Letter from the Director
My first year at the CA zipped by so quickly – so much was accomplished and plans for much more have been made. Due to the tireless efforts of the CA’s amazing staff we enjoyed national recognition as a high-impact non-profit for our work on many fronts, including Guidestar’s Philanthropedia ranking as 3rd in the country for locally-based criminal justice organizations.
I am particularly proud of the staff and inspired by their enthusiasm and willingness to join me in working to make the transition to new leadership a smooth one. Together, we explored new concepts, built new alliances, celebrated victories and envisioned new horizons. With much appreciation, I welcome all of our new staff members, a talented group that has integrated smoothly into the CA fabric, and I give a hearty welcome to our seven new board members, a diverse and passionate group that joins their colleagues with commitment and new perspectives. I also thank our dedicated and wise board of directors for their stewardship and confidence. They have inspired many new initiatives while appreciating the firm foundation built over the past 168 years since the CA’s founding.
Traditionally, the CA has been on the cutting edge of innovative criminal justice reform, and now is no different. From our advocacy to enact the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act and our new Raise the Age Campaign; to working to end the use of solitary confinement and opening dialogues about the elderly in prison and parole reform; to emboldening formerly incarcerated advocates through our successful leadership training programs for women and LGBTQ youth and new staff, the movement we have built over the past twelve months continues to grow. And we have you, our dedicated and generous allies, to thank for these successes. We could not do this work without your support.
In two years, the CA will celebrate its 170th anniversary! As we ready for the celebration, we hope you will continue to support us and share our work with others. We are gearing up with excitement and a brand new look – explore our new website, follow us on Facebook, and stay involved in all we are doing on 125th Street in Harlem. We will continue to shine a light in the dark corners of the world behind bars.
With your help, our work to ensure that everyone behind bars is treated with dignity and respect will be successful.
Soffiyah Elijah, Executive Director
CA Applauds Commitment to Raise the Age in Governor Cuomo’s State of the State Address, Laments No Mention of Racism, Violence, and Abuse in NYS Prisons
(January 9, 2016) New York, NY: The Correctional Association of New York roundly applauds the continued commitment of Governor Andrew Cuomo to raising the age of criminal responsibility in New York, ending the prosecution and incarceration of 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. It is now up to the members of both parties in the NYS Legislature to do their duty to make this a reality. In spite of the Governor’s assertion that the "nation looks to NY to find a way up," we actually fall behind 48 other states, along with North Carolina, by continuing to treat children as adults in the criminal legal system. New York must Raise the Age of criminal responsibility this legislative session. Read More
In New York State, 16 and 17-year-olds arrested or detained can be sent to adult prisons and jails. Despite multiple studies that show a teenager’s brain functions are not fully developed, our state insists on charging young people like adults, creating a generation of over-incarcerated youth in New York. We sat down to speak with [...]Read More
Prison Monitoring Reports
The Correctional Association of NY released a report on March 31, 2016 about Collins Correctional Facility, highlighting the large number of people with mental illness incarcerated at Collins and the lack of support and programs for these and other people incarcerated at the prison. Collins Correctional Facility is a medium security prison in western New [...]Read More