Conditions of Confinement

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News | September 27, 2016

NYT Editorial: “Bringing Prison Guards to Justice”

The New York Times in this editorial today is saying what we at the CA have been reporting on for decades: without any any transparency and accountability, the abuse of people who are incarcerated will persist and those who are responsible will still act with impunity. Until accountability is the norm and not the exception, the abuse -- and in some cases, loss of life -- will continue.Read More

News | September 14, 2016

Blog: “Living With Attica”

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As we mark 45 years since the 1971 Attica rebellion, conditions there remain as deplorable in 2016 as there were then. It is time for New York State to finally close Attica. I spent 26 years and 11 months in New York’s prisons from 1979 to 2005, and I was in Attica from 1982 to 1983. I witnessed the most horrific incidents of brutality and experienced it for myself inside Attica. Today I work for the Correctional Association of New York (CA) – a non-profit organization with legislative authority to monitor conditions in all NYS prisons -- so now I go back inside in order to expose the abuses. Based on what I experienced inside and what I see still happening today, it is clear that Attica will never change. Read More

News | August 8, 2016

CA Statement on the Apparent Suicide of John MacKenzie

August 8, 2016, New York): The Correctional Association of New York is heartbroken by the apparent suicide of John MacKenzie, and outraged by the ongoing cruelty of the New York State Parole Board. The Parole Board continues to destroy people’s lives by repeatedly denying release to those who have transformed their lives, demonstrated their readiness to return home, and do not pose a risk to society. Despite public outcries and judges’ admonitions, the Board continues to deny parole based on the nature of their original offense -- something that can never change regardless of what they have accomplished or who they are today.Read More

News | June 9, 2016

CORRECTIONAL ASSN. OF NY RELEASES “VOICES OF CLINTON: FIRST-HAND ACCOUNTS OF BRUTALITY, TORTURE, AND COVER-UP FROM PEOPLE INCARCERATED AT AN INFAMOUSLY ABUSIVE NEW YORK STATE PRISON”

New York, NY (June 9, 2016): Today, a year after the 2015 escape of two men from Clinton Correctional Facility, the Correctional Association of New York, the oldest criminal justice reform organization in the state, released a new 36- page report on Clinton Correctional Facility, featuring first-person narratives from those incarcerated at the prison. The report, issued by the CA’s Prison Visiting Project, (PVP), is a scathing account of violence and abuse at the hands of prison guards – before and following the escape -- and reveals a culture of utter disregard for basic human rights and an atmosphere of cruelty, racism, and dehumanization that has been allowed to persist unabated, unchecked and unpunished.Read More

News | February 17, 2016

BLOG: INDIAN POINT VICTIMS – WHAT ABOUT THE PRISONS?

In this blog by CA Executive Director Soffiyah Elijah, recent reports of significant levels of radiation leakage from Indian Point -- and the contamination fears of those in the surrounding area -- leads us to ask the question: what about the more than 11,000 imprisoned men, women and children in facilities as close as 10 miles from the nuclear power plant? Read More

News | October 2, 2015

Prison Inmates Put a Name to a Feared Guard Known as Captain America

On October 1, The New York Times published yet another article exposing  the scope and breadth of violence and abuse that permeates the New York State prison system. In the latest of a string of accounts dating back to the Spring of 2015, NYT reporters Michael Schwirtz and Michael Winerip   highlight the prison guard known throughout  Clinton C.F.Read More

News | September 4, 2015

10 Things You Need to Know About Brutality and Abuse at Clinton Correctional Facility

The Correctional Association of NY conducted in depth interviews with 30 people currently incarcerated at Clinton on August 19 and 20, 2015, and corresponded with many more people held at the prison over the last few months. The information reported provides further confirmation of both extensive staff brutality in the aftermath of the June escape from Clinton, as reported by the New York Times; and longstanding and pervasive staff violence and abuse at Clinton, as last documented by the CA’s October 2014 report. The brave people willing to come forward to report what is happening behind the walls shared tragic and harrowing accounts highlighting several things everyone should know about Clinton.Read More

