senate Bill S3348

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Increases access to substance abuse programming for prisoners whose first language is not English

download bill text pdf

Sponsored By

Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

do you support this bill?

Actions

view actions (2)
Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to crime victims, crime and correction
Feb 01, 2013 referred to crime victims, crime and correction

Co-Sponsors

view additional co-sponsors

S3348 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A2022
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Correction Law
Laws Affected:
Add §624, Cor L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S977, A1021
2009-2010: S4367, A7158

S3348 - Bill Texts

view summary

Increases access to substance abuse programming for prisoners whose first language is not English.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S3348

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the correction law, in relation to
increasing access to substance abuse programming for prisoners whose
first language is not English

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would require the
commissioner of corrections, in consultation with the commissioner on
Alcohol and substance Abuse Services, to take steps to ensure that
prisoners whose first language is not English are able to access
prison substance abuse programs. The bill addresses the difficulty
currently experienced by significant numbers of inmates in
understanding, participating and completing prison substance abuse
programs.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: The bill amends Article 22 of the
correction Law by adding subsection 624 requiring the commissioner of
corrections, in consultation with the commissioner on Alcohol and
Substance Abuse services, to take steps to ensure that prisoners whose
first language is not English are able to access prison substance
abuse programs. Such steps may include, but need not be limited to,
increased employment of bilingual substance abuse counselors and
program staff, translation of program content and materials, targeted
programs for non-English speaking prisoners, and other strategies
determined by the commissioner in consultation with the commissioner
of alcohol and substance abuse services.

JUSTIFICATION: Ten percent of the state prison population, more than
6,000 inmates, were born outside of the united states. Only
twenty-eight (28) percent of those prisoners come from countries where
the dominant language is English, fifty-four (54) percent come from
countries where the dominant language is Spanish, and eighteen (19)
percent are from countries that speak primarily Asian, European or
other languages. Twenty-five (26) percent of the state prison
population, more than 16,000 inmates, are of Hispanic origin. Hispanic
inmates are housed throughout the system, but the highest
concentrations of Hispanic inmates are housed in the Sullivan hub (33
percent) and New York city hub (31 percent.)

The department of correctional services has recognized that it is
necessary to expand its capacity to address the needs of prisoners who
may have difficulty speaking and understanding program content
presented only in English. Substance abuse programs are of critical
importance to the Prisoner and to the community, as research
consistently shows that prison treatment programs reduce recidivism
and lower health care and social service costs upon re-entry to
society. Studies also show that prison treatment programs have a
significantly positive impact on inmate behavior, making our prisons
safer and more secure.

The Department of Correctional Services operates a variety of
substance abuse programs at an approximate cost of 20 million dollars
annually. Yet non-English speaking prisoners have difficulty
understanding, participating and completing these programs. Program
content and materials are presented in English; few substance abuse
counselors or program staff are bilingual. This bill would require the


Commissioner to take steps to address this problem, without imposing
specific methods or timeliness, thus preserving the flexibility of the
department to proceed incrementally and to develop strategies that
reflect both security and budgetary limitations. The bill calls for
the Commissioner of Corrections to consult with the Commissioner on
Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services in order to ensure that
strategies developed are evidence-based, effective and professionally
implemented.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-2010 - S4367/A.7158 (Ortiz) -
reported and committed to finance

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: To be
determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.

view full text
download pdf
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  3348

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 1, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens. HASSELL-THOMPSON, DIAZ, KRUEGER, MONTGOMERY, SAMP-
  SON, 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 increasing access to
  substance abuse programming for prisoners whose first language is  not
  English

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

  Section 1. The correction law is amended by adding a new  section  624
to read as follows:
  S  624.  ACCESS  TO SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROGRAMMING FOR CERTAIN PRISONERS.
THE COMMISSIONER SHALL TAKE STEPS TO ENSURE THAT PRISONERS  WHOSE  FIRST
LANGUAGE IS NOT ENGLISH ARE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND, PARTICIPATE AND COMPLETE
SUBSTANCE  ABUSE  PROGRAMS  PROVIDED  IN  THE  PRISONS.  SUCH  STEPS MAY
INCLUDE, BUT NEED NOT BE LIMITED TO, INCREASED EMPLOYMENT  OF  BILINGUAL
SUBSTANCE  ABUSE  COUNSELORS  AND  PROGRAM STAFF, TRANSLATION OF PROGRAM
CONTENT AND MATERIALS, TARGETED PROGRAMS FOR NON-ENGLISH SPEAKING  PRIS-
ONERS  AND  OTHER STRATEGIES DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSIONER IN CONSULTA-
TION WITH THE COMMISSIONER OF ALCOHOLISM AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE SERVICES.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.




 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD06456-01-3

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.