Clergymen and community leaders called on state prison administrators Friday to address inmates' grievances to defuse possible prison disturbances.
The newly formed Coalition on Prison Affairs said it is not supporting the rumored disturbances by inmates "whatever it is they're going to do," said the Rev. Herbert Daughtry of the House of the Lord Church in Brooklyn.
Daughtry called on state officials to address those inmate complaints they can correct and to explain clearly to prisoners why they cannot address others.
On Friday, spokesman James Flateau said the state Department of Correctional Services' 20 SWAT teams were stationed geographically so they could respond to trouble in any of the system's 70 facilities.
For weeks, authorities say they have been aware of plans by some inmates to strike or make other demonstrations on or about New Year's Day. According to an inmate strike pamphlet titled "Wake Up," prisoners are primarily angered by Pataki administration policies that they believe mean inmates convicted of violent offenses have no chance of being paroled.