CORRECTIONAL ASSOCIATION RELEASES NEW REPORT ON COLLINS CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Annette Warren-Dickerson, Communications Director
212-254-5700 ext. 332, email@example.com
Jack Beck, Director, Prison Visiting Project
212-254-5700 ext. 301, firstname.lastname@example.org
CORRECTIONAL ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK RELEASES NEW REPORT ON
COLLINS CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
Report cites the prison’s lack of adequate capacity to provide effective mental health care for the high number of people with mental illness, and long periods of isolated confinement
(March 31, 2016, New York, NY): Today, the Correctional Association of NY (CA) released a new report on Collins Correctional Facility, a medium security prison in western New York that incarcerates just over 1,000 people. Half of the population is on the Office of Mental Health (OMH) caseload. The report is based on a full monitoring visit of Collins in 2013 and updated information about the prison in 2015. The report’s most significant findings were:
- lack of capacity and mental health interventions for a large mentally ill population
- long periods of isolated confinement
- insufficient medical provider capacity
Despite the relatively calm atmosphere at Collins and some positive components, the CA report reflects serious concerns about Collins’ ability to provide sufficient academic and vocational programming. There is also the need for more training at all levels on how to work and deal effectively with people with mental health needs and other vulnerable groups.
“We are very concerned about the large number of people with mental health needs who are incarcerated at Collins and the lack of effective services and programs for these individuals and all people at the prison, “ said Jack Beck, director of the Prison Visiting Project (PVP), which conducted the monitoring and issued the report. Beck continued, “New York must stop incarcerating so many people with mental health needs, and as long as people are incarcerated, provide meaningful rehabilitative and therapeutic programs.”
Among the CA’s principal recommendations are:
- Expand mental health services, including exploring the introduction of group therapy, peer support programs, and more individualized therapy.
- Reduce the lengthy amounts of time in isolation, and stop placing people with mental health needs in isolated confinement
- Fill medical vacancies and review the quality of care of medical providers.
The CA has been monitoring the high rates of suicide and self-harm in the state prisons for more than a decade and has repeatedly drawn attention to excessively high rates of harm at certain prisons and in specific locations, such as solitary confinement and residential mental health units, to the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), the Office of Mental Health (OMH) and the legislature in the CA’s reports and legislative testimonies. DOCCS suicide rate from 2010-16 was 56% higher than the national average for all US prisons.Read More
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Reports & Research
“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