Since 1844, the Correctional Association has remained steadfast in its commitment to informing the public debate on prisons and has grown into a dynamic and innovative force for lasting progressive change. We were instrumental in the creation of a separate system for youth convicted of crimes in 1899; saw to the ending of corporal punishment as a matter of policy in state prisons and jails; were among the first to address the crisis of AIDS in prison in the 1980s; and helped to establish in-prison vocational, educational and substance abuse treatment programming.

A few examples of our other policy successes over the last decade include:

  • The SHU Exclusion Law, prohibiting the placement of incarcerated individuals with severe mental illness in solitary confinement and mandating the creation of more humane residential mental health units;
  • The Medicaid Suspension Law, enabling incarcerated individuals to secure Medicaid coverage more expeditiously upon release from prison;
  • The Safe Harbor Act, protecting sexually exploited minors from prosecution and incarceration for prostitution;
  • The creation and implementation of a landmark anti-discrimination policy aimed at protecting incarcerated LGBTQ youth from harassment and abuse;
  • The DOH Oversight Law, requiring the Department of Health to monitor HIV and hepatitis C care in New York State prisons and jails.
  • The Anti-Shackling Law, outlawing the use of shackles on pregnant women who are incarcerated during labor and after delivery;
  • Rockefeller Drug Law reform, a set of significant reforms marking the beginning of the end of New York’s notorious, racially-biased mandatory-minimum sentencing statutes;
  • The ASFA Expanded Discretion Law, allowing foster care workers discretion to delay filing for the permanent termination of parental rights if a parent is incarcerated or in drug treatment.

In 2011, the Correctional Association was identified by Philanthropedia (at GuideStar) as one of 21 high-impact nonprofits working in criminal justice in the U.S. on a local/state level.  We ranked third place nationally within a group of organizations in our field. To read what experts in the field have to say about the Correctional Association’s impact, click on the Expert Reviews section on our organization profile.