senate Bill S1789

Amended

Establishes a pilot project for the placement of inmates close to home

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 09 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO CRIME VICTIMS, CRIME AND CORRECTION
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CRIME VICTIMS, CRIME AND CORRECTION
  • 23 / May / 2014
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CRIME VICTIMS, CRIME AND CORRECTION
  • 23 / May / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 1789A
  • 03 / Jun / 2014
    • REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE

Summary

Establishes a pilot project for placement of inmates close to home; provides that such project would house inmates who are parents of minor children in the correctional facility located in closest proximity to the primary place of residence of any such inmate's minor child or children.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A2308
Versions:
S1789
S1789A
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Finance
Law Section:
Correction Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง72-c, Cor L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Cycle:
S6855, A9475

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1789

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the correction law, in relation to
establishing the pilot project for the placement of inmates close to
home; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration
thereof

PURPOSE: To conduct a pilot program placing certain inmates in
facilities closer to the communities where their children reside

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section one of the bill is the legislative intent.

Section two of the bill is the name of this act which shall be the
"pilot Project for Placement of Inmates close to Home'.

Section three of this bill establishes the pilot program in a facility
of the Department of Corrections' choosing which will house inmate
volunteers whose minor children reside close to the facility in order
to facilitate visitation between the inmate parent and his or her
child. The Office of Children and Family Services and/or the local
district social services offices will be consulted as to the
appropriateness of visitation before any inmate is admitted to the
program. Further, an independent, academic analysis is required to
determine the effectiveness of this pilot and make recommendations, if
any, for expansion and improvement.

Section four is the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: Approximately 59% of all New York state prison and
jail inmates are parents. For women under custody in New York the
number is closer to 71%. More than 80,000 minor children in New York
State have a parent incarcerated in a state prison. Transportation
provides a major barrier to visitation.

Inmates are often placed in prisons far from their children and far
from home. Male inmates at Lakeview Correctional Facility who come
from New York City are more than 400 miles from home, while female
inmates at Albion are around 375 miles from New York City. Distances
are large and public transportation is difficult, especially with the
termination of the longstanding DOGS free bus program that provided
visitors with transportation to remote prisons from sites around the
state.

For children in foster care, distance is the number one barrier to
legally mandated visits with their incarcerated parents. Social
service agencies are required to maintain contact with incarcerated
parents (except in cases where a court has ruled otherwise) including
bringing children for visits with parents in prison. When the goal is
reunification the requirement to provide visits extends to the
tri-state area. Non-compliance is routine in large part because of the
distance. Given the caseloads and demands on child welfare workers, it
is difficult to take a whole day or two for one parent-child visit. As
a result, children in foster care with incarcerated parents suffer
greatly from lack of parental contact. Without visits, an


incarcerated parent is at great risk for termination of his or hem
parental rights, the permanent legal severing of the parent-child
relationship.

Recent studies have emphasized the importance of visits and family
ties in the prevention of recidivism. One study found that every visit
a prisoner received measurably and increasingly lowered the likelihood
of recidivism. Visits by relatives, including children, seem to matter
most when it comes to reducing recidivism, creating a significant
public safety benefit to supporting the maintenance of parent-child
and other ties during incarceration.

Children who have parents in prison are significantly affected by the
frequency and quality of contact with their parents. While there are
instances when visits are not in children's best interest, for most
children visits are beneficial to their psychological and emotional
well-being, their physical health and development, and can help smooth
the reentry process and family reunification. Children of incarcerated
parents are recognized as an at-risk population and parental
incarceration is now included as an ACE factor, as "Adverse Childhood
Experience," that can negatively affect children's development. The
risks for children associated with having an incarcerated parent can
be significantly mitigated by the continuing presence of the parent in
the child's life, through visitation, telephone contact, and letters.
The number one way to promote visiting is by reducing the distances
between the incarcerated parent and their children.

While the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision normally
places inmates in prisons based on classification by security level
and programmatic needs, this pilot program will explore the use of a
third criterion, proximity to an inmate's minor children. The purpose
of this act is to establish a pilot program to assess the effects of
housing inmates who are parents of minor children close to home in
order to facilitate visitation between such parents and their
children. The department will select GO inmate volunteers to be housed
in a facility closest to the communities where their children reside
where such facility is an otherwise appropriate placement for them.

The department will be required to report to the legislature and the
governor on the effectiveness of the pilot program and make
recommendations for expansion to other correctional facilities in
order to place more inmates close to their families and minor
children. Should the pilot program prove beneficial, the expectation
is that the program will be broadened to allow more inmates to be
housed in close proximity to their home communities, thus facilitating
visitation and contacts with their children and other family members.

