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Join the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act (DVSJA) Campaign and be part of a movement to change the criminal justice system’s harsh and inappropriate response to DV survivors who act to protect themselves from an abuser’s violence.
Until February 1, 2014, the public can comment on the Board of Parole’s proposed regulation revisions and on the problems with current parole practices.
For a woman in transition from incarceration, securing housing is much more complex that just finding shelter.
Over fifty years ago, as New York State’s legislators created the Family Court, they discussed whether to raise the age at which young people could be tried as adults. Unable to reach consensus, the lawmakers of that era left the age of criminal responsibility at 16.
New York is one of just two states in the country that treats 16-year-olds as adults in the criminal justice system.
A resource guide and motivational book of personal stories from women in New York State who have returned home after being incarcerated.
Academic and vocational programs inside of prisons have the power to transform the lives of people in prison.
Incarcerated persons under custody at end of calendar year New York State Department of Correctional Services 1950 – 2003
Inmates under custody at end of calendar year New York State Department of Correctional Services 1950 – 2003.
Trends in New York State Prison Commitments (1980 – 2008)
Over the past decade the overall population in New York State prisons has decreased by over 20% — but the number of incarcerated individuals ages 50 and over has increased by 64%.
OCFS: the Basics
In the state of New York, children who are under the age of 16 at the time of arrest are considered juveniles. The Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) is the agency responsible for the incarceration or placement of juveniles. New York is one of two states where the legal upper age for juveniles is 15.
The September 1971 Attica rebellion brought the plight of incarcerated individuals to the forefront of the nation’s consciousness. No longer would these invisible people experience invisible injustice behind brick walls and barbed wire fences. The prisoners’ demands included basic civil rights such as medical care, religious and political freedom, in addition to a living wage and opportunities for education and rehabilitation.
Effective in-prison treatment programs go beyond the recovery of individual participants to enhance the quality of life within a prison and improve public health and safety outside its walls.
On any given day, hundreds of youth under the age of 16 are incarcerated in the New York City Department of Juvenile Justice’s (DJJ) three youth jails: the Horizons, Crossroads, and Bridges (aka Spofford) juvenile detention centers. The majority of the young people locked up in these secure detention centers are charged with non-violent, low-level offenses and do not pose any threat to public safety.
- Restores judicial discretion for broad categories of individuals charged with drug offenses, including many second felony drug offenders.
- As an estimate, between 45 – 55% of the drug offenders currently confined in New York’s prisons – from about 5400 to 6600 people – would have been eligible for judicial diversion at sentencing.
Women in Prison Fact Sheet
- As of June 2008, 207,700 women were in state or federal prisons or local jails, just under 10% of the total U.S. prison and jail population (more than 2.3 million)
- Nearly 115,800 women were in state or federal prisons alone, more than 7% of the total U.S.
Imprisonment and Families Fact Sheet
- Nationally, more than 8.3 million children have parents under correctional supervision (either in prison, jail, on probation or parole).
- More than 1.7 million children have a parent in state or federal prison.
- Nearly 62% of women in state prisons and 51% of men in state prisons are parents of children under 18.
Survivors of Abuse in Prison Fact Sheet
- A 1999 study found that 82% of women at New York’s Bedford Hills Correctional Facility had a childhood history of severe physical and/or sexual abuse and that more than 90% had suffered physical or sexual violence in their lifetimes.
- This study also found that 75% of the women had experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner during adulthood.
Incarcerated Women & HIV/Hepatitis C Fact Sheet HIV/AIDS.
New York’s Three Key Political Leaders Agree:NOW is the Time to Overhaul the Rockefeller Drug Laws.
Drop the Rock 2010 Campaign Brochure.
Women in Prison and Substance Abuse Fact Sheet.
Throughout the country, a growing number of states now prohibit housing inmates with mental illness in solitary confinement.
Enacted in 1973, when Nelson Rockefeller was Governor of New York State, the Rockefeller Drug Laws require harsh prison terms for the possession or sale of relatively small amounts of drugs. The penalties apply without regard to the circumstances of the offense or the individual’s character or background, so whether the person is a first-time or repeat offender is irrelevant.
Transgender Issues and the Criminal Justice System
What is “transgender”?
The term “transgender” describes people who understand or express their gender differently than what society expects based on the gender they were assigned at birth. This term includes people who change from one gender to another, people who express different gender characteristics, and people whose gender expression cannot be clearly defined as “masculine” or “feminine.”
What is “transition”?
Immigration and the Criminal Justice System.
WHY FOCUS ON INCARCERATED WOMEN?
Largely as a result of harsh, mandatory drug sentencing laws, the United States has witnessed an extraordinary increase in the number of incarcerated women. New York has been no exception: from 1973 to 2006, the number of women in New York State prisons increased by almost 645%.
Myth #1: “Adolescents are too young to know that they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.”
Reality: A research study of lesbian, gay, bisexual youth found that the average age of awareness about sexual orientation was 10.1 The average age that youth first disclosed their sexual orientation was 14.2
Myth #2 “LGBT youth are manipulative.”
