senate Bill S1401

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Relates to the segregated confinement of inmates with serious mental illness

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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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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to crime victims, crime and correction
Jan 09, 2013 referred to crime victims, crime and correction

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S1401 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Correction Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยงยง137 & 500-k, Cor L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Session:
S5906

S1401 - Bill Texts

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Relates to the segregated confinement of inmates with serious mental illness.

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BILL NUMBER:S1401

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the correction law, in relation to
limiting the segregated confinement of persons in a correctional
facility with serious mental illness

PURPOSE: To ensure that inmates are not placed in segregated
confinement - a Special Housing Unit (SHU) -- unless they have engaged
in highly dangerous, violent or serious escape-related behavior while
incarcerated in that facility. To limit the amount of time that an
inmate may spend in a SHU to 90 days, except for an inmate whose
behavior exposes a pattern of extreme violence or danger to himself or
others. To establish an independent review board, to be known as the
"inmate's special housing unit review council," to determine after 90
days whether continued confinement in an SHU is warranted and
necessary. The council will be composed of seven members appointed by
the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. One member
shall be an attorney, one member shall be a mental health
professional, one member shall be a criminal justice expert appointed
from within employees of the state university system, and one member
shall be a former inmate.

To ensure that inmates suffering from a mental illness shall not be
unnecessarily confined in a SHU whether such mental illness preceded
such confinement or developed during the course of such confinement.
Requires inmate's removal from segregated confinement except in
exceptional circumstances as defined in correction law section 137
(d)(ii)(E).

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Paragraphs (c), (d), (e) and (f) of
subdivision 6 of section 137 of the correction law are relettered
paragraphs (e), (f), (g) and (h) and two new paragraphs (c) and (d)
are added and subparagraph (i) of paragraph (f), as amended by Chapter
1 of the laws of 2008 and as relettered, is amended.

EXISTING LAW: No provision of the correction law applies to this
issue.

JUSTIFICATION: In New York nearly 4,300 (as of September 2011)
prisoners are confined to 23 hour disciplinary lockdown in SHU. This
amounts to roughly eight percent of the State's more than 56,000
inmates, a reliance on SHU that is four times the national average of
about two percent.

Prisoners who act out or cannot comply with rules in the general
prison population likely suffer from mild forms of mental illness to
begin with. As of August 2011, approximately 14.5 percent of the
State's inmate population has some form of mental illness, of which
the Office of Mental Health designated 2,562 as seriously mentally
ill. The majority of these inmates with serious mental illness were
previously residing in general population. The psychiatric problems
of inmates deepen and become profoundly dangerous during long months,
even years, in the isolation of SHU. Prisoners confined to 23-hour
lockdown in SHU exhibit symptoms of mental illness, including
depression, increased paranoia, agitation, manic activity, delusions,
florid psychotic illness and suicide. Of the total number of inmates


designated as seriously mentally ill, 278 of the total number of
inmates designated as seriously mentally ill had a confinement
sanction (either SHU or Keeplock) over 30 days. Of this number, 272
were in a Residential Mental Health Treatment Unit (RMHTU), not a
segregated confinement unit. It is vital that we continue to ensure
mentally ill inmates receive treatment rather than disciplinary
punishment.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2001-2002: S.1634 Died in Committee
2003-2004: S.2272 Died in Committee
2005-2006: S.1498 Died in Committee
2007-2008: S.2013 Died in Committee
2011-2012: S.5906 Died in Committee

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the one hundred
twentieth day after it shall have become a law, with provisions.

