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
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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