Reality: Individuals who are targeted for abuse and harassment have to find ways to protect themselves.
At the Correctional Association, our efforts are driven by a deep faith the inherent dignity of all human beings. We are working to create a criminal justice system that treats people and their families with fairness, dignity, opportunity and respect.
In this short video, members of our staff and volunteer team describe what we do at the Correctional Association, and why we do it.
In this issue: Danny Glover Joins Correctional Association Board; Shining our light on 2012: this year’s prison visits; Bringing Back the Buses; and much more.
Executive Director Soffiyah Elijah serves as the guest host of “On the Count: The Prison and Criminal Justice Report,” a weekly hour-long show on WBAI-Pacifica Radio.
In this issue; The Close to Home Initiative: youth leaders speak out; The Prison Rape Elimination Act; Welcome to CA’s new staff and board members
In this issue; Gov. Cuomo announces prison closures; Reflecting back at the 40th anniversary of the Attica rebellion; CA calls for the closure of notorious prison
In this issue; Welcoming Soffiyah Elijah to the CA; Treatment Behind Bars: New report from the Prison Visiting Project; 300 advocates take on Albany—Advocacy Day 2011
In this issue; A Fair Chance for Families Separated by Prison; 1844 Medal and Art for Justice Benefit; Spotlight on Juvenile Justice Project
In this issue; Crisis in the Juvenile Prisons; CA 2010 Policy Agenda; Drop the Rock Advocacy Day
In this issue; Unshackling pregnant women; Major prison healthcare victory; New direction for Drop the Rock
In this issue; Full update on the Rockefeller Drug Law reforms
In this issue; CA Reports on Prison Healthcare; Prison Downsizing Campaign Announced; Domestic Violence Documentary Premiered
In this issue; Prison report on healthcare; Laura Davidson honored; WIPP premieres “Strength of a Woman”
In this issue; Victory: healthcare coverage for people leaving prison; Advances in Treatment for incarcerated individuals with mental illness; Safe harbor for exploited children
In this issue; The Juvenile Justice Project at 10: A Look Back and Forward; Safe Passages: the CA’s Unique New Program; Prison Visiting Project Launches Substance Abuse Treatment Study; Public Forum Addresses Future of Criminal Justice Policy
In this issue; 5 Winnable Issues; Rockefeller Drug Laws; Inmates with Mental Illness; Sexually Exploited Girls and Boys; Domestic Violence Survivors; Alternatives to Detention
In this issue; Jack testifies on the National Stage; Prison through the lens of gender; The end of ATD may bode well for Juvenile Justice
In this issue; Juvenile Justice Project Tackles Harassment and Discrimination; A Benefit for the CA’s Women in Prison Project; Researching Abuse in New York Prisons; Advocates Speak Out for Youth and Women
In this issue; Young Advocates Changing Criminal Justice; Drug law changes: Progress or Problem?; Reflections on Abu Ghraib: The Use and Abuse of Prison Power in the US
In this issue; Mental Health in the House of Corrections; Advocacy Day Achieves Significant Results for New York Youth; The Correctional Association Honors Jason Flom and Vincent McGee; ReConnect: Making Our Voices Heard
In this issue; Michael’s Story: How the Juvenile Justice System Fails New York City’s Youth; Lockdown New York; Inhumanity Behind Bars: The case against incarcerating the mentally ill is bolstered by a state watchdog group’s report
In this issue; Compassionate Care For Mentally Ill Prisoners; Juvenile Justice Project Calls on City to Close the Notorious Spofford Youth Jail; When “Victims” Become “Criminals”
Prison Monitoring Reports
Groveland Correctional Facility is a 1,106-bed capacity medium security prison in Western New York. The Correctional Association’s Prison Visiting Project visited Groveland on June 18 and 19, 2012.
The Correctional Association’s Prison Visiting Project visited Fishkill on April 17 and 18, 2012.
Woodbourne is a medium-security prison for men located in the town of Woodbourne, in Sullivan County New York, approximately 90 miles northwest of New York City. The Correctional Association’s Prison Visiting Project visited Woodbourne Correctional Facility on February 14, 2012.
Cape Vincent Correctional Facility is an 882-bed medium-security prison located in Cape Vincent, New York, on the border of the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario.
Auburn was the first prison to implement the “Auburn System,” a system of incarceration in which incarcerated people worked in groups during the day, were housed in solitary cells during the night, and lived in enforced silence. Today, Auburn Correctional Facility operates as a maximum security, DOCCS-operated prison for men ages 21 and older.
The Correctional Association (CA) visited Mohawk Correctional Facility, a medium security male prison located near Utica in the city of Rome, New York on July 12th and 13th, 2010. Situated on the southern portion of the Mohawk-Oneida campus, a 150-acre complex that originated as a residential center for the developmentally disabled, Mohawk was converted into a prison in 1988. Mohawk held 1,167 inmates at the time of our visit, with 1,117 of those in general confinement.
