Prison workers explain how inmates scam the system

In my last column, I let a retired New York state corrections officer tell you about a scam that has apparently been going on for a long time inside prisons.

It goes like this: Convicts fake illnesses, get medication they don’t need and spit the pills out on the lawn outside the medical facilities, all so they can build a case for a disability that will pay off nicely once they get released.

Well, several others who have worked in prisons want in on the action and now they are willing to tell their stories. I’m keeping everyone’s identity anonymous because of the delicate subject matter. Here are two comments:

  • John: Kudos on your article about Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) inmates scamming the mental system. As a former DOCCS and Office of Mental Health (OMH) nurse, I witnessed the ease with which inmates manipulated OMH and DOCCS staff to receive a Level 1 designation to receive Supplemental Security Income benefits upon release. This designation also protects them from most disciplinary actions while incarcerated. Anonymous
  • John: Ever since the mental health unit came into corrections, it has created tons of overtime for the guards. Every inmate is now crazy. And I’ve had inmates tell me that the reason they are cutting up their wrist is because they want more money for Social Security when they get released from prison. It’s all a scam. And taxpayers have zero idea of the cost. Anonymous

Now you know. Will Gov. Cuomo do anything about this? Probably not. But at least now you know he won’t do anything about it.

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