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New York Corrections Officer Brutality

When someone is convicted of a crime and ends up in jail or prison, they still have rights. Corrections officers and other prison officials have a duty to keep inmates safe and to treat them in a humane manner. Far too often that does not happen. In New York inmates are assaulted by corrections officers and correction officers fail to protect inmates from assault by other inmates. In addition, inmates are often denied needed medical care and sometimes are forced to live in unsanitary conditions. The job of corrections officers is to supervise the inmates. They are responsible for the safety and well-being of inmates. If they fail keep inmates safe, they would have failed to carry out their duties and can be held accountable through a civil action. If you or a loved one has been the victim of violence at the hands of corrections officers or have been the victim of negligence, immediately contact an experienced New York corrections officer brutality lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates. We will take the time to listen to you and discuss options as to how to proceed.

Types of Inmate Abuse

Inmate abuse can refer to a corrections officer physically abusing an inmate. Of course there are times when corrections officers must legitimately use force or violence in response to the violent actions of an inmate. Corrections officers are allowed to defend themselves and others from violent inmates. However, corrections officers are only permitted to use the amount of force necessary to get a situation under control. The are not permitted to use excessive force.

Although it happens, corrections officers should not assault inmates out of anger, retaliation, or for any other reason other than self-defense. Furthermore, corrections officers sometimes sexually abuse inmates. Note that because of the relationship between corrections officers and inmates, corrections officers cannot have consensual sexual relations with inmates. In other words, it is illegal for a corrections officer to have sex with an inmate.

Another type of inmate abuse occurs when corrections officers turn a blind eye to inmates assaulting or abusing other inmates, or otherwise fail to protect inmates from abuse. Furthermore, abuse occurs when corrections officers fail to make sure that inmates get proper medical treatment or fail to make sure they are housed in sanitary conditions. If an inmate demonstrates suicidal tendencies, the facility must take action to prevent the suicide. Failure to do so is neglect.

As an experienced New York corrections officer brutality lawyer will explain, when inmates are abused or neglected by prison officials, they often suffer serious injuries including broken bones, paralysis, loss of teeth, organ damage, loss of vision, loss of hearing, and traumatic brain injuries. They also suffer long-term psychological damage. As a result of sexual assault, inmates suffer sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancies. In the worst cases, inmates who are victims of abuse or neglect succumb to their injuries and suffer wrongful death.

Note that corrections officer brutality is not limited to adult prisons. Those in juvenile detention are also brutalized, sexually assaulted, and neglected.

Civil Liability

When inmate abuse occurs, the inmate would have a cause of action against the abuser as well as against the facility.

  • Negligent hiring. Negligent hiring occurs when the prison fails to verify that a prospective corrections officer or other staff member may present a danger to inmates. For example, if the prison failed to assess or investigate the person’s mental stability or history of violence, they may have made a negligent hiring decision.
  • Negligent supervision. Negligent supervision occurs when a higher-ranking prison official fails to properly supervise those they manage to ensure they comply with prison policies and procedures.
  • Personal injury based on assault. An assault claim may be based on an inmate suffering a serious injury from a violent attack by a corrections officer.
  • Constitutional rights violation. By abusing an inmate, a corrections officer would have violated the inmate’s 8th Amendment right to be free of cruel and usual punishment. Actions that may lead to an 8th Amendment violation may include brutality by corrections officers as well as failure to provide adequate medical treatment or sanitary living conditions.

As a corrections officer brutality attorney in New York will explain, a successful civil suit against the corrections officer who was responsible for the abuse or neglect as well as against the facility may result in a significant monetary award to compensate the inmate for the economic, physical, and emotional losses as well as to punish those who committed or tolerated the abuse.

Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Far too often the rights of prison inmates are overlooked. Treatment of prison inmates is so bad that human rights organizations have taken notice. If you or a loved one has been abused or neglected in prison, it is critical to immediately contact an experienced corrections officer brutality attorney serving New York. Inmates have the right to communicate with counsel about abuse. Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We have years of experience successfully fighting for maximum awards for victims, and we understand the law related to inmate rights as well as the challenges of going up against a government entity. We represent clients in the Manhattan, Bronx, Staten Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Brooklyn, Long Island, Queens, and Westchester County.

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