The Correctional Association (CA) visited Mt. McGregor Correctional Facility, a medium security prison for men, on May 5th, 2010. This facility is located in Wilton, New York, approximately 40 miles north of Albany and just outside of Saratoga Springs. Prior to serving as a correctional facility, the site hosted a variety of institutions including a hotel, a tuberculosis sanitarium, and a convalescence center for returning World War II veterans. Converted into a 150-capacity, minimum-security camp in 1976, Mt. McGregor grew to become the first New York State correctional facility dedicated to providing alcohol and substance abuse treatment in 1982.
Otisville is a medium-security prison for men committed to the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) located in the town of Mount Hope, Orange County, New York, approximately 90 miles northwest of New York City. The facility operated as a tuberculosis sanitarium, a facility to house system-involved youth, and then a drug treatment center before it was acquired in 1976 by DOCCS and converted to a medium-security prison for male prisoners.
The Correctional Association (CA) visited Coxsackie Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison for men located in Greene County, approximately 120 miles north of New York City, on May 26 and 27, 2010. At the time of our visit, the facility had a capacity for 1,074 individuals and confined 1,029 inmates.
The Correctional Association (CA) visited Hudson Correctional Facility, a medium security prison operating a pilot “reentry” unit for men on May 27, 2010. The facility is located in Hudson, NY, approximately 115 miles north of New York City. At the time of our visit, Hudson housed 360 inmates, with a total capacity for 402.
Attica Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison located in Wyoming County in Western New York is the one of most notorious prisons in New York State, if not the country. The facility’s infamous history continues to infect the atmosphere and conditions facing inmates. A shadow was cast upon the facility in early September 1971, when 1,300 inmates rebelled to protest their conditions of confinement. The rebellion, during which the inmates held 40 correction officers hostage for five days, resulted in a siege of the facility by state troopers that left 43 casualties, including 33 inmates and 10 guard hostages.
Each year 27,000 inmates—nearly 40 percent of the prison population—return home from prison. Reentering society is often a difficult transition, especially for individuals with long prison terms as many of their communities have evolved and changed over time. How well inmates are prepared for their reentry has a significant impact on their overall success on the outside and on the quality of life in their communities.
The Correctional Association (CA) visited Elmira Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison for men located in Elmira, New York, on March 10 and 11, 2010. Often referred to as “the Hill,” Elmira opened in 1876 as the country’s first “reformatory” and is today a general confinement facility and reception center. At the time of our visit, the facility was at capacity with 1,796 inmates, including 429 beds in its reception center.
The Correctional Association (CA) visited Sing Sing Correctional Facility on April 27 and 28, 2009. Sing Sing is a maximum security prison located in Ossining, New York, 35 miles north of New York City. At the time of our visit, the facility had an inmate population of 1,730 men, 1,579 of whom were in general confinement, and a capacity to house 1,803 men. The population decreased from 2,300 inmates at the time of our last visit in 2003, largely due to the closing of the facility’s “Tappan” building. The facility also has a 30-bed Special Housing Unit (SHU) for inmates in disciplinary confinement, which held 24 inmates at the time of our visit.
The Correctional Association (CA) visited Washington Correctional Facility on July 28th and 29th, 2009. Washington is a medium security prison located next to Great Meadow Correctional Facility in Comstock, New York. It was opened in 1985 and is an example of what is known as a “cookie-cutter prison,” one of many prisons constructed with the same blueprint during the 1980s to accommodate the state’s ballooning prison population. At the time of our visit, the facility had a capacity for 924 inmates and held a total of 868 inmates. The facility had a 32-bed Special Housing Unit (SHU), which held 20 inmates in disciplinary confinement at the time of our visit.
The Correctional Association (CA) visited Downstate Correctional Facility, a maximum security reception and classification facility for men operated by the Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) on November 19, 2009. The facility is located in Dutchess County in the town of Fishkill, NY, approximately 60 miles north of New York City. Downstate was constructed in 1979 as the first facility designated entirely to the reception and classification of inmates. At the time of our visit, Downstate housed 1,130 inmates, with a total capacity of 1,234. The facility contains a 36-bed Special Housing Unit (SHU), which held 12 inmates in disciplinary segregation at the time of our visit.
The Correctional Association (CA) visited Wende Correctional Facility, a maximum security facility for men operated by the Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) and located in Western New York in the town of Alden, on January 27 and 28, 2009. At the time of our visit, Wende had a population of 914 inmates, close to its capacity of 961. The prison offers a variety of treatment, vocational and educational programs, including substance abuse treatment, a Special Needs Unit (SNU) for inmates with developmental disabilities, and resources specific to the physically and sensorially disabled.
The Correctional Association (CA) visited Five Points Correctional Facility November 17, 18, and 19, 2008. Five Points is a maximum security prison located in the center of the state, in the town of Romulus. The prison was built in 2000 and has a capacity to house 1,500 inmates. At the time of our visit, there were 1,386 inmates, with 1,290 of them in general confinement. The facility also has a 50-bed Special Housing Unit (SHU) for inmates in disciplinary confinement, which held 36 inmates at the time of our visit.
