Walczyk, Ritchie introduce bill to put drug dogs in correctional facilities across the state

ALBANY, NY — State Assemblyman Mark Walczyk and State Senator Patty Ritchie announced Friday that they have introduced legislation that would crack down on drugs being smuggled into state prisons, effectively strengthening the safety of corrections officers.

The measure would call on the State to place a drug sniffing dog in every correctional facility across the state with a minimum of one hundred inmates. Often times, individuals that visit inmates go to great lengths to smuggle controlled substances in to prisoners. Currently, the state has drug sniffing canines that are rotated at facilities across the state. Without a drug dog at facilities regularly, it becomes increasingly difficult to cut down on drugs that get smuggled into inmates from a visitor and even via mail.

“I’ve talked with Correctional Superintendents across our region who all say drug dogs work. I’m proud to stand alongside Senator Ritchie is in this fight to crack down on drug use in state prisons,” said Assemblyman Mark Walczyk. “When prisoners are getting doped up behind bars, it puts the Corrections Officers and other inmates in danger – look at what just happened in Cape Vincent. From the visitor room to the mail room, there’s a tidal wave of drugs passing into the hands of inmates and the State tells our facilities to hold back the wave with a SIEVE. Enough is enough!”

“There have been far too many incidents inside of our prisons directly related to drug use. Whether its an overdose or a drug fueled attack on correctional officers, we must do more to protect everyone inside our prisons. These dogs can help clean up our facilities and allow them to continue to better rehabilitation efforts. I applaud Assemblyman Walczyk for joining me to ensure we are doing everything in our power to keep our prisons safe and ensure our correctional officers can safely come home to their families every night,” Senator Patty Ritchie said.

This legislation is the latest effort from Assemblyman Walczyk and Senator Ritchie to advocate for state prisons. Recently, Walczyk and Ritchie raised concerns about language in the Governor’s proposed budget that gives him the ability to close an unidentified number of Correctional Facilities across the state.