News | March 11, 2015

“The kids aren’t all right”

n this timely and insightful piece in The Hill on March 11 by the CA's Gabrielle Horowitz-Prisco, Director of the Juvenile Justice Project, and Sarah Bryer, Director of the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN), the authors lay out a cogent and fact-based case for why there needs to be significant change in our youth justice system.Read More

News | March 3, 2015

CA Says Attica Guards’ Plea Deal in 2011 Gang Assault is Historic, Not Justice

March 3, 2015, (New York, NY): The misdemeanor plea deals offered to the three Attica guards who brutally beat George Williams are historic. Indeed, it is the first time in the history of New York State that any guard has been prosecuted for brutality against someone in prison. It is significant because it sends a message that prosecution is possible. But there’s another message here, one that we know all too well -- that the lives of people who are incarcerated hold little to no value. Read More

News | February 28, 2015

NY Times article exposes culture of violence at Attica long known by the CA

A New York Times article published today exposes what we at the Correctional Association of New York have long known: that Attica Correctional Facility continues to operate as a symbolic and real epicenter of state violence and abuse of incarcerated persons in New York State prisons. The history of the 1971 rebellion and the state’s violent suppression still infuse Attica’s walls and operations. Read More

CA in the Press | November 5, 2017

State struggles to provide prison health care

ALBANY — New York’s complex of 54 state prison facilities is struggling to fill vacant jobs for nurses, doctors and other health care providers. Filling those vacancies and dealing with an aging prison population at facilities across the state have become among the tallest challenges for the $3 billion correctional system, top administrators concede.Read More

CA in the Press | May 29, 2017

AUDIO: Voices Unbroken

Listen Here: A poet famous for writing about the civil rights movement and for epitomizing black arts movement feminism, Sonia Sanchez passed through Attica’s gates 8 years after its legendary 1971 uprising. Though she’d never been incarcerated herself, for several years, she’d been married to widely praised prison poet Etheridge Knight.Read More

CA in the Press | January 26, 2017

Cuomo wants to cut visitation, positions at Auburn, other NY maximum security prisons

Photo: Auburn Citizen A proposal in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2017-18 executive budget would reduce the visitation schedule at New York’s 17 maximum security correctional facilities and result in the elimination of 39 positions. Under the governor’s plan, the number of days visitors are allowed at maximum security prisons would be reduced from seven to three.Read More

CA in the Press | January 26, 2017

EXCLUSIVE: Gov. Cuomo proposes reduction in visitation days for inmates at state’s maximum security prisons

ALBANY – Inmates at the state’s maximum security prisons are facing fewer visits from people on the outside under a proposal by Gov. Cuomo. Cuomo in his budget plan unveiled last week tucked in a plan to reduce the number of days in which visits are allowed at maximum-security state prisons to three days a week, down from seven.Read More

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CA in the Press | December 13, 2016

Parole Reform Groups Say Proposed New Rules Don’t Go Far Enough

ALBANY – Groups frustrated at the state’s unyielding attitude toward releasing some inmates has urged the Board of Parole to go further with new regulations meant to produce more favorable parole determinations. The proposed regulations would base inmate release decisions more on prospective risk to the public and less on the nature of the crime that led to incarceration (NYLJ, Oct.Read More

CA in the Press | September 15, 2016

The Voices Drove Him to Prison, the Prison Drove Him to Suicide

Fishkill is supposed to take care of mentally ill people like Ben, who was locked up as a schizophrenic teen. It turned out to be a death sentence. Benjamin Van Zandt’s hellish odyssey through New York’s criminal justice system began when the voices inside his head compelled him to light a neighbor’s house on fire.Read More

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CA in the Press | September 9, 2016