The Correctional Association (CA) visited Wallkill Correctional Facility, a medium security prison for men located 60 miles north of New York City in Ulster County, on August 2, 2010.
The Correctional Association of New York (CA) visited Mid-State Correctional Facility, a medium security facility for men located in Marcy, New York, on April 1 and 2, 2009. At the time of our visit, the facility had a population of 1,434 inmates, 1,187 of whom were in general confinement, and a capacity of 1,716. The facility also includes a 174-bed S-Block that confined 160 inmates and a Special Housing Unit (SHU) with a capacity of 58 that, at the time of our visit, held 38 inmates in disciplinary segregation.
The Correctional Association visited Shawangunk Correctional Facility, a maximum security facility for men, located in Wallkill, New York, on July 1 and 2, 2009. The facility was built in 1985 in close proximity to its neighbor, Wallkill Correctional Facility, a medium security facility. At the time of our visit, Shawangunk had a population of 547, close to its capacity of 558 inmates. Of these, 524 men were in the prison’s general population. The facility also has a 24-bed Special Housing Unit (SHU) for inmates in disciplinary confinement.
The Correctional Association of New York (CA) visited Hale Creek Correctional Facility on October 28th and 29th, 2008. Hale Creek is a medium security prison located in Johnstown, New York, approximately 50 miles northwest of Albany. It opened in 1990 and in 1992 became the first institution in the United States to be considered an “adult correctional treatment program.” At the time of our visit, 459 inmates resided at the prison, which had a capacity to house 480 men.
The Correctional Association of New York (CA) visited Greene Correctional Facility, a medium security facility for men located in Coxsackie, New York, on October 2 and 3, 2008. At the time of our visit, the facility had a population of 1,754 inmates, near its capacity of 1,821. Of these, 1,564 men were confined in the prison’s general population. The facility also included a 200-bed S-Block, which housed 174 inmates, and a 15-bed Special Housing Unit (SHU) that confined 14 inmates in disciplinary segregation.
The Correctional Association (CA) visited Cayuga Correctional Facility, a medium security prison for men in Moravia, NY, on July 14 and 15, 2008. At the time of our visit, Cayuga had a total inmate population of 1,015 men, and a capacity of 1,082. The facility contains a 200-bed S-Block and a 32-bed Special Housing Unit (SHU) to house inmates in disciplinary confinement. At the time of our visit, 175 inmates were held in Cayuga’s S-Block and its SHU was at capacity. The facility also operates an Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment (ASAT) program and a variety of educational and vocational programs.
The Correctional Association (CA) visited Franklin Correctional Facility on June 5th and 6th, 2008. Franklin is a medium security prison located in Malone, New York. It was built in 1986 and initially housed 750 inmates. In 1990 the prison expanded to hold 1730 inmates with the construction of the annex. At the time of our visit, there were 1680 inmates residing in the main complex and annex, where each residential building is divided into two dorms of 60 inmates each. The facility also has a Special Housing Unit (SHU), a 32-bed disciplinary confinement unit, which held 28 inmates at the time of our visit. The prison offers a variety of treatment, vocational and educational programs in its general confinement area.
The Correctional Association of New York (CA) visited Bare Hill Correctional Facility, a medium security facility for men located in Malone, New York, which is near the Canadian border, on June 3 and 4, 2008. At the time of our visit, the facility had a population of 1,691 inmates, near its capacity of 1,722. The facility was originally constructed to house half this number of inmates. While DOCS constructed additional housing units in the 1990s, areas like the visiting room and libraries did not expand.
The Correctional Association (CA) visited Gouverneur Correctional Facility on April 29th and 30th, 2008. Gouverneur is a medium security prison located in Northwestern New York State, in the town of Gouverneur. The prison contains an S-Block and Special Housing Unit (SHU), in addition to a 10-bed infirmary. At the time of our visit, there were 1,075 inmates at the facility, with 857 in general confinement, 197 in the 200-inmate capacity S-Block, and 21 in the 32-inmate capacity SHU.
The Correctional Association (CA) visited Marcy Correctional Facility, a medium security prison for men in Marcy, NY, on April 2nd and 3rd, 2008. At the time of our visit, Marcy had a total inmate population of 1,093 men, close to its capacity of 1,122. The facility recently closed its disciplinary housing unit, the 200-bed S-Block, to begin construction on a Residential Mental Health Unit (RMHU) as the result of litigation and legislation requiring enhanced services for inmates with serious mental illness who are sentenced to disciplinary housing.
The Correctional Association (CA) visited Willard Drug Treatment Campus, in Willard, NY, on February 14 and 15, 2008. Willard is a 900-bed intensive “boot-camp” style drug treatment center for men and women. This voluntary 90-day treatment program provides a sentencing option for individuals convicted of a drug offense and parole violators who otherwise would have been returned to a state prison in most cases for a year or more. Because of their special status, the men and women detained at Willard are referred to as parolees, not inmates.
