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This entry was published on 2022-09-02
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Persons authorized to visit correctional facilities
Correction (COR) CHAPTER 43, ARTICLE 6
§ 146. Persons authorized to visit correctional facilities. 1. The
following persons shall be authorized to visit at pleasure all
correctional facilities: The governor and lieutenant-governor,
commissioner of general services, secretary of state, comptroller and
attorney-general, members of the commission of correction, members of
the legislature and their accompanying staff and any employee of the
department as requested by the member of the legislature if the member
requests to be so accompanied, provided that such request does not
impact upon the department's ability to supervise, manage and control
its facilities as determined by the commissioner, judges of the court of
appeals, supreme court and county judges, district attorneys and every
clergyman or minister, as such terms are defined in section two of the
religious corporations law, having charge of a congregation in the
county wherein any such facility is situated. No other person not
otherwise authorized by law shall be permitted to enter a correctional
facility except by authority of the commissioner of correction under
such regulations as the commissioner shall prescribe.

2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, on each
September thirteenth anniversary date of the nineteen hundred
seventy-one retaking of Attica correctional facility, in the absence of
an emergency situation or other exigent circumstance, the commissioner
shall ensure that any surviving state employees who were held as
hostages and any immediate family members, as that term is defined in
subdivision four of section 120.40 of the penal law, of any of the state
employees who were held hostage for any period by rioting incarcerated
individuals during the period from September ninth through September
thirteenth, nineteen hundred seventy-one, shall be afforded access to
the outside grounds of Attica correctional facility to conduct a private
commemorative ceremony in front of the Attica monument upon which are
inscribed the names of employees who died as a result of the uprising
and subsequent retaking.

3. a. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the
correctional association shall be permitted to access, visit, inspect,
and examine all state correctional facilities with seventy-two hours
advance notice to the department. Up to twelve people may comprise the
visiting party; provided, however, that only four people from the party
may enter a special housing facility or unit at the same time. Prior to
the visitation authorized pursuant to this subdivision, the correctional
association shall provide to the department on, at least, an annual
basis a list of people who will be visiting the facility or facilities,
including names, dates of birth, driver's license numbers and their
designation as an employee, board member, or designee in order for the
department to perform prompt background checks. The department may place
restrictions on such visits and inspections when a facility is locked
down or experiencing a facility wide emergency. In addition, the
department may restrict access to a portion of a facility in an
emergency situation for the duration of the emergency. For the purpose
of this subdivision, an emergency shall be determined by the
commissioner or his or her designee and defined as a significant risk to
the safety or security of the facility, or the health, safety or
security of staff or incarcerated individuals, or an event that
significantly compromises the operations of the facility.

b. Upon twenty-four hours advance notice, at the commencement of any
visits to, or inspections and examinations of, state correctional
facilities, the superintendent and executive team, to the extent
practicable, shall meet with the correctional association. Upon
twenty-four hours advance notice, the correctional association may meet
privately with the incarcerated individual liaison committee and
representatives of the incarcerated individual grievance resolution
committee or any other organization of incarcerated individuals
recognized by the department.

c. During the course of any such visit, inspection or examination,
upon consent of the person being interviewed, the correctional
association shall have the power to interview and converse publicly or
confidentially with any correctional employee or any incarcerated
individual. Such interviews shall not be restricted by the department or
attended by anyone on behalf of the department nor shall there be any
retaliation or adverse action taken by the department or other state
agency against any incarcerated individual who agrees to speak with the
correctional association. The department may not limit the number of
individuals the correctional association may interview or the duration
of the interviews, in any manner unreasonable under the circumstances.
The correctional association shall have the power to conduct private,
confidential meetings reasonable in number under the circumstances with
incarcerated people in housing units and in attorney visiting rooms or
other rooms in the facility in which their conversations will remain
confidential. No department employee may attend or listen to any such
meeting without the consent of the correctional association.

d. The correctional association shall periodically, but not less than
every five years, conduct inspections of each state correctional
facility and shall issue reports and recommendations to the governor,
the legislature and the public about the conditions and issues at each
such facility. When preparing such formal reports and recommendations,
the correctional association shall submit a tentative copy of such
report and recommendations to the commissioner. The commissioner may
submit a written response to such tentative report within sixty days of
the receipt thereof. When the correctional association thereafter
submits its final report and recommendations, it shall contain a
complete copy of the response, if any, submitted to the tentative report
and recommendations.

e. The correctional association may send surveys or questionnaires to
people in custody concerning conditions of confinement or other subjects
within the scope of their mission without prior approval of the
department. The correctional association may also receive phone calls
from incarcerated individuals and/or set up a hotline for individuals to
use if they choose to contact them.

f. The inspection of state correctional facilities by the correctional
association pursuant to this subdivision shall be undertaken solely in
furtherance of the correctional association's lawful powers, duties and
obligations, and information obtained pursuant to these powers shall be
used solely in furtherance of the correctional association's mission.
Employees, board members and designees shall be required to sign a
waiver as a condition of entry into a correctional facility pursuant to
this subdivision.