Groveland Correctional Facility

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Groveland Correctional Facility is a 1,106-bed capacity medium security prison in Western New York.

The Correctional Association’s Prison Visiting Project visited Groveland on June 18 and 19, 2012.

Compared to other prisons the Correctional Association has visited, Groveland had:

  • Freedom of movement substantially greater than what we’ve seen in many DOCCS prisons, allowing for more autonomy and positive group interactions among the population.
  • A relatively calm atmosphere resulting from the greater autonomy and freedom of movement.
  • Relatively positively rated academic and vocational programs.
  • Some positive volunteer programs and limited peer-support opportunities that are not often present across the system.

On the other hand, the Correctional Association was significantly concerned to find:

  • Very poor ratings of both access to and quality of medical care provided at the facility.
  • Poor ratings of mental health services, and the facility’s limited ability to support the large number of people with mental health needs in the general population and solitary confinement.
  • Allegations by incarcerated persons of abuse by certain staff members with a lack of accountability, and frequent imposition of solitary confinement.
  • A lack of capacity to meet individual programmatic needs, including the lack of a college program even though nearly two-thirds of people incarcerated at Groveland have a GED.

Overall, the greater freedom of movement, autonomy, and level of responsibility given to individuals at Groveland is commendable and particularly important since the facility incarcerates a greater portion of people closer in time to returning home, where they will need to have control over their time, decisions, and lives. On the other hand, the vast disparities at Groveland in the population’s addiction, mental health, and other needs, and the programs and services available highlights the ineffectiveness of incarceration and the missed opportunities for helping people address the underlying causes of problematic behaviors and prepare to return home to their families and communities.

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