senate Bill S590

2013-2014 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 08, 2014 referred to codes
Jan 09, 2013 referred to codes

S590 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Penal Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §205.00, Pen L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Session:
S3463

S590 - 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:S590

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 Penal Law ("PL") § 205.00,
which'" contains the definitions of terms that are referenced in PL
Article 205, relating to offenses committed when someone is in
custody. It would add "telecommunications devices" to the existing
definition of "dangerous contraband", and would be applicable to a
number of devices that would be proscribed by virtue of PL § 205.25
("Promoting prison contraband in the first degree").

JUSTIFICATION:
Correctional systems throughout the world are witnessing the
proliferation of contraband cell phones and other telecommunications
devices. These devices pose a serious threat to public safety in
several important ways. Such devices allow inmates to circumvent the
safeguards and controls imposed on their communications, including
the monitoring of the content of calls or numbers called, blocks on
calls to certain numbers, and prohibitions against all phone
communications where they pose a threat to safety and security. With
such unlimited access, inmates are able to organize escapes by, for
example, alerting outside individuals to prisoners' movements, Or
sending images of secure areas. Inmates can organize prison
disturbances, continue,to harass witnesses and victims (including
their victims of domestic violence) and interfere with members of
juries. They are also able to use such devices to arrange for
introduction of contraband into detention facilities or continue
their outside illegal activities.

It is therefore essential to public safety that all possible measures
be taken to deter the introduction and possession of such contraband.
This bill would ensure that such conduct is punishable as a felony
under PL § 205.25. Under PL Article 205, promoting prison contraband
is a misdemeanor (PL § 205.20) unless the item introduced or
possessed is "dangerous contraband", which term is defined in PL g
205.00(4) 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 under PL § 205.25. While it should be
beyond debate that telecommunications devices fit within that
definition, it is important to eliminate any ambiguity in connection
with the interpretation of the statute. This proposal will also send
an important message to the public and to the inmate population that
promoting such contraband will be punishable as a felony.

Finally, we note that at least seven other States (Arkansas, Illinois,
Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas) have adopted
statutes making it a crime to possess or introduce electronic devices
into their detention facilities.

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


PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2012: Senate Bill
2534 (Gianaris) - Died in Senate Codes Committee

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
________________________________________________________________________

                                   590

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. GIANARIS -- 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.
                                                           LBD01564-01-3

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