Correctional Assn. of NY Testifies at NY Assembly Hearing on Prison Health; Urges Health Department oversight, end to delays in treatment, and increase in resources for better care
(October 31, 2017, New York, NY) The Correctional Association of New York (CA) yesterday was one of more than fifteen organizations and agencies testifying at a New York State Assembly Joint Health and Correction’s public hearing on prison healthcare. Through our statutory authority granted in 1846, the CA monitors New York prisons and reports to policy makers and the public, our observations and recommendations for reform.
During our testimony, the CA noted that that healthcare for the more than 51,000 men and women in NYS prisons continues to be a major concern due to inadequate resourcing for sufficient medical staffing, delays, lack of confidentiality, inattention and uncaring attitudes and behaviors on the part of prison administrators and staff. Shining the light on the increase in prison deaths, the overuse of solitary confinement, disparities in HIV and HCV prevalence rates, and the need for gender-sensitive/trauma –informed care and practices among other issues, the CA called for increased state oversight of prison healthcare, including the establishment of an ombudsman to investigate both system-wide and individual medical issues. The CA’s Prison Visiting Project said, “Greater outside oversight is needed by expanding DOH Article 28 jurisdiction over correctional facilities.”
As to women and conditions of confinement, Gail T. Smith, director of the CA’s Women in Prison Project noted, ” We are grateful for the opportunity to give information to the NY Assembly to improve health care in NY prisons and to attain gender-appropriate, trauma informed care for women. We hope this will lead to stronger systems of health care delivery and oversight so that people inside have the dignity of having the same quality of health care as those who are living in among the outside community.”
To view the proceedings, click here.
To read the CA’s testimony about healthcare in NYS men’s prisons, click here.
For our testimony on healthcare in New York State’s women’s prisons, click here.
Correctional Association of New York releases “Solitary at Southport: A 2017 Report Based Upon the Correctional Assn.’s Visits, Data Analysis, & First-Hand Accounts of the Torture of Solitary Confinement from One of New York’s Supermax Prisons”
New York, NY (December 13, 2017): Today The Correctional Assn. of NY (CA), founded in 1844 and one of the oldest prison watchdog organizations in the country, released a 92-page report providing graphic first-hand depictions of physical, mental, and emotional abuse as a result of days, weeks, and often years of being caged in solitary confinement for 23 to 24 hours a day.Read More
Southport Correctional Facility is one of two super-maximum security prisons in the state that places an emphasis on solitary confinement. A new report looking at the facility’s practices is highlighting the negative impact solitary confinement can have on a human. So advocates are making a renewed push for the HALT Act. Joining us to talk [...]Read More
“Solitary at Southport: A 2017 Report Based Upon the Correctional Association’s Visits, Data Analysis, & First-Hand Accounts of the Torture of Solitary Confinement from One of New York’s Supermax Prisons”
“The isolation itself is torture. Mentally and emotionally, it breaks you down. Spiritually it strips you. The way it is built is to break you down as a person and push your family away.” From “Solitary at Southport” Solitary confinement is torture. New York State subjects people to solitary confinement and other forms of isolation [...]Read More
Under unique statutory authority granted to the CA in 1846, WIPP monitors conditions in women’s prisons in New York, a role played by no other group in the country. WIPP coordinates the Coalition for Women Prisoners, a statewide alliance of more than 1,800 people, and carries out advocacy campaigns to reform harmful criminal justice policies. [...]Read More