This guide is intended to provide a quick overview of resources available to assist individuals incarcerated in New York state as well as their loved ones.
Please note that CANY’s purpose is to provide high-level oversight of the prison system and develop systemic policy and practice solutions. Given this, we do not have the resources to conduct individual advocacy.
Please feel free to email us if you have further questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Within the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
Incarcerated people have several options available to them to make formal complaints about issues faced in prison, including:
Filing a grievance
Writing to the Superintendent of the prison
Writing to the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision: Acting Commissioner Annucci, Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, State Office Campus, 1220 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12226-2050
Writing to the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision’s Office of Special Investigations: To initiate an official investigation, contact the Office of Special Investigations, Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, State Office Campus, 1220 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12226-2050
Challenging a disciplinary ticket: Incarcerated individuals have a right to a hearing within 14 days of the issuance of the disciplinary ticket, with a right to be present, call witnesses, and present evidence.
Outside legal services
For further legal assistance, please contact the following organizations:
Legal Aid Society, Prisoners’ Rights Project, 199 Water Street, New York, NY 10038
Prisoners’ Legal Services, office list and contact information available here
Additionally, to order a copy of the Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual, which provides in-depth information about legal issues and how individuals can best advocate on their own behalves, please contact: Columbia Human Rights Law Review, 435 W. 116th Street, New York, NY 10027
To find your elected representatives, please visit this website.
To contact the Governor and his relevant senior staff, please use the addresses below:
The Honorable Andrew Cuomo, Governor, NYS State Capitol Building, Albany, NY 12224
Counsel to the Governor, Alphonso David, NYS Capitol Building, Albany, NY 12224