New York: Activists Call on Gov. Cuomo to Close Attica Prison

On Thursday, dozens of activists held a protest outside the Manhattan office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, calling for the closure of Attica prison. Scott Paltrowitz of the Correctional Association of New York said conditions at Attica haven’t improved in more than four decades. Scott Paltrowitz: “The brutality, the racism, the torture, the abuse that’s happening in Attica continues to this day.Read More

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CA in the Press | September 9, 2016

“Whatever Your Worst Fear Was, That Was Attica’: Former Prisoners Ask Cuomo to Shut Down NY’s Infamous Prison

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Photo: Victoria Law On Thursday afternoon, the day before the 45th anniversary of the most famous prison uprising in U.S. history, dozens of people gathered across the street from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Midtown office demanding that he close the maximum-security prison at Attica. Fed up with brutal conditions, men imprisoned at Attica seized control of the prison on September 9, 1971, taking 43 staff members hostage.Read More

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CA in the Press | July 11, 2016

AUDIO: Discussion of “Voices from Clinton” – On The Count (WBAI)

In this show, which aired on July 9th, Jack Beck, Director of the Prison Visiting Project, discusses the latest report from the CA entitled, “Voices from Clinton: First-Hand Accounts of  Brutality, Torture, and Cover-Up from People Incarcerated at an Infamously Abusive New York State Prison.” Listen to the full show here.Read More

CA in the Press | June 28, 2016

Suit claims Clinton Correctional inmates assaulted

PLATTSBURGH — A lawsuit has been filed against several correction officers at Clinton Correctional Facility, accusing them of brutally beating inmates and denying them their rights in the aftermath of last year’s escape of two murderers. The suit, authored by Brooklyn attorney Leo Glickman on behalf of inmate Mattieu Burks, claims that Burks was beaten, threatened and called racist names.Read More

Prison Monitoring Reports Reports & Research Testimonies Infographics

VOICES FROM CLINTON: First-Hand Accounts of Brutality, Torture, And Cover-up From People Incarcerated at an Infamously Abusive New York State Prison

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New York State prisons are plagued by a pervasive and entrenched culture of staff brutality, violence, abuse, racism, dehumanization, and intimidation, as well as the routine infliction of solitary confinement. As Correctional Association of NY (CA) reports on Clinton, Attica, Greene, Fishkill Correctional Facilities and other prisons have long documented, these abuses and their cover-ups are regular and typical practices in Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) prisons.Read More

Advocacy Tools Prison Monitoring Reports Reports & Research

10 Things You Need to Know About Brutality and Abuse at Clinton C.F.

The Correctional Association of NY conducted in depth interviews with 30 people currently incarcerated at Clinton on August 19 and 20, 2015, and corresponded with many more people held at the prison over the last few months. The information reported provides further confirmation of both extensive staff brutality in the aftermath of the June escape from Clinton, as reported by the New York Times; and longstanding and pervasive staff violence and abuse  at Clinton, as last documented by the CA’s October 2014 report.Read More

Prison Monitoring Reports

Attica State Prison

Attica Correctional Facility, a 2,000-bed maximum security prison in western New York, continues to operate as a symbolic and real epicenter of state violence and abuse of incarcerated persons in the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) state prison system 43 years after the 1971 prison uprising and violent suppression by state authorities. Read More

Prison Monitoring Reports

Fishkill Correctional Facility

The Correctional Association’s Prison Visiting Project visited Fishkill on April 17 and 18, 2012.Read More

Prison Monitoring Reports

Woodbourne Correctional Facility

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.Read More

Prison Monitoring Reports

Cape Vincent Correctional Facility

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.Read More

Fact Sheets

Educational and Vocational Programs in New York State Prisons

Academic and vocational programs inside of prisons have the power to transform the lives of people in prison. Read More

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Testimonies

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.Read More

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Prison Monitoring Reports

Auburn Correctional Facility

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.Read More

Organizational Materials Audio

Correctional Association “On the Count” broadcast

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. Read More

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