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How do you file a complaint against a corrections officer?

Have you been the victim of a civil rights violation by a New York correction's officer?

Correction officers are expected to behave according to a certain mode of professional behavior. If you have a grievance against an officer due to sexual abuse, physical assault or some other issue of misconduct, there is a method to file a complaint.

In order for the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) to properly evaluate your complaint and see if they can begin an investigation, you need to give them as much information as possible:

-- Where and when the incident took place

-- The name of the officer or officers involved in the incident

-- As much information about the incident as you can remember, including what prompted it and what occurred afterward

-- The name of the victims involved

-- The identities of witnesses who were around when the incident happened

Officers who behave like bullies with badges cannot be stopped unless those with the authority to stop them are informed of the behavior. However, if you wish to remain anonymous when you make your report to OSI, you can. Your identity will be protected by OSI during the course of any investigation unless you either give your permission for its disclosure or a judge requires it.

Choosing to step forward to file a complaint against a corrections officer is a scary process -- whether you are an inmate or just a family member of an inmate. There's always a certain amount of fear that the officer or officers in question will find out about the allegations and retaliate in some vicious way.

That's one reason that it may be wise to seek legal advice before you file a complaint. In addition, you may want to file a lawsuit over the violation of your civil rights.

For more information on what you can do or how you can file a prisoner's rights lawsuit, talk to an attorney today.

Source: New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, "Office of Special Investigations," accessed June 30, 2017

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