BUFFALO, N.Y. - Some 2 On Your Side viewers and Facebook followers are sounding off on a new rule implemented by the State Department of Corrections.

It requires all workers to use state-issued clear plastic bags for their food and personal items.  The department says it's a necessary safety measure to cut down on prison contraband, but others say it's an attack on corrections officers.

Some think there are bigger issues that need to be looked at, such as the number of assaults on COs.

2 On Your Side decided to take a look at some of those numbers.

The number of assaults on staff across the New York Prison system rose significantly from 2012 to 2015:

  • 2012 - 524
  • 2013 - 645
  • 2014 - 747
  • 2015 - 895
  • 2016 - 760
  • 2017 (first quarter) - 174

Others commented on staffing levels in the state's 54 prisons.

According to the Department of Corrections, there are currently 19,322 prison security staff in the state.  That's up 72 from last year.  

The number of prisoners dropped from 51,406 in 2016 to 51,378 in the first quarter of 2017 - a difference of 28.  The prisoner to uniformed staff ratio is about 2.7 and has been that way since 2015.

DOCCS Fact Sheet from April 1, 2017