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

                                  1401

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced by Sens. MONTGOMERY, PERKINS -- read twice and ordered print-
  ed,  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 limiting  the  segre-
  gated  confinement  of persons in a correctional facility with serious
  mental illness

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

  Section  1.  Paragraphs  (c),  (d),  (e)  and  (f) of subdivision 6 of
section 137 of the correction law are relettered  paragraphs  (e),  (f),
(g)  and  (h)  and two new paragraphs (c) and (d) are added and subpara-
graph (i) of paragraph (f), as amended by chapter 1 of the laws of  2008
and as relettered by this section, is amended to read as follows:
  (C)  INMATES  SHALL  NOT  BE  IN  SEGREGATED CONFINEMENT FOR REASON OF
DISCIPLINE, DETENTION, ADMINISTRATIVE SEGREGATION,  PROTECTIVE  CUSTODY,
KEEPLOCK, OR ANY OTHER REASON FOR ADMISSION, UNLESS THEY HAVE ENGAGED IN
HIGHLY  DANGEROUS,  VIOLENT  OR  SERIOUS  ESCAPE-RELATED  BEHAVIOR WHILE
INCARCERATED IN THAT FACILITY;
  (D) CONFINEMENT IN SEGREGATED CONFINEMENT SHALL BE LIMITED TO NOT MORE
THAN NINETY DAYS, EXCEPT FOR AN INMATE WHOSE BEHAVIOR EXPOSES A  PATTERN
OF  EXTREME  VIOLENCE  OR DANGER TO HIMSELF OR OTHERS AND, PROVIDED THAT
FOR THOSE CONFINED LONGER THAN NINETY DAYS,  THERE  SHALL  BE  A  REVIEW
EVERY  NINETY  DAYS  BY  AN INDEPENDENT REVIEW BOARD, TO BE KNOWN AS THE
INMATE'S SPECIAL  HOUSING  UNIT  REVIEW  COUNCIL  TO  DETERMINE  WHETHER
CONTINUED  SEGREGATED CONFINEMENT IS WARRANTED AND NECESSARY. SUCH COUN-
CIL SHALL BE COMPOSED OF SEVEN MEMBERS APPOINTED BY  THE  GOVERNOR  WITH
THE  ADVICE  AND  CONSENT OF THE SENATE. ONE MEMBER SHALL BE AN ATTORNEY
ADMITTED TO PRACTICE LAW IN THIS STATE, ONE MEMBER  SHALL  BE  A  MENTAL
HEALTH  PROFESSIONAL,  ONE  MEMBER  SHALL  BE  A CRIMINAL JUSTICE EXPERT

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD04006-01-3

S. 1401                             2

APPOINTED FROM WITHIN EMPLOYEES OF THE STATE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM, AND  ONE
MEMBER SHALL BE A FORMER INMATE;
  (i)  Except  as  set  forth in clause (E) of subparagraph (ii) of this
paragraph, the department, in consultation  with  mental  health  clini-
cians,  shall  divert  TO A RESIDENTIAL MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT UNIT, or
SHALL  remove  inmates  with  serious  mental  illness  FROM  SEGREGATED
CONFINEMENT,  WHETHER  SUCH  SERIOUS MENTAL ILLNESS, as defined in para-
graph [(e)] (G) of this subdivision, [from segregated confinement, where
such confinement could potentially be for a period in excess  of  thirty
days,  to  a  residential  mental  health  treatment unit] PRECEDED SUCH
CONFINEMENT OR DEVELOPED DURING THE COURSE OF SUCH CONFINEMENT.  Nothing
in this paragraph shall be deemed to prevent  the  disciplinary  process
from  proceeding in accordance with department rules and regulations for
disciplinary hearings.
  S 2. Section 500-k of the correction law, as amended by chapter  2  of
the laws of 2008, is amended to read as follows:
  S  500-k.  Treatment  of inmates. Subdivisions five and six of section
one hundred thirty-seven of this chapter, except  paragraphs  [(d)]  (F)
and [(e)] (G) of subdivision six of such section, relating to the treat-
ment  of  inmates  in  state  correctional  facilities are applicable to
inmates confined in county jails; except that  the  report  required  by
paragraph  [(f)] (H) of subdivision six of such section shall be made to
a person designated to receive such report in the rules and  regulations
of  the  state  commission of correction, or in any county or city where
there is a department of [correction] CORRECTIONAL SERVICES, to the head
of such department.
  S 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after
it shall have become a law. Effective immediately, the addition,  amend-
ment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implemen-
tation  of this act on its effective date is authorized to be made on or
before such date.

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