Prison Guards Get Captivity Coverage

United Press International

A union representing state prison guards said Friday that it has purchased “captivity coverage” from Lloyd’s of London that will pay benefits if a corrections officer is taken hostage during an uprising.

The insurance, believed to be the first of its kind, was spurred by a rebellion at the Coxsackie Correctional Facility last summer in which five guards were held hostage.

Lloyd’s is underwriting the coverage for Council 82 of the Security and Law Enforcement Employees union. It told the 22,000-member council that it had never seen such a policy, union spokesman Chuck Booth said.

Union members taken hostage by prisoners will be compensated for mental strain and injury, and their families will receive a death benefit if they are killed in captivity, Booth said.


Benefits range from a one-time payment equal to half of a guard’s annual salary if he is held captive at least 12 hours without injury, up to a single payment of twice his salary to a beneficiary if he is killed, the spokesman said. Corrections officers who suffer injury or disfigurement would be compensated on the same scale.

The plan, which covers all officers in Council 82, including policemen and sheriff’s deputies, is financed by the union and entails no increase in union dues, Booth said.