Wyoming Correctional Facility is a medium security prison for men located in Attica, New York. The prison confined 1,684 on the day we visited. The Correctional Association’s visit to the facility was on May 30 and 31, 2007.
Oneida Correctional Facility is a medium-security prison located in Rome, NY with a population of approximately 1,200 male prisoners. The facility has many educational, vocational and treatment programs, including an Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment Program and a Sex Offender Program. The prison also produces food for all other New York State prisons in its Food Production Center and distributes medication to most state prisons through the Central Pharmacy. The Correctional Association visited Oneida on March 14th and 15th, 2007.
Members of the Correctional Association’s Women in Prison Project Visiting Committee conducted a visit to Bedford Hills on January 9, 2007. This report details our observations and recommendations regarding the facility’s mental health programs and services based on information gathered from both inmates and staff.
Members of the Correctional Association’s Women in Prison Project Visiting Committee conducted visits to Bedford Hills on January 9, July 2, and July 16, 2007. Over the course of our visits, we spoke and/or corresponded with more than 100 inmates. This report details our observations and recommendations based on information gathered from both inmates and staff.
The Correctional Association visited Hudson Correctional Facility on November 14th and 15th, 2007. Hudson is a medium security prison located in Hudson, New York. It was built in 1887 as a reformatory for young women and retains its historical architecture. The prison also contains a minimum security annex area, separate from the main complex of buildings, which housed 56 inmates in the Work Release program and 41 inmates in the Industrial Training program. At the time of our visit, there were 415 inmates residing in the main complex’s “cottages,” where inmates either share dorm rooms of a few to eight men or occupy single rooms.
The Correctional Association (CA) visited Lakeview Correctional Facility, in Brocton, NY, on October 23 and 24, 2007. Lakeview is a prison with minimum, medium and maximum security areas. At the time of our visit, the facility had a population of approximately 1,035 male inmates and 87 female inmates housed in three separate areas: Lakeview Shock Incarceration (men and women), Lakeview Annex and Lakeview S-Block. These areas are distinct in operations, programs, goals and inmate population.
Sullivan Correctional Facility, located in Sullivan County, New York, has a maximum security area confining 543 inmates and a minimum security annex with a population of 220 inmates. The Correctional Association toured only the maximum security area of the prison on July 20, 2006.
Great Meadow Correctional Facility is a maximum security prison for men, located in Comstock, New York. The prison includes a Special Housing Unit confining inmates in disciplinary segregation, a Behavioral Health Unit for inmates with long term disciplinary and mental health problems, an Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment Program and a variety of educational, vocational and treatment programs. The Correctional Association’s visit to the facility was on June 20, 2006.
Green Haven Correctional Facility is a maximum security prison for men, located in Stormville, New York. The prison includes a Special Housing Unit confining inmates in disciplinary segregation, an Academic Vocational Preparation Program for inmates with mental illness, an Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment Program and a variety of educational, vocational and treatment programs. The Correctional Association’s visit to the facility was on May 24, 2006.
Members of the Correctional Association’s Women in Prison Project Visiting Committee conducted two day-long visits to Albion on December 13 and 14, 2005. The Superintendent at the time of our visit was Robert Kirkpatrick. The current Superintendent is William M. Powers. This report details our observations and recommendations based on the information gathered by the visiting team during both visits.
Members of the Women in Prison Project visiting committee conducted two day-long visits to Bedford Hills, one on July 15, 2005 and the other on December 1, 2005. This report details our observations and recommendations based on the information we gathered during both visits.
Auburn is a maximum security prison located in Auburn, New York housing approximately 1,800 male inmates. Designated by the Office of Mental Health (OMH) as a Level 1 facility, it has the highest level of mental health services available to inmates, which includes an Intermediate Care Program and a Residential Crisis Treatment Program for inmates experiencing severe mental health issues. Auburn also has(ICP), a Residential Substance Abuse Treatment program with 120 participants, an infirmary, Aggression Replacement Training, a Corcraft industry program and a variety of vocational and educational programs. The Correctional Association’s visit to Auburn was on July 19,2005.
Housing approximately 1,750 male inmates, Gowanda is a medium security prison for men located in the town of Gowanda, NY. The facility has a Sex Offender Program, a Driving While Intoxicated Program and an Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment Program, as well as a variety of vocational and educational classes and Aggression Replacement Training. The Correctional Association visited Gowanda on June 28, 2005.
Eastern is a male prison located in Napanoch, NY. The facility includes a main section, classified as a maximum security-B facility, housing approximately 1,000 inmates and a medium security annex for nearly 180 participants in its Chemical Dependence/Domestic Violence Program. The facility also includes a Sensorially Disabled Unit housing 72 inmates with visual and hearing impairments and a Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Program (RSAT). The Correctional Association’s Visiting Committee toured Eastern on May 25, 2005.
