senate Bill S3463

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Expands the definition of dangerous contraband to include telecommunications and electronic recording devices

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 04, 2012 referred to codes
returned to senate
died in assembly
May 02, 2011 referred to codes
delivered to assembly
passed senate
Mar 10, 2011 advanced to third reading
Mar 09, 2011 2nd report cal.
Mar 08, 2011 1st report cal.178
Feb 23, 2011 referred to codes

Votes

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S3463 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A4833A
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Penal Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง205.00, Pen L

S3463 - Bill Texts

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Expands the definition of dangerous contraband to include telecommunications and electronic recording devices.

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BILL NUMBER:S3463

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the penal law, in relation to expanding the definition of
dangerous contraband to include telecommunications and electronic
recording devices

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
This bill would amend subdivision 4 of the Penal Law section 205.00
relating to offenses committed when someone is in custody. It would
add "telecommunications or electronic recording device" to the
existing definition of "dangerous contraband", and would be
applicable to a number of devices that would be banned by "Promoting
prison contraband in the first degree."

REASONS FOR SUPPORT:
Correctional systems throughout the world are witnessing the
proliferation of contraband cell phones and other telecommunications
devices.
While these devices are getting smaller in size, the number of
features that they have are ever-expanding. Today's cell phone
capabilities go well beyond allowing a user to make a call, which is
dangerous enough in a prison situation. Cell phones have the ability
to send and receive text messages, record and transmit photo and
video, all of which can have catastrophic consequences within a
prison setting. Inmates can circumvent the safeguards and controls
imposed on their communications, including monitoring of call content
or call numbers, call blocking, and prohibitions against all calls
where they pose a threat to safety and security. With such unlimited
access, inmates can organize escapes by alerting outside individuals
to prisoners' movements, or sending images of secure areas.
Additionally, inmates may use cell phones to harass witnesses and
victims, interfere with juries, and maintain outside illegal
activity. Compounding the problem, the FCC prohibits the common
methods of interfering or blocking, which would help to reduce the
effectiveness of cell phones within the prisons.

A frightening and very real example of what can occur has happened in
Brazil Cell phones were smuggled into the prison and used to organize
riots at 29 prisons. The result: 15 people were killed and 8,000
guards and relatives were held hostage. In Ontario, an inmate was
charged with running a drug ring from prison. Britain, Thailand,
India, and Japan have all reported incidents of cell phones being
discovered in their prisons. And even in New York City, 25
telecommunication devices have been found in Department of Correction
facilities since 2005.

In the United States there are at least ten states that are
contemplating enacting or have already adopted statutes making it a
crime to
possess or introduce electronic devices into their detention facilities:
Arkansas, Colorado, Tennessee, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Ohio,
Louisiana, Texas, and Illinois.


It is critical to public safety that all possible measures are
advanced to deter the introduction and possession of this type of
contraband.
This bill would ensure that such conduct is punishable as a felony.
Currently, Penal Article 205 (promoting Prison Contraband) is a
misdemeanor unless the item introduced or possessed is "dangerous
contraband", which is defined as "contraband which is capable of such
use as may endanger the safety or security of a detention facility or
any person therein" and punishable as a D felony. While it is beyond
debate that telecommunications devices and electronic recording
devices fit within that definition, it is important to eliminate any
ambiguity in connection with the interpretation of the statute. This
proposal sends an important message to the public and the inmate
population that promoting such contraband will not be tolerated and
will be punishable as a felony.

Accordingly, the Mayor urges the earliest possible favorable
consideration of this proposal by the Legislature.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
S.4330 of 2007

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
Savings will
ultimately result from more effective efforts to eliminate unneeded
regulatory mandates on businesses and local governments in the state.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
15th day after it shall have become law.

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

                                  3463

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 23, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. NOZZOLIO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to expanding  the  definition
  of  dangerous  contraband to include telecommunications and electronic
  recording devices

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

  Section 1. Subdivision 4 of section 205.00 of the penal law is amended
to read as follows:
  4.  "Dangerous  contraband"  means contraband which is capable of such
use as may endanger the safety or security of a  detention  facility  or
any  person therein, WHICH SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, A TELE-
COMMUNICATIONS OR ELECTRONIC RECORDING  DEVICE.  FOR  PURPOSES  OF  THIS
SUBDIVISION, A "TELECOMMUNICATIONS OR ELECTRONIC RECORDING DEVICE" MEANS
ANY TYPE OF INSTRUMENT, DEVICE, MACHINE OR EQUIPMENT THAT IS DESIGNED TO
TRANSMIT  AND/OR  RECEIVE  TELEPHONIC,  ELECTRONIC, DIGITAL, CELLULAR OR
RADIO SIGNALS OR COMMUNICATIONS OR ANY PART OF SUCH INSTRUMENT,  DEVICE,
MACHINE OR EQUIPMENT, AS WELL AS ANY TYPE OF INSTRUMENT DESIGNED TO HAVE
SOUND OR IMAGE RECORDING ABILITIES AND SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED
TO, A CELLULAR OR DIGITAL PHONE, A PAGER, A TWO-WAY RADIO TEXT MESSAGING
OR  MODEM  DEVICE (INCLUDING MODEM EQUIPMENT DEVICES), A CAMERA, A VIDEO
RECORDER AND TAPE OR DIGITAL RECORDING DEVICES, OR ANY OTHER DEVICE THAT
HAS SAID CAPABILITIES.
  S 2. This act shall take effect on the fifteenth day  after  it  shall
have become a law.



 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD09454-01-1

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