call comes as the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) numbers show a substantial increase in assaults within prisons during 2022.
“Violence within our prisons is on the rise. This is an unfortunate truth that has been confirmed by many correctional officers with whom I have discussed the issue,” said Gray. “There is no doubt that poor policymaking out of Albany has contributed to this troubling rise in violence. Prison closures, the HALT Act and the refusal to use a secure vendor program have all contributed to the deterioration of prison environments. Not only is inmate-on-staff violence up, but inmate-on-inmate violence has also increased. I believe this is in large part due to the inability of correctional officers to separate even the most violent inmates from the rest of the prison population.
“We can reverse the uptick in violence by immediately voting on A.10593 of 2022, which would repeal the HALT Act. The governor often says she looks at the data when making decisions—the data here is clear. Prisons are becoming more dangerous, and we must act to protect the inmates, correctional officers, support staff and all who work at these facilities to help keep our communities safe,” concluded Gray.
NYSCOPBA President Mike Powers said, “The legislative majorities in Albany are complicit in what is happening within our prison walls. We have called for the repeal of HALT since it was passed into law, because we knew the danger it would present to our correctional officers. I hope members on both sides of the aisle join Assemblyman Gray to address the problem and immediately vote to repeal the HALT Act.”