Stefanik calls on New York State to halt prison visits as COVID-19 continues to spread

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(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWTI) – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is calling on New York State to halt prison visits for all state facilities in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases among inmates and staff. Stefanik and New York State Corrections Officers Police Benevolent Association are urging the state to restrict visitations to their facilities in order to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 among staff and inmates.

According to a press release from Congresswoman Stefanik’s office, she has repeatedly called on Governor Cuomo to suspend inmate transfers and implement further precautions in state prison facilities.

“Once again, Governor Cuomo is failing to address the valid concerns expressed by our corrections officers who have continued working in state prison facilities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, putting their personal health and safety on the line,” Congresswoman Stefanik said.

“I have spoken directly with countless correction officers who are rightfully concerned about the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in our North Country prisons. The state must take proactive measures to stop in-person prison visits as a method of reducing exposure for the inmates and the correction officers. I continue to remain in close contact with our county public health officials to monitor this situation, and I urge the Governor to take immediate action to keep our inmates, corrections officers, and their families safe.”

“As COVID-19 cases continue to surge throughout the state and new restrictions on the public are inevitable, now is the time for the Governor and DOCCS to stop all visitations, unnecessary programs and transportation, to help stop the spread of the virus in state prisons,” John Roberts, Northern Region Vice President for NYSCOPBA, said. “Staff have been essential employees from day one of the pandemic and they deserve to have the safest work environment possible.”

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