Lakeview Shock Incarceration Center is one of the last remaining “shock” jails in New York. In exchange for shorter sentences, incarcerated convicts agree to enter a “shock” program to discipline and harden them, much like entering a military boot camp. However, for years, inmates at Lakeview have complained that the shock treatment is nothing but physical and mental abuse, and that sexual assault by corrections officers is rampant due to the violent nature of the program.
History of Violence & Sexual Abuse at Lakeview
As far back as 2013, complaints began to emerge from female inmates at Lakeview Shock Incarceration Center. One inmate, who was known under the alias Linda, spoke up to say that she had been sexually assaulted by a corrections officer there. What seemed like it could have been a singular incident turned out to be just the start of an influx of serious allegations against Lakeview, its staff, and the New York Department of Correction overall.
In 2017, Officer James Beam Jr. was officially charged with rape for his misdeeds at Lakeview. Only one year later, Officer Antolini was charged with official misconduct and an improper personal relationship with an inmate. The two arrests in such short succession clearly showed that there was a serious underlying issue with inmate safety and supervision. Soon, more accusations and complaints of sexual assault against female inmates came to light.
Only a few years ago, in 2020, the problems with Lakeview came to a head when a federal lawsuit was filed against it. The lawsuit pointed to five instances of sexual assault against female inmates and the actions that corrections officers took to try to cover those incidents up. Specifically, the officers have been accused of threatening violent punishment against anyone who reported the abuse. Nearly two dozen officers and their supervisors are named as defendants.
What Happens with Lakeview Shock Now?
The slowly unfolding federal lawsuit against Lakeview is by no means the beginning and the end of legal action against the correctional facility and potentially the New York Department of Corrections. Inmates who have spent time at Lakeview Shock are encouraged to speak up and seek out a lawyer now if they haven’t already. With the federal lawsuit in motion, there is no better time to fully reveal all that has happened at Lakeview.
Individual inmates might be able to file claims for compensation after suffering abuse at Lakeview. However, if enough people come forward with similar complaints, then class action or mass tort litigation could be feasible.
If you suffered abuse at Lakeview Shock Incarceration Center – including sexual, physical, and mental abuse – then call (800) 315-3806 and connect with Levy Konigsberg. Our attorneys are currently investigating stories of sexual assault at Lakeview. We can help potential clients and claimants from around the country, too. Even if you don’t live in New York anymore, you could still have a valid claim to file in the pursuit of justice and fair compensation.
No Evidence Shock Incarceration Works
To make the problems with shock incarceration prisons and programs even worse, there is little to no evidence to suggest that the programs work to rehabilitate inmates. A study published by the U.S. Department of Justice as far back as 1995 – right around when shock incarceration facilities became a popular option across the country – already showed clear signs that the abusive approach to rehabilitation did not work. In short, shock program are plagued by physical and sexual abuse problems and there is no evidence that they serve rehabilitation purposes or keep people from committing other crimes upon release from prison.
The abusiveness and ineffectiveness of shock incarceration programs can also be learned firsthand from the inmates who have endured such abuses at lockups like Lakeview. In a recent article from The Marshall Project, former inmate Ciera Saxby-Smith shared her story of time spent at the Lakeview Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility, and how it left her scarred, traumatized, and not feeling any better prepared to start a new life after imprisonment. In the article she recalled several women reporting to her that they had been sexually assaulted by a prison guard at Lakeview Shock.
Please fill out an online contact form now if you think you could have a valid Lakeview Shock lawsuit to file.
Resources & Continued Reading
- "A Humiliating Experience’: Prisoners Allege Abuse at Discipline-focused ‘Shock’ Camps” (The Marshall Project)
- “Boot Camp Prisons and Recidivism in Eight States” (U.S. DOJ)
- “Raped behind bars – New York prisons have a problem: ‘A fox guarding the henhouse’” (Times Union)
- “Correctional Officer Charged with Rape” (NBC 2 WGRZ News)
- “Second CO in as many weeks charged with official misconduct at Lakeview” (Spectrum News 1)
- “New York state prison guards sexually assaulted female inmates, says lawsuit” (Daily News)
- “’A Humiliating Experience’: Prisoners Allege Abuse at Discipline-focused ‘Shock’ Camps” (The Marshall Project)