Prison Visiting Project
Since 1846, the Prison Visiting Project (PVP) has carried out the CA’s unique mandate to keep policymakers and the public informed about conditions of confinement that have an impact on the people who are incarcerated, prison staff, communities disproportionately affected by incarceration, and ultimately, society at large.
Each year, PVP visits seven to ten of New York State’s correctional facilities that house men, and issues facility-specific reports on prison conditions to both policymakers and the public, shedding light on problems and promoting effective and humane practices that we observe. In addition to its general prison monitoring efforts, PVP conducts in-depth research on key corrections issues and publishes comprehensive reports of findings and recommendations. The Project also receives, logs, and answers thousands of letters each year from individuals confined in New York prisons.
Based on the information gathered through its monitoring and in-depth research, PVP engages in strategic advocacy and presses for reforms at the level most likely to yield positive results—from working with the executive staff at an individual prison; to urging the state to adopt agency-wide policies, replicate model programs, and institutionalize best practices; to collaborating with formerly incarcerated people, service providers and community organizations to develop more humane prison policies; and to working with state policymakers to enact legislative reforms.
Project staff also make presentations and provide expert testimony at conferences and public forums across the country, and engage in activities aimed at educating the public about prison conditions, the high cost of incarceration and the need for alternatives to incarceration.
Explore our issue areas:
(August 26, 2018) New York Times: The inmates at North Carolina’s Hyde Correctional Institution hung three banners from the prison fence last week as supporters gathered outside. One sign asked for better food; another requested parole; the third said, “In solidarity.” The protest came in support of a nationwide prisoner strike to call attention to the low inmate wages, decrepit facilities and harsh sentences that organizers say plague prison populations across the country. Read More
I am responding to a recent editorial in the Enterprise along with an opinion piece about Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) recent comments about the American penal system. Although her remarks appear controversial to many, they have unfortunately detracted from a major and very real issue with the U.S. justice and penal system.Read More
“Prison Within Prison: Voices of Women Held In Isolated Confinement in New York” is a collection of oral and visual observations from twenty women about their experiences being held in isolated confinement in New York’s women’s prisons and Rikers Island. They are advocates and leaders on a range of issues in the movement to end the negative impact of mass incarceration and mass criminalization on women.Read More
WOMEN AND ISOLATED CONFINEMENT Women held in isolated confinement are subjected to dehumanizing treatment—treatment that makes it difficult for them to maintain their dignity, hygiene, nutrition and personal property. They can get in trouble for something as simple as attempting to talk to the person next to them. They are denied commissary privileges which provide them with food to supplement prison meals.Read More