A recent rec-area prison assault left an inmate dead in upstate New York. The 36-year-old victim suffered multiple blows to his head from another inmate or inmates. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, but ultimately died from his injuries. The inmate’s death is still under investigation but at least one man has been tagged as a suspect.
This fatal inmate assault demonstrates the serious shortcomings of New York prisons. A man should be able to serve his sentence without enduring life-threatening violence. When post-assault investigations are conducted, the evidence often reveals that the prisoner who committed the assault had an established history of violence. Inmates who have a pattern of brutal violence should be separated from the general population – not given the opportunity to beat or stab others.
Unfortunately, inmate-on-inmate assaults at NY prisons are far too common. Sometimes corrections officers turn a blind eye on prisoner assault, or even go as far as encouraging or bribing an inmate to attack a fellow prisoner, such as in a scheme of inmate abuse facilitated by corrections officers at Rikers Island.
In other instances, the prison guard is the one who gets violent. Whether the corrections officer injures the inmate through excessive force, or victimizes the prisoner through sexual assault, a guard can be held responsible for his conduct; his victims may be able to recover damages for their injuries and suffering.
If you have suffered an inmate assault or abuse from a correctional officer contact a personal injury attorney experienced in prisoner abuse cases. The lawyer can discuss what options you have, and any potential avenues toward recovering damages.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Inmate at NY prison dies after assault in rec area” May 23, 2011.