senate Bill S1789A

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

download pdf

Sponsor

Co-Sponsors

view all co-sponsors

Bill Status


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

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.

do you support this bill?

Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A2308A
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

Votes

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1789A

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 name of this act which shall be the
"pilot project for placement of inmates close to home."

Section two of the bill is the legislative intent.

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, a comprehensive 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 60 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--A

                       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 --
  recommitted to the Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction in
  accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 --  committee  discharged,  bill
  amended,  ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit-
  tee

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-

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02561-09-4

S. 1789--A                          2

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.
  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  A  MAXIMUM  OF  ONE  HUNDRED MALE AND FEMALE
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 TO DETERMINE IF ANY REASONS EXIST,  SUCH  AS
NO  VISITATION  ORDER, THAT MAY PREVENT THE INMATE FROM PARTICIPATING IN
THE PILOT PROGRAM. IF THE INMATE'S CHILD AND/OR FAMILY IS SUBJECT TO THE
PREVIEW OF THE OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES OR A LOCAL  SOCIAL
SERVICES DISTRICT, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL CONSULT WITH THE ASSIGNED AGENCY
TO  DETERMINE  WHETHER  THE  CHILD AND/OR FAMILY IS SUITABLE FOR PARTIC-
IPATION IN THE PILOT PROGRAM, AND, IF SO, COLLABORATE WITH  SUCH  AGENCY
TO  OBTAIN  INFORMATION RELATING TO SUCH CHILD AND/OR FAMILY AS SHALL BE
NECESSARY TO DETERMINE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE PILOT PROGRAM.
  2. THE COMMISSIONER, IN CONSULTATION WITH APPROPRIATE COMMUNITY ORGAN-
IZATIONS, SHALL SUBMIT WITHIN ONE YEAR OF THE  EFFECTIVE  DATE  OF  THIS
SECTION  AND ANNUALLY THEREAFTER A REPORT TO THE GOVERNOR, THE TEMPORARY
PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY  ON  THE  EFFEC-
TIVENESS  OF THIS PILOT PROJECT.  SUCH REPORTS SHALL INCLUDE AN ANALYSIS
OF THE IMPACT ON THE INMATE, INCLUDING  FACTORS  SUCH  AS  INSTITUTIONAL
ADJUSTMENT,  BEHAVIOR  INFRACTIONS,  AND  PROGRAM  PARTICIPATION,  AMONG
RELATED RELEVANT FACTORS, AND ON HIS OR HER CHILDREN AND FAMILY  PARTIC-
IPANTS.    THE  REPORTS  SHALL  ALSO INCLUDE ANALYSIS OF FACTORS SUCH AS
FREQUENCY OF VISITS, REPORTS FROM CAREGIVERS ABOUT CHILDREN'S CONNECTED-
NESS TO THEIR INCARCERATED PARENTS, CHILDREN'S EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING  AND
BEHAVIOR  IN  THE  HOME,  AND  OTHER RELEVANT FACTORS AS INCLUDED IN THE
CAREGIVER'S REPORTS. FOR CHILD WELFARE CASES, IN ADDITION TO  THE  ABOVE
FACTORS,  PROGRESS  TOWARD  PERMANENCY  GOALS, PARENT'S PARTICIPATION IN
CASE PLANNING, AND OTHER RELEVANT FACTORS SHALL BE NOTED. IN CASES WHERE
AN INMATE PARENT'S RELEASE IS IMMINENT, AS DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSION-
ER, THE REPORT SHALL EXAMINE THE LEVEL OF SUPPORT RECEIVED AND  PROVIDED
BY  THE  INMATE'S  FAMILY  THROUGH FAMILY INVOLVEMENT AND THE ATTACHMENT
BETWEEN A RETURNING PARENT AND HIS OR HER CHILDREN  UPON  REUNIFICATION.
THE  REPORTS  SHALL ALSO INCLUDE SUCH IMPACT ON INSTITUTIONAL SAFETY AND
PERFORMANCE AND ANY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR  ADDITIONAL  LEGISLATIVE  ENACT-
MENTS  THAT  MAY  BE  NEEDED OR REQUIRED, TO IMPROVE, ENHANCE AND SUBSE-
QUENTLY EXPAND THE PROGRAM TO OTHER CORRECTIONAL  FACILITIES  AS  DETER-
MINED TO BE APPROPRIATE BY THE COMMISSIONER.  IN COMPILING SUCH REPORTS,
THE COMMISSIONER MAY ESTABLISH AND UTILIZE A CONTROL GROUP AND, IF HE OR
SHE  FAILS TO DO SO, THE COMMISSIONER SHALL INCLUDE AN EXPLANATION AS TO
WHY A CONTROL GROUP WAS NOT USED.