Elmira is a maximum security prison housing approximately 1,800 male inmates. The facility, which opened in 1876, now has an Intermediate Care Program with a capacity of 56 inmates, a Mental Health Unit with space for 8, an infirmary with a capacity of 26 and a Special Housing Unit with cells for 54 inmates. The facility also has a Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Program, an Aggression Replacement Training Program and a variety of vocational and educational classes. The Correctional Association’s visit to Elmira was on May 4, 2005.
Attica Correctional Facility is a maximum-security prison for men located in the town of Attica in Wyoming County, NY. It has a population of approximately 2,190 prisoners, including a general population, a Special Housing Unit with a capacity of 116, an infirmary with a capacity of 30 and an Intermediate Care Program with a capacity of 84.
Fishkill Correctional Facility is a medium-security prison for men located in Beacon, New York, about 70 miles north of New York City. It has a population of approximately 1,730 prisoners, including a general population, a traditional Special Housing Unit of single-cell disciplinary confinement with a capacity of 84 and an S-Block with double-cell confinement with a capacity of 200.
Clinton Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison located near the Canadian border, is the largest prison in the New York’s system with approximately 2,900 inmates, and is one of the oldest, having opened in 1845. It consists of two components, Clinton Main, which is composed of cells, and Clinton Annex, which is rated as maximum security but consists of dorms and room-style housing similar to that found in medium security facilities. The Correctional Association visited the prison on December 14, 2004.
Upstate Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison for men located in Malone, New York, was constructed in 1999 to house inmates sentenced to disciplinary segregation or Special Housing Units (SHUs) for violating prison rules. Its modern structure consists of cells designed to limit contact between inmates and staff, with solid steel doors, recreation pens attached to the back of each cell that can be opened remotely by staff, as well as remotely operated showers. The cells, which measure 105 square feet, are designed to house two inmates who share a small table, a shower and a toilet, although some inmates are housed alone.
Mid-Orange is a medium security correctional facility housing 722 male inmates. After serving as a boy’s home, the facility opened as a prison in 1977. The facility is campus-like, with several small buildings for inmate housing and programs. The Correctional Association visited Mid-Orange on October 19, 2004.
Coxsackie is a maximum security correctional facility that opened in 1935 and now houses 1,018 male inmates. Until recently its population was dominated by young inmates, the majority of whom were under age 24. Today, the population contains inmates of a much wider age range. The Correctional Association visited Coxsackie on September 30, 2004.
Reports & Research
Our current youth justice system “systematically fails young people, their families, crime victims, and public safety, often at exorbitant taxpayer cost,” writes Gabrielle Prisco, director of the Correctional Association’s Juvenile Justice Project.
Prisco’s article, When the Cure Makes You Ill: Seven Core Principles to Change the Course of Youth Justice, outlines seven principles necessary to transform the youth justice system, beginning with principle one: treat children as children.
From Protection to Punishment: Post-Conviction Barriers to Justice for Domestic Violence Survivor-Defendants in New York State
The Correctional Association of New York’s Women in Prison Project released From Protection to Punishment alongside the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice at Cornell Law School. The report finds that domestic violence and women’s incarceration are inextricably linked, and outlines myriad barriers to justice faced by survivors who act to protect themselves from an abuser’s violence face, including: overly restrictive mandatory sentencing statutes, limited access to alternative-to-incarceration programs, restrictions on merit time and work release programs in prison, and obstacles to making parole and receiving clemency.
Each year 27,000 inmates—nearly 40 percent of the prison population—return home from prison. Reentering society is often a difficult transition, especially for individuals with long prison terms as many of their communities have evolved and changed over time. How well inmates are prepared for their reentry has a significant impact on their overall success on the outside and on the quality of life in their communities.
A comprehensive review of New York’s prison-based substance abuse treatment programs.
For over the past decade, New York has seen a dramatic decrease in crime and incarceration rates. Our state is now uniquely positioned to implement sweeping criminal justice reforms, creating a model for other states to rethink and replace antiquated, ineffective and costly punishment practices.Time’s Up for New York Prisons presents the statewide advocacy agenda of the Correctional Association of New York’s Drop the Rock Campaign. This policy paper outlines six major strategies for reducing incarceration, saving critically needed tax dollars and reinvesting constructively in our disadvantaged communities.
In 2009, PVP published Healthcare in New York Prisons, 2004-2007 at the request of the New York State Assembly’s Health and Corrections Committees. The comprehensive report is based on information gathered during 19 monitoring visits and notes administrative factors that can negatively affect care, such as vacancies and low salaries of medical personnel. It also makes concrete recommendations for improvement.
The Correctional Association selected six in-prison college programs in New York State and across the United States to examine what seems to be working in post-secondary correctional education. The purpose of this paper, its findings, and subsequent recommendations is to provide concrete rationales for policymakers, criminal justice professionals, interested journalists, and concerned citizens as to why public funding for college programs in prisons should be restored.
