Legislation in response to violence at Brookwood

Senator Kathy Marchione’s legislation requiring a study of staffing ratios at State Office of Children and Family Services facilities to help ensure safety and security of public employees passes the State Senate

Senator Marchione introduced her legislation in response to the brutal attack on Charles Kisembo, an aide at the Brookwood Secure Center who was assaulted by a resident and had to be hospitalized

Albany, NY – Senator Kathy Marchione (R,C,I,Reform-Halfmoon), Chair of the Senate’s Local Government Committee, announced the State Senate’s passage of her legislation requiring a study of staffing ratios at State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) facilities to provide proper staffing levels and ensure the safety and security of dedicated public employees working at the facilities. Senator Marchione’s legislation passed unanimously during today’s Senate Session by a vote of 61-0.

The legislation was introduced in response to a spate of violent attacks on staff in facilities under OCFS, particularly at the Brookwood Secure Center, which is located in the 43rd Senate District represented by Senator Marchione. In December 2016, Charles Kisembo, an aide at the Brookwood Secure Center, was brutally attacked by a resident with a blunt object and had to be hospitalized due to the severe nature of his injuries. Mr. Kisembo was treated for brain swelling and received 20 stitches from the vicious assault. There are many other instances of staff oftentimes alone with residents being attacked.

The Assembly companion measure for Senate Bill S.4574A is Assembly Bill A.6903A, sponsored by Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica). The Assembly version passed the Assembly by a vote of 141-2 on June 6, 2017. As the legislation has now passed the Senate and Assembly, it will be delivered to the Governor.

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