The Clinton Correctional Facility Report
Clinton Correctional Facility has an infamous history of staff violence, brutality, dehumanization and racist attitudes that are an affront to any sense of humanity. The Correctional Association (CA) visited Clinton in July 2012, received more than 600 surveys from people incarcerated at Clinton, and obtained updated information about conditions at Clinton in 2014.
Our investigation revealed that these longstanding abuses at Clinton remain pervasive. The CA’s review of conditions at the prison found frequent infliction of solitary confinement for months and years, inadequate medical care, a high incidence of suicides and self-harm, and a dearth of meaningful programs. Moreover, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) closed Clinton’s Merle Cooper program, a highly praised therapeutic and rehabilitative program aimed at reducing recidivism by promoting greater freedom, responsibility, self-reflection, and peer-led initiatives.
Clinton – the largest and third oldest DOCCS prison – did have a number of industry jobs, relatively high ratings of vocational programs in the prison’s Annex, and a residential mental health program. Yet overall, the level of physical violence and staff abuse and intimidation, the pervasive environment of oppression, the lack of proximity to any urban center, and the tensions derived from vast racial and cultural disparities between staff and incarcerated persons at Clinton epitomize the worst aspects of mass incarceration in New York State.
New York must reverse the downward spiral of excessive punishment, isolation, warehousing, violence, and abuse at Clinton and across DOCCS, and envision a system where the state puts people before prisons. New York can begin by expanding and replicating, rather than closing, programs like Merle Cooper, and by ending the brutality of prisons like Clinton.
Read the Full Report, Summary, and Fact Sheet below
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
Victor Pate spent almost two years in solitary confinement in New York prisons, off and on. Once, he said, he was isolated for 90 days for having too many bed sheets in his room. Only two sheets were allowed per prisoner, but Pate was at his prison job when laundry pickup came, he said, so [...]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