Say NO to 35 Years of Injustice: Policy Paper Urging New York State Leaders To Repeal The Rockefeller Drug Laws
2008 marked the 35th anniversary of the enactment of the Rockefeller Drug Laws. This policy paper, published by the Correctional Association’s Drop the Rock campaign, presents historical figures on the harsh impact of the Rockefeller Drug Laws and makes the case the full repeal of the statutes.
This special report presents some of the Correctional Association’s top reform proposals for the state’s administration to consider, as well as the benefits they could provide for both the communities most heavily impacted by incarceration and for society as a whole.
The New York Juvenile Justice Coalition outlines four proposals for juvenile justice reform in the State of New York in 2007.
In 2006, the Juvenile Justice Coalition compiled information about various programs and services available to court-involved youth in New York City.
An overwhelming majority of incarcerated women living with HIV and HCV or who are at high risk for HIV and HCV eventually return home and resume their various roles in society. Such women will remain at high risk unless they receive appropriate interventions and services inside correctional facilities and during the reentry process.
When “Free” Means Losing Your Mother: The Collision of Child Welfare and the Incarceration of Women in New York State
This report highlights the pernicious effect that incarceration of mothers has on their families and makes recommendations for preserving family ties. Incarcerated women face significant barriers to maintaining stable relationships with — and sometimes parental rights to — their children. These obstacles include limited visiting and family reunification services, inadequate or non-existent legal representation in Family Court, and insufficient coordination between corrections departments, child welfare agencies and the courts.
State of the Prisons 2002-2003: Conditions of Confinement in 14 New York State Correctional Facilities
The Correctional Association’s 2002-2003 State of the Prisons report is based on observations and data gathered by the Prison Visiting Project during visits to 14 of the New York State correctional facilities that house men. Part One presents an overview of trends and outlines areas for reform. Part Two contains detailed reports from 14 individual prison visits.
Mental Health in the House of Corrections: A Study of Mental Health Care in New York State Prisons by the Correctional Association of New York
The Correctional Association’s two-year study of mental health care in New York State prisons—which involved 22 visits to 20 correctional facilities, survey interviews with over 400 inmates on the mental health caseload and focus groups with correction officers, mental health staff and prison administrators—reveals both systemic problems and service deficiencies as well as some model programs.
Malikah J. Kelly, youth organizer for the Juvenile Justice Project outlines 10 Reasons New York City Should Close the Spofford Youth Jail.
The findings from Correctional Association visits to nearly every disciplinary housing unit in New York – 49 visits to 26 lockdown units – reveal a disturbing picture characterized by emotional and physical distress, a reliance on warehousing instead of treatment, high rates of mental illness, suicide and self-mutilation, low staff moral and unsafe working conditions for prison guards and administrative staff.
The Correctional Association’s 1998-2001 State of the Prisons report is based on observations and data gathered by the Prison Visiting Project during visits visits to 25 New York State correctional facilities conducted between March 1998 and October 2001. Part One presents key problems and areas for reform based on conversations with hundreds of prisoners and correctional staff. Part Two presents detailed reports from 25 prison visits.
The Juvenile Justice Project’s report of findings and recommendations to reduce the city’s use of secure juvenile detention.
The role of judges is to enforce the law impartially and see that justice is done. When these two imperatives conflict–when a law itself proves unjust–judges often become frustrated by their powerlessness to ensure a fair outcome. Over the years, many judges have voiced such frustration in regard to the mandatory minimum sentencing provisions of New York State’s Rockefeller Drug Laws, as highlighted in this report.
An in-depth study of the quality of health care in New York State prisons Healthcare is based on information gathered over the course of 25 site visits to 22 New York prisons, representing all levels of security and including both men’s and women’s facilities. Interviews were conducted with over 1,300 prisoners, approximately 100 prison medical personnel, several former New York State prison physicians, as well as lawyers and experts in correctional health care. Findings from the research revealed a mixed picture: Significant improvements have been made in recent years, in some cases producing dramatic results; however, systemic problems continue to compromise the delivery of prisoner health care.
To contribute to a fuller understanding of the impact of the Rockefeller Drug Laws, the Correctional Association initiated the Women in Prison Case Histories Project. This effort has involved the preparation of accounts of women offenders serving prison terms under the Rockefeller Drug Laws. By telling the stories of these women, we seek to put a human face on the prison population and to educate political leaders and the public about the circumstances and policies that send certain people to prison.
Mujahid Farid, head of the Release of Aging People in Prison(RAPP) Campaign, appeared before the New York State Assembly Committee on Correction on December 4, 2013 to testify about issues impacting thousands of people confined in New York State prisons who regularly appear before the Parole Board for release consideration.
Gabrielle Horowitz-Prisco, director of the Correctional Association’s Juvenile Justice Project, testified before the New York State Legislature on the Governor’s proposed budget for 2013-2014.
The Correctional Association testified about Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Fiscal Year 2013-14 proposed budget for public protection, focusing on his proposal to close two women’s prisons, Bayview and Beacon Correctional Facilities.
