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What Do People Not Understand About Working in Prisons and Jails?

Fill out a short form to let us know what issues matter most in your workplace.

An illustration shows a correctional officer's light blue shirt and dark blue pants neatly folded in a pile. Loose sheets of paper fly above the shirt.

The Marshall Project and The New York Times are publishing a series of articles about prisons in New York state, and how often the corrections department disciplines officers it accuses of abusing prisoners or covering up misconduct. Our review of hundreds of cases found that the agency rarely succeeds in firing these officers. We also identified more than 160 cases in which prisoners or their families won lawsuits or received settlements after alleging abuse at the hands of guards. The department seldom disciplined those officers.

Corrections union leaders have said that their members conduct themselves with professionalism and integrity under difficult circumstances, and that officers have faced a growing number of assaults by prisoners. The department has noted a jump in injuries to staff and prisoners since 2020.

Data and documents can only tell us so much about the impact violence has on the people who depend on the corrections industry to make a living. And the scale of such violence can eclipse the myriad other issues people employed in corrections face.

So we want to know, is there more to the story? Help us tell it.

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