Albany Times Union | 01.15.2018

Cuomo’s prison package crackdown is suspended

Following an outcry from prison-reform advocates and a flurry of news reports, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday said he was suspending an initiative that sharply limited the content of care packages that inmates can receive in state prisons. Reform advocates said the program, in which friends and families of inmates had to send items through private vendors, was too restrictive and would cut off contact between prisoners and their families.Read More

Huffington Post | 01.13.2018

NY book ban to make prisons “safer” draws backlash

New York State Department of Correctional and Community Service (DOCCS) enacted Directive 4911A in December as a pilot project in three New York prisons. Under this Directive, prisoners may only receive packages from six approved vendors (a couple more vendors may be later added), and packages from family members are restricted to non-electrical musical instruments, a wedding ring, and clothing for the prisoner to wear upon release.Read More

The New York Times | 01.11.2018

What Can’t You Send to an Inmate in New York? Apples, Used Books and More

ALBANY — Until very recently, care packages for inmates in New York State prisons could contain a hodgepodge of items to let them know someone on the outside was thinking of them: a fresh apple, a hoodie, a dog-eared paperback. As of this month, all those things are no longer allowed.Read More

Albany Times Union | 01.10.2018

Advocates take issue with new state policy on inmate care packages

Reform advocates contend a restrictive new program that privatizes the sending of care packages to prison inmates is punitive, but prison officials say it’s intended to fight contraband. “People are very upset and families are upset,” said Jack Beck, who runs the Prisoner Visiting project at the Correctional Association of New York, a group that advocates for better prison conditions.Read More

The Nation | 12.23.2017

All They Want for Christmas Is a Limit on Solitary Confinement

After being accused of cursing at a corrections officer, Jessica Concepcion, seven months pregnant, spent the Christmas of 2006 in solitary confinement at Bedford Hills, New York’s maximum-security prison for women. Confined to her a cell for 23 consecutive hours, she had no opportunity for any human interaction, let alone a chance to wish her family a merry Christmas.Read More

Capital Tonight News -- Spectrum TV | 12.14.2017

VIDEO: Advocates renew push to end solitary confinement

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.Read More

Correctional Assn. of NY | 12.14.2017

MEDIA ADVISORY: Release of 2017 Report of First Hand Accounts of People in Solitary at Southport Prison

MEDIA ADVISORY: PRESS CONFERENCE New York (December 11, 2017): Lawmakers, Advocates, Southport solitary survivors, and Family Members join the Correctional Association of New York (CA) to release a stunning new CA report about Southport Prison, featuring first-hand accounts of brutality, self-harm, mental, emotional, and physical abuse at one of only two prisons in New York State devoted primarily to solitary confinement Calling for passage of the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term (HALT) Solitary Confinement Bill A.3080/S.4784 WHAT: Public release of “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” WHEN: Wednesday, December 13, 12:30 PM WHERE: 250 Broadway, 22nd Floor, Room 2225 (I.D.Read More

The Daily Star | 11.05.2017

State struggles to provide prison health care

ALBANY — New York’s complex of 54 state prison facilities is struggling to fill vacant jobs for nurses, doctors and other health care providers. Filling those vacancies and dealing with an aging prison population at facilities across the state have become among the tallest challenges for the $3 billion correctional system, top administrators concede.Read More

Cosmopolitan | 10.26.2017

She Knew She’d Deliver Her Son While She Was in Jail. She Didn’t Expect to Do It in Chains

Melissa Hall couldn’t hold her partner’s hand, so, as she wheezed through painful contractions and obeyed the nurse’s directives to push, push, push, she squeezed the chain shackling her to the hospital bed. When Hall, then 25, went into labor in April 2013, she was two months into a year-long sentence at the Milwaukee County Jail.Read More

Truth-out | 10.10.2017

US Parole Activists Aim to Overhaul a Failing System

“Prisoner” by Ade McOren-Campbell The United States has the shameful reputation of being the world’s largest jailer, and as the Prison Policy Initiative reported in March, 2017, 2.3 million people are currently locked up in prisons and jails. This mass incarceration continues in spite of the fact that a Brennan Center for Justice report shows that crime is down and rates remain near historic lows.Read More