The nation’s first prison intelligence center will share trends and data across facilities to keep officers, the public safe and stop crime.

(Yaphank, NY) In April, Suffolk County Sheriff Errol D. Toulon, Jr., along with elected officials and commissioners from partner correctional institutions, officially launched the Corrections Intelligence Center (CIC). CIC is the first prison intelligence network to share data, trends, best practices and potential threats between prisons and prisons.

CIC is staffed with specially trained staff from participating agencies including the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, New York City Department of Corrections, Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, Westchester Department of Correction and Morris County (NJ) Sheriff’s Office Correctional Intelligence Officer. The center also includes remote participation from 20 other counties in the region, who participate in biweekly roundtables in addition to receiving instant alerts on potential threats and trends.

“Correction intelligence is underutilized and an invaluable tool for keeping the public and law enforcement safe. We are doing something that has never been done before — proactively collecting and disseminating information on contraband, drugs, gang affiliations through this network of prisons and prison systems and potentially threatening trends,” Sheriff Errol D. Toulon, Jr. said.

Since taking over as Toulon sheriff in 2018, he has expanded his work with local law enforcement agencies, using intelligence from inside the Suffolk facility to help solve crimes. CIC extends this to help Suffolk by sharing relevant information with task forces embedded within the FBI, US Marshals, Department of Homeland Security, Suffolk County Police Department, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and other police agencies Cases outside county boundaries.

“Fentanyl is a major problem not only in our community, but in correctional facilities. In prisons, the drug is worth 10 times more than street drugs. Our network will allow us to seamlessly share new ways to smuggle these drugs and is a critical tool in stopping the flow of drugs into prisons and ultimately into our communities,” Toulon Sheriff said.

Since the trial began in March, the CIC has been able to collect and disseminate information on trends in new drugs like Xylazine, as well as new ways of spraying fentanyl onto paper and other contraband products by mail.

Additionally, CIC will share and cross-reference data on safety risk groups such as gangs, which may not have been available to us previously. Having accurate and up-to-date information helps us properly manage high-risk individuals, reduce any acts of violence and keep dangerous contraband from entering our facilities. For example, the Correctional Intelligence Center received information about an attorney attempting to smuggle marijuana and fentanyl to New York City inmates through clothing provided for her trial while she was in Queens District Court.

The Sheriff’s Office will also use the intelligence network to help solve crimes outside prison walls. Recently, CIC worked with our law enforcement partners to assist in the arrest of individuals associated with a catalytic converter theft ring across Long Island. Prison intelligence was used to help identify suspects, leading to multiple arrests.

The Prefect of Toulon also announced plans to expand the CIC to national and international partners. To accommodate the growing business, Suffolk County is currently renovating unused portions of the former Yaphank Prison, with 2,500 square feet currently earmarked for a state-of-the-art CIC facility. The initial phase of the refurbishment is expected to be completed by early summer.

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