Our testimony expresses the concern that closing Bayview and Beacon Correctional Facilities will eliminate some of the most effective opportunities incarcerated women have to maintain family ties and prepare for a successful reentry.
Just as the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene makes unannounced and independent restaurant inspections and does not allow eateries to grade themselves on food safety, children in the justice system deserve an equal level of protection.
NYS Assembly Committee on Correction Hearing re: academic and vocational prison programs, November 29, 2012
Despite their enormous potential, NYS has seen a significant reduction in staffing and resource allocation for educational and vocational programs.
Lady Kathryn Williams, an advocate, survivor and member of the Coalition for Women Prisoners testifies about the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act at the Senate Democratic Conference Public Forum on Domestic Violence.
In June of 2012, the Correctional Association submitted written testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights about New York State’s use of solitary confinement.
Kim Dadou, advocate and survivor of domestic violence, testifies at Women’s Forum on Domestic Violence.
The Director of the Correctional Association’s Women in Prison Project testifies before the Senate Democratic Conference Public Forum on Domestic Violence on May 30, 2012.
The CA has, for many years, advocated for keeping children in custody closer to their homes and communities. We have also long advocated for ensuring that all youth justice programs and facilities, regardless of who operates them, promote positive outcomes while keeping youth and communities safe. The Close to Home Initiative (CTHI) represents a unique and powerful opportunity to re-create the youth justice system for New York City’s youth and communities. Details of the plan are, however, of paramount importance.
Testimony delivered by Jack Beck, Director of the CA’s Prison Visiting Project, before the New York State Assembly Committees on Corrections and Mental Health.
Jack Beck, Director of the Prison Visiting Project at the Correctional Association of New York, comments on the findings in the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ (BJS) report, Sexual Victimization in Prisons and Jails Reported by Inmates, 2008-09, as they relate to New York prisons, with a particular focus on Elmira Correctional Facility. He also reports on data the CA has analyzed about sexual abuse within other New York state prisons.
A member of the Correctional Association’s Prison Visiting Project shared observations and concerns about the Governor’s 2011-12 Proposed Budget for public protection, with a particular focus on the impact it will have on the incarcerated population in Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) prisons. His testimony focuses on three issues: prison downsizing, additional proposals to further reduce the prison population and the need to preserve essential prison-based programs.
Testimony by Jack Beck, Director, Prison Visiting Project, The Correctional Association of New York before the Senate Standing Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections, Senate Standing Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, and Senate Standing Committee on Health March 17, 2009. The Correctional Association’s findings clearly demonstrate that it is imperative that the SHU Exclusion Law be implemented as swiftly as possible and that its protections cover all inmates with serious mental illness (SMI).
Rev. Calvin Butts, Assemblyman Jeff Aubry, Manhattan District Attorney Bridget Brennan, and CA Executive Director Robert Gangi participate in a panel called Drugs and The Law: Race, Politics, Prisons and Justice in New York State.
Testimony by Shayna Kessler, Prison Visiting Project Associate The Correctional Association of New York Before the Assembly Committee on Codes, the Assembly Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and the Assembly Committee on Corrections.
Testimony before the Commission on Safety and Abuse Jack Beck, Director, Prison Visiting Project, Correctional Association of NY. Mr. Beck’s testimony summarizes the opportunities that the CA’s unique legislative authority provides to assess the conditions and practices within New York’s prisons and to advocate for improvements, and identifies the limitations and restrictions that they encounter in performing these duties. In addition, he summarizes some of the findings and conclusions of their recent efforts to assess safety and violence issues in New York State prisons.
Testimony by Jennifer Wynn, Director, Prison Visiting Project At the Correctional Association of New York on Special Housing Units before the Corrections Committees of the New York State Assembly. Ms. Wynn addresses today the dire need for more humane housing and treatment for the nearly 1,000 inmates with mental illness who are currently confined in 23-hour disciplinary lockdown in New York State prisons. Her testimony is based on findings from a recently completed two-year research study that examined the quality of mental health care in New York prisons and involved site visits to 23 correctional facilities by project staff and outside psychiatrists.
Testimony by Jennifer Wynn, Director, Prison Visiting Project At the Correctional Association of New York on Prison Health Care before the Health and Corrections Committees of the New York State Assembly. Ms. Wynn highlights four key deficiencies in medical care that have emerged from interviews with inmates and staff conducted over the past two years.
Reproductive health care in prison is often severely substandard, threatening women’s health and rights. The Correctional Association of New York’s upcoming report, “Reproductive Injustice: the State of Reproductive Health Care for Women in New York State’s Prisons,” takes readers behind prison walls to understand the challenges women face in accessing quality reproductive health care and the daily degradation incarcerated women experience, from shackling during pregnancy to the separation of mothers from their newborns to the denial of sufficient sanitary supplies.
In a recent letter to the editor, Women in Prison Project Director Tamar Kraft-Stolar responds to a New York Times article, “In Labor, in Chains” (Sunday Review, July 27): “The persistence of shackling incarcerated women during childbirth is unacceptable but unsurprising.