S. 1789--A                          3

  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.
  4. AN ELIGIBILITY PREFERENCE SHALL BE GRANTED FOR CHILD WELFARE CASES.
ADMISSION SHALL BE GRANTED ON A ROLLING  BASIS  AND  PRIORITY  SHALL  BE
GIVEN  TO  INMATES  WHO  WERE  PRIMARY  CAREGIVERS,  ALTHOUGH ALL INMATE
PARENTS SHALL BE CONSIDERED. THE FAMILIES OF INMATES SHALL SUBMIT DEMON-
STRATED PROOF THAT THEY WILL VISIT THE INMATE IF THE PERSON LIVES  CLOS-
ER,  AND  THE  INMATE  SHALL  REQUEST  THAT  SUCH  FAMILY MEMBERS SUBMIT
LETTERS. OTHER RELEVANT  FACTORS  SHALL  BE  TAKEN  INTO  CONSIDERATION,
INCLUDING  BUT  NOT LIMITED TO, WHETHER AN INMATE'S FAMILY MEMBER HAS AN
UNDUE HARDSHIP THAT WOULD AFFECT  THE  PERSON'S  ABILITY  TO  VISIT  THE
INMATE.  SUCH  HARDSHIP SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, A PHYSICAL
DISABILITY OR SERIOUS ILLNESS THAT  INHIBITS  TRAVEL,  OR  WHETHER  THEY
WOULD  NOT  BE ABLE TO REASONABLY VISIT THE INMATE BECAUSE THEY WOULD BE
UNABLE TO VISIT BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION AND  CANNOT  AFFORD  OR  USE  A
MOTOR  VEHICLE.  ANY ACTION BY THE COMMISSIONER PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION
SHALL BE DEEMED A JUDICIAL FUNCTION AND SHALL NOT BE REVIEWABLE IF  DONE
IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAW.
  5.  INMATES  SHALL  NOT  BE ELIGIBLE FOR THIS PROGRAM FOR A VARIETY OF
FACTORS, AS LISTED IN, BUT NOT LIMITED  TO,  THOSE  ENUMERATED  IN  THIS
SECTION.  INMATES  WHO  ARE  INCARCERATED FOR VIOLATING PAROLE OR CONDI-
TIONAL RELEASE SHALL BE INELIGIBLE FOR THIS PROGRAM.  INMATES  WHO  WERE
CONVICTED OF A SEX OFFENSE SHALL BE INELIGIBLE FOR THIS PROGRAM. INMATES
WHO  HAVE COMMITTED A CRIME AGAINST A CHILD SHALL BE INELIGIBLE FOR THIS
PROGRAM. INMATES FOR WHOM A CLOSER LOCATION WOULD NOT LEAD TO MORE VISI-
TORS SHALL NOT BE ELIGIBLE FOR THIS PROGRAM. INMATES WHO  HAVE  NOT  HAD
CONTACT  WITH  THEIR  CHILDREN  IN OVER A YEAR OUT OF THEIR OWN VOLITION
SHALL NOT BE ELIGIBLE FOR THIS PROGRAM, UNLESS  THERE  IS  A  COMPELLING
REASON  FOR NOT HAVING HAD CONTACT WITH THEIR CHILDREN. THE COMMISSIONER
IS EMPOWERED TO GRANT PREFERENCE TO MORE  INVOLVED  INMATE  PARENTS,  AS
DETERMINED  BY  THE  AMOUNT OF CONTACT THAT THE CHILDREN HAVE WITH THEIR
PARENTS, SHOULD THE COMMISSIONER DETERMINE TO DO SO. INMATES  WHO  WOULD
ORDINARILY BE SENT TO A STRICTER SECURITY LEVEL PRISON SHALL NOT, UNLESS
COMPELLING REASONS SHALL SUGGEST OTHERWISE, BE SENT TO A LIGHTER SECURI-
TY  PRISON  BECAUSE  OF  PROXIMITY  ON THE BASIS OF THIS PROGRAM. MENTAL
HEALTH ISSUES SHALL NOT BE AN ISSUE OF INELIGIBILITY WITH REGARD TO THIS
PROGRAM, UNLESS THERE IS A COMPELLING REASON TO DO SO.
  S 4. This act shall take effect six months after it shall have  become
a law and shall expire 3 years after it shall take effect when upon such
date  the  provisions  of  this act shall be deemed repealed.  Effective
immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or  regu-
lation  necessary  for  the  implementation of this act on its effective
date is authorized to be made on or before such date.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.