It was reported that several inmates were stabbed at the Mount McGregor correctional facility in New York. The state officials have denied that the stabbings were related to the policy of double-bunking. At the same time, the New York State Correctional Officers union’s steward, a correctional officer, Richard Thomas stated that the violence was part of the consolidation occurring at the prison and double-bunking.
Double-bunking consists of housing two inmates in a cell designed for one inmate. The average jail cell size is six feet by eight feet. The cell will have a small cabinet and toilet. The second bunk is installed on top of the first bunk.
The New York state officials denied that the three inmates were involved in double-bunking cells. The state is ignoring the escalation of tension among the inmates caused by the overcrowding of cells.
While this writer was incarcerated in Hagerstown, Maryland, an inmate was having substantial difficulties with his cell mate. The inmate, a small man, requested transfer to another cell. Several days after his change of cell request to the tier correctional officer, we heard the inmate pleading for help because he was being shanked (stabbed) by his cell mate. Fortunately, he was not hurt badly. Both inmates were transferred to the punishment unit pending an investigation.
Double-bunking inmates in very small cells will lead to violence and sexual attacks among some inmates. Non-violent inmates are often double-bunked with violent inmates, as it is the luck of the draw.