Since 1844, the Correctional Association has remained steadfast in its commitment to informing the public debate on prisons and has grown into a dynamic and innovative force for lasting progressive change.  The CA’s impact has resulted in important reforms and improvements in a number of areas affecting people in prison. In our early years following our founding, we were instrumental in the creation of a separate system for youth convicted of crimes; and saw to the ending of corporal punishment as a matter of policy in state prisons and jails.  We were among the first to address the crisis of AIDS in prison in the 1980s; and helped to establish in-prison vocational, educational and substance abuse treatment programming.

A few examples of our other policy successes over the last decade include:


  • The SHU Exclusion Law, prohibiting the placement of incarcerated individuals with severe mental illness in solitary confinement and mandating the creation of more humane residential mental health units;
  • The Medicaid Suspension Law, enabling incarcerated individuals to secure Medicaid coverage more expeditiously upon release from prison;
  • The DOH Oversight Law, requiring the Department of Health to monitor HIV and hepatitis C care in New York State prisons and jails.

Youth Justice

  • The Raise the Age law, passed in 2017, ending the practice of prosecuting 16- and 17-year-olds as adults and placing htem in adult prisons.
  • The Safe Harbor Act, protecting sexually exploited minors from prosecution and incarceration for prostitution;
  • The creation and implementation of a landmark anti-discrimination policy aimed at protecting incarcerated LGBTQ youth from harassment and abuse;

Reproductive Justice for Women in Prison

  • The 2009 Anti-Shackling Law, outlawing the use of shackles on pregnant women who are incarcerated during labor and after delivery
  • The 2015 Anti-Shackling Law, which strengthened the 2009 law and expanded the protection to all stages of pregnancy including 8 weeks post-partum
  • The ASFA Expanded Discretion Law, allowing foster care workers discretion to delay filing for the permanent termination of parental rights if a parent is incarcerated or in drug treatment.

The Correctional Association has been identified by Philanthropedia (at GuideStar) as one of 21 high-impact nonprofits working in criminal justice in the U.S. on a local/state level.  We ranked third place nationally within a group of organizations in our field. To read what experts in the field have to say about the Correctional Association’s impact, click on the Expert Reviews section on our organization profile.