Otisville Correctional Facility
Otisville is a medium-security prison for men committed to the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) located in the town of Mount Hope, Orange County, New York, approximately 90 miles northwest of New York City. The facility operated as a tuberculosis sanitarium, a facility to house system-involved youth, and then a drug treatment center before it was acquired in 1976 by DOCCS and converted to a medium-security prison for male prisoners. The Prison Visiting Project of the Correctional Association of New York (CA) conducted a visit to Otisville on July 26, 2011. The purpose of our visit was to assess programs, physical facilities and conditions for both prisoners and staff within the prison.
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
John J. Lennon, a contributing writer at The Marshall Project, has written for Vice, The Atlantic, and The New York Times. He is currently in Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York. He will be eligible for parole in 2029. Joe Cardo was out hunting for half-smoked cigarettes. From my perch at the white-boys’ table of the A Block [...]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 [...]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 [...]Read More