This bill also calls for an independent, academic analysis of the
effect of the pilot program prepared in consultation. with the
department. Such analysis will report on the impact, if any, the
placement of such inmates closest to the communities where their
children reside has had on the inmates themselves, the safety and
security of the facility, the foster care case and local social
service agency, if applicable, and, where possible, on the family
members and children involved as well as any other effect of the
program that can be measured. The report shall include recommendations


as to the future of the program and what modifications would be
recommended in order to improve implementation and outcomes.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect six months after it shall
have become law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1789

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced by Sens. RIVERA, MONTGOMERY, HASSELL-THOMPSON, KRUEGER, PARK-
  ER, STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be
  committed to the Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction

AN  ACT  to  amend  the  correction law, in relation to establishing the
  pilot project for the placement of inmates close to home; and  provid-
  ing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may  be  cited  as
the "pilot project for the placement of inmates close to home".
  S  2.  Legislative  intent.  The legislature hereby finds and declares
that research shows inmates who maintain family ties  during  incarcera-
tion  have  lower  rates of recidivism than inmates who do not. Further,
most inmates are parents, and more than 80,000 children in the state  of
New York have a parent incarcerated in the state prison system.
  The  legislature  further finds that the department of corrections and
community supervision should consider proximity to minor children  among
the key criteria of security and health and program needs when determin-
ing  prison  assignments  and  transfers  of parents, and should support
increased access of children to their incarcerated parents  through  the
use  of  technology  and programs currently available within the depart-
ment.
  The legislature therefore declares that there is  a  need  to  develop
classification  criteria  that would place inmates in proximity to their
family members and home communities, and in particular for those inmates
who are parents of minor children in the appropriate correctional facil-
ity located closest to those children provided such placement is  other-
wise  appropriate  and  suitable, and would facilitate increased contact
between such inmate and his or her child or children.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02561-01-3

S. 1789                             2

  S 3. The correction law is amended by adding a  new  section  72-c  to
read as follows:
  S  72-C.  PILOT PROJECT FOR THE PLACEMENT OF INMATES CLOSE TO HOME. 1.
THE COMMISSIONER SHALL ESTABLISH A PILOT PROGRAM AT A DESIGNATED CORREC-
TIONAL FACILITY FOR THE PURPOSE OF HOUSING INMATES WHO  ARE  PARENTS  OF
MINOR  CHILDREN IN THE CORRECTIONAL FACILITY WHICH IS LOCATED IN CLOSEST
PROXIMITY TO THE PRIMARY PLACE OF RESIDENCE OF ANY SUCH  INMATE'S  MINOR
CHILD OR CHILDREN UNDER EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE, PROVIDED THAT SUCH PLACE-
MENT  IS  OTHERWISE SUITABLE AND APPROPRIATE PURSUANT TO THE REGULATIONS
OF THE DEPARTMENT AND WOULD FACILITATE INCREASED  CONTACT  BETWEEN  SUCH
INMATE  AND  HIS  OR  HER  CHILD OR CHILDREN. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS PILOT
PROGRAM, THERE SHALL BE AT LEAST SIXTY INMATES WHO ON A VOLUNTARY  BASIS
REQUEST  PLACEMENT  IN  THE  PILOT  PROGRAM AND WHO ARE PARENTS OF MINOR
CHILDREN. IN SELECTING SUCH INMATES THE DEPARTMENT  SHALL  CONSULT  WITH
THE  OFFICE  OF  CHILDREN  AND FAMILY SERVICES AND THE LOCAL DISTRICT OF
SOCIAL SERVICES LOCATED IN THE COUNTY WHERE SUCH INMATE'S CHILD RESIDES.
  2. THE COMMISSIONER, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE JOHN JAY COLLEGE  INSTI-
TUTE FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE ETHICS OR OTHER SUCH CRIMINAL JUSTICE DIVISION
AS  THE  ADMINISTRATION  OF  JOHN  JAY COLLEGE MAY PROVIDE, SHALL SUBMIT
BEGINNING ON THE FIRST OF JANUARY IN THE YEAR TWO THOUSAND  SIXTEEN  AND
EVERY  JANUARY THEREAFTER A REPORT TO THE GOVERNOR, THE TEMPORARY PRESI-
DENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY ON THE  EFFECTIVENESS
OF THIS PILOT PROJECT AND SHALL INCLUDE AN ANALYSIS OF THE IMPACT ON THE
INMATE,  HIS  OR  HER  CHILDREN,  AND FAMILY PARTICIPANTS INCLUDING SUCH
IMPACT ON INSTITUTIONAL SAFETY AND PERFORMANCE AND  ANY  RECOMMENDATIONS
FOR ADDITIONAL LEGISLATIVE ENACTMENTS THAT MAY BE NEEDED OR REQUIRED, TO
IMPROVE,  ENHANCE  AND  SUBSEQUENTLY EXPAND THE PROGRAM TO OTHER CORREC-
TIONAL FACILITIES AS DETERMINED TO BE APPROPRIATE BY THE COMMISSIONER.
  3. NO PERSON SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO DEMAND OR  REQUIRE  PARTICIPATION
IN  THE  PILOT  PROJECT AUTHORIZED BY THIS SECTION. THE COMMISSIONER MAY
REVOKE AT ANY TIME PARTICIPATION IN SUCH PROJECT FOR ANY SERIOUS  DISCI-
PLINARY INFRACTION COMMITTED BY THE INMATE OR FOR ANY FAILURE TO CONTIN-
UE  TO  PARTICIPATE  SUCCESSFULLY  IN  ANY  ASSIGNED  WORK AND TREATMENT
PROGRAM AFTER PLACEMENT IN SUCH PILOT PROGRAM. ANY ACTION BY THE COMMIS-
SIONER PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE DEEMED A JUDICIAL FUNCTION  AND
SHALL NOT BE REVIEWABLE IF DONE IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAW.
  S  4. This act shall take effect six months after it shall have become
a law and shall expire September 1, 2016 when upon such date  provisions
of  this act shall be deemed repealed.  Effective immediately, the addi-
tion, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or  regulation  necessary  for
the implementation of this act on its effective date is authorized to be
made on or before such date.

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