New York’s prison system has failed to fire nearly all corrections officers it accused of attacking people in their custody. And guards often work in groups to cover-up assaults by lying to investigators and in official reports, a Marshall Project investigation has found.

Reporters examined how New York disciplines guards for misconduct. Using public records laws, we got a database of disciplinary records that state law had kept secret for decades. Here are five takeaways from our investigation — based on our analysis of that database, thousands of pages of documents, several videos and scores of interviews with prisoners, officials and experts.

  1. New York’s discipline system favors prison guards. 
  2. In many cases of serious abuse, officials didn’t try to discipline the officers accused.
  3. A culture of cover-ups among guards makes it hard to hold them accountable.
  4. The corrections officers’ powerful union has protected this disciplinary process.
  5. Our investigation captures only a fraction of prisoner abuse.

Read the full article about New York prison guards by Alysia Santo and Joseph Neff at The Marshall Project.