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Assaults on corrections officers at a five year high

Attica, N.Y. -- An inmate  being held at the Attica Correctional Facility is facing felony charges.

The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision says 34-year-old Michael Head allegedly stabbed a correction officer multiple times with a pen as he was trying to enter and search Heads cell.

The officer and Head were taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Head was currently serving 25 years to life for Murder in the Second Degree.

According to the New York State Police, it was the second assault on January 21. Before Head allegedly stabbed the officer, a second inmate acted out shortly after 5 p.m.

Police said two officers were making rounds in the Special Housing Unit when Billy Rasnick, 22, used a bucket to throw an unknown liquid at two officers. The corrections officers were struck in the face, eyes, mouth and body.

Rasnick then barricaded himself inside his cell and an extraction team was called. The team enetered the cell and subdued Rasnick. Multiple officers sustained injuries during the incident, including receiving a blow to the head which caused a concussion.

Police said these incidents are a part of an "alarming trend" of correctional officers being assaulted by inmates. Apparently assaults on staff have increaed by 13 percent from 2009 to 2013 and are up 23 percent in 2013.

Our prisons are overcrowded and more dangerous than ever. Since 2004, the number of violent felons incarcerated has increased by 6 percent in maximum facilities and 7 percent in medium facilities. Eleven facility closures have occurred during the Cuomo administration with an additional four scheduled to be closed in 2014. Over 10,000 inmates are currently double bunked. All of this, combined with a proposed reduction in funding and staff in the 2014 budget, has created a dangerous environment for our members, which is unacceptable and needs to be addressed, stated Donn Rowe, NYSOPBA President, in a news release Thursday.

 
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