Parts of Elmira prison locked down after suspected gang fights - WBNG.com: Binghamton-area News, Weather, Sports

Parts of Elmira prison locked down after suspected gang fights

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WBNG/WENY) -- In what has been described as a dangerous week for corrections officers, certain parts of Elmira Correctional Facility have been put on lockdown after a series of fights, according to the New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOPBA).

The fights happened over a five-day period, NYSCOPBA says, with the first occurring on January 30 between two inmates. Officials say two inmates were left with cuts from makeshift weapons after a fight within their cell.

Officers told the inmates to stop fighting, according to NYSCOPBA. The inmates complied after several orders.

During a cell search, NYSCOPBA says a three-inch folded aluminum can lid with one end wrapped in cellophane was found.

A NYSCOPBA spokesperson says six additional fights sprung up over the next few days, with officers needing to use pepper spray to stop fights after inmates refused to comply to orders.

Several inmates received cuts to their head and face during these fights, officials add, with officers finding a ceramic scalpel near the scene of one of the fights.

As a result of the fight, NYSCOPBA says two cell blocks were locked down over the weekend while a search was conducted, yielding the discovery of 30 makeshift weapons.

 “Last week was extremely dangerous for our officers at Elmira Correctional Facility. In what appears to be rival gangs fighting, we were extremely fortunate that only a couple of officers sustained minor injuries containing the violence," said Joe Miano, NYSCOPBA Western Region Vice President. "The amount of makeshift weapons that were seized during the cell block searches is alarming. Officers face these dangers every day inside our state prisons and the administration must do more to eliminate the ability for these weapons to exist.”

According to NYSCOPBA,  those who were involved in the fights were placed in special housing units and face internal disciplinary charges.

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