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In all US states and territories, it’s illegal for correction officers – any prison staff for that matter – to engage in a sexual activity with prisoners. For one, by the very definition, inmates cannot legally give consent to someone who is in a position of authority over them. These guards, after all, have the power to make life very difficult for prisoners; saying no automatically comes with the threat of punishment. True consent is simply not possible when one party is under the care or authority of another, regardless of what that officer claims. 

When an officer physically forces a prisoner, blackmails them, humiliates them, or refuses to provide basic necessities to them, they are clearly breaking the inmate’s civil rights. As such, the inmate might be able to sue to for damages for this violation of rights and any other harm they have suffered. 

If you or someone you know has been sexually abused or harassed or assaulted by a correctional officer, whether in a federal prison, a county jail, or any other facility governed by the New York City Department of Corrections, New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), you may have a legal recourse. Call 212-962-1020 or contact us online to learn more.

Crying woman

Alternative Legal Options    

If you were incarcerated in the Bayview Correctional Facility, Rikers Island, or any other New York State prison or female correctional facility and could not benefit from the Adult Survivors Act, don’t worry. While the ASA's deadline has passed, there is still hope. If you or someone else you know was sexually assaulted by a correctional facility officer in New York, you may still have legal avenues to explore. 

For instance, the New York City Council approved the Gender-Motivated Violence Act (GMVA) in 2021. It provides a two-year period for victims of gender-based violence to file lawsuits, even after the statute of limitations has expired. This window is in effect until March 2025. If you can prove that the reason you were abused by correctional officers was specifically related to you being a man or a woman, not just because you were in prison, you can still sue your abuser even if the incident happened years ago. 

Getting Legal Help After Being Sexually Abused By Prison Officers

When you are a victim of sexual violence in your adulthood, the barriers in speaking out can seem monumental. You might feel ashamed, doubt whether others will believe you, or worry about retaliation from those who abused you. It's not uncommon for survivors to have repressed memories, leaving them unaware of the full extent of their trauma.  

First, know that sexual abuse doesn’t just mean “rape” under New York laws. It can also be:

  • Unwanted physical contact, with or without clothing
  • Sexual harassment
  • Obscene gestures or remarks
  • Forcing exposure to explicit images or videos
  • Providing drugs or alcohol to facilitate sexual activity
  • Sexual assault
  • Using threats to conceal the abuse or ensure compliance

We can’t say that your journey will become easier after you report the abuse, but we at the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff can promise you this: we will do everything we can to support you every step of the way and hold your abusers – and those who were complicit – accountable. 

It can be difficult to go after prisons and similar government organizations, considering their vast financial resources and the fact that our justice system can have the proclivity to believe “government is always right”. But winning is still possible. Get in touch with us to schedule a 100% free and confidential consultation. If we take your case, it will cost you nothing up front; we only get paid when we win. And we have been fighting for over 30 years so we know how to win. 

State Prisons in New York

Here are some current State prisons and some defunct State prisons:

Current State operated prisons

  1. Adirondack Correctional Facility
  2. Albion Correctional Facility
  3. Altona Correctional Facility
  4. Attica Correctional Facility
  5. Auburn Correctional Facility
  6. Bare Hill Correctional Facility
  7. Bedford Hills Correctional Facility
  8. Cape Vincent Correctional Facility
  9. Cayuga Correctional Facility
  10. Clinton Correctional Facility
  11. Collins Correctional Facility
  12. Coxsackie Correctional Facility
  13. Eastern Correctional Facility
  14. Edgecombe Correctional Facility
  15. Elmira Correctional Facility
  16. Fishkill Correctional Facility
  17. Five Points Correctional Facility
  18. Franklin Correctional Facility
  19. Gouverneur Correctional Facility
  20. Great Meadow Correctional Facility
  21. Green Haven Correctional Facility
  22. Greene Correctional Facility
  23. Groveland Correctional Facility
  24. Hale Creek Correctional Facility
  25. Hudson Correctional Facility
  26. Lakeview Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility
  27. Marcy Correctional Facility
  28. Mid-State Correctional Facility
  29. Mohawk Correctional Facility
  30. Orleans Correctional Facility
  31. Otisville Correctional Facility
  32. Queensboro Correctional Facility
  33. Riverview Correctional Facility
  34. Shawangunk Correctional Facility
  35. Sing Sing Correctional Facility
  36. Sullivan Correctional Facility
  37. Taconic Correctional Facility
  38. Ulster Correctional Facility
  39. Upstate Correctional Facility
  40. Wallkill Correctional Facility
  41. Washington Correctional Facility
  42. Wende Correctional Facility
  43. Woodbourne Correctional Facility
  44. Wyoming Correctional Facility

Defunct State prisons

  1. Arthur Kill Correctional Facility (closed 2011).
  2. Bayview Correctional Facility (closed 2012)
  3. Beacon Correctional Facility (closed 2013)
  4. Buffalo Correctional Facility (closed 2011)
  5. Butler Correctional Facility (closed July 26, 2014)
  6. Butler ASACTC
  7. Camp Gabriels (closed July 1, 2009)
  8. Camp Georgetown (closed 2011)
  9. Camp Pharsalia (closed 2010)
  10. Chateaugay Correctional Facility (closed July 26, 2014)
  11. Clinton Correctional Facility Annex (closed March 31, 2021)
  12. Fulton Correctional Facility (closed 2011)
  13. Gowanda Correctional Facility (closed March 31, 2021)
  14. Lincoln Correctional Facility (closed September 1, 2019)
  15. Livingston Correctional Facility (closed September 1, 2019)
  16. Lyon Mountain Correctional Facility (closed 2011)
  17. Mid-Orange Correctional Facility (closed 2011)
  18. Monterey Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility (closed July 26, 2014)
  19. Mt. McGregor Correctional Facility (closed July 26, 2014)
  20. Oneida Correctional Facility (closed October 1, 2011)
  21. Parkside Correctional Facility (closed 1999)
  22. Summit Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility (closed 2011)
  23. Watertown Correctional Facility (closed March 31, 2021)
  24. Downstate Correctional Facility (closed March 10, 2022)
  25. Moriah Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility (closed March 10, 2022)
  26. Ogdensburg Correctional Facility (closed March 10, 2022)
  27. Rochester Correctional Facility (capacity <200) (closed March 10, 2022)
  28. Southport Correctional Facility (closed March 10, 2022)
  29. Willard Drug Treatment Center (closed March 10, 2022)

The Adult Survivors Act (ASA) – Expired but accepting transfers 

The ASA was signed into law by New York Governor Kathy Hochul on May 24th, 2022 to allow survivors of sexual offenses that occurred when they were over the age of 18 to file lawsuits, irrespective of when they occurred​​​​ (i.e., even if the statute of limitations had passed).

Unfortunately, the one-year period that allowed adult survivors of sexual abuse to come forward and seek justice expired on November 24, 2023, however, if you are not satisfied with your current legal representation, please contact our offices and we may be able to help you. We are still accepting cases transferred to our firm from other law firms. 

The act, that became effective on November 24th, 2022, provided a one-year "look-back" window for victims who were 18 years or older to sue their offenders. Attorney Michael S. Lamonsoff represented many men and women who suffered sexual abuse/violence when incarcerated and helped them recover damages even when it took place years ago. Thanks to the Adult Survivors Act, we were able to file lawsuits on behalf of our clients against their abusers as well as other responsible parties, such as federal, state, and county prisons who failed to protect victims.

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