ALBANY – Legislation to criminalize certain conduct against corrections officers and other prison employees, has been signed into law by Governor Cuomo.
The legislation makes it a felony if an inmate intentionally throws the contents of a toilet bowl on a corrections officer.
“This conduct is disgusting,” said State Senator John Bonacic (R, Mt. Hope), who sponsored the measure. “It subjects the corrections officer to testing for various diseases, and makes our prisons less secure. There should be serious consequences for such activity.”
The legislation was requested several years ago by the president of the Orange County Police Benevolent Association after an incident when a corrections officer had the contents of a toilet bowl emptied on him.
Previously, only if urine, seminal fluid, blood, or fecal matter is thrown, tossed, or expelled onto a corrections officer or correctional employee, can an inmate be charged with a felony. In that case, since none of those substances was present, the criminal charge was not upheld.
Bonacic’s legislation would broaden the substances that could lead to a felony charge.
Earlier versions of the bill that were more expansive had passed the Senate eight times, but not the Assembly.