1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. Correction
  4. Article 20: Local Correctional Facilities


Section 500-B Housing of prisoners and other persons in custody

Correction (COR)

1. As used in this section, the term "chief administrative officer" shall mean the person responsible pursuant to section five hundred-c of this article for receiving and safely keeping persons committed to a county jail.

  2. In any case in which the chief administrative officer has more than one jail under his jurisdiction, he may confine a civil or criminal prisoner in any such jail and may remove the prisoner from one jail to another, within the county, whenever he deems it necessary for his safekeeping, or for the prisoner's appearance at court.

  3. No female confined in a county jail shall be assigned to or housed in a facility housing unit with a male; and if detained on civil process, or for contempt, or as a witness, she shall not be put or kept in the same room with a man, except her husband.

  4. No person under eighteen years of age shall be placed or kept or allowed to be at any time with any prisoner or prisoners eighteen years of age or older, in any room, dormitory, cell or tier of the buildings of such institution unless separately grouped to prevent access to persons under eighteen years of age by prisoners eighteen years of age or older.

  6. The commission shall promulgate rules and regulations in accordance with subdivisions seven and eight of this section to assure that persons in custody in local correctional facilities will be afforded appropriate precautions for their personal safety and welfare in assignment to housing.

  7. (a) Consistent with the commission's rules and regulations regarding the assignment of inmates to housing units, the chief administrative officer shall exercise good judgment and discretion and shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that the assignment of persons to facility housing units:

  (1) fosters the safety, security and good order of the jail; and

  (2) affords appropriate precautions for the personal safety and welfare of persons in custody with particular attention to those who are known to be vulnerable to assault or any physical or mental abuse.

  (b) The chief administrative officer shall consider the following in complying with this subdivision:

  (1) prior victimization in jail or prison;

  (2) prior history of mental illness;

  (3) prior history of sex offenses;

  (4) prior history of a hostile relationship with another inmate;

  (5) prior attempts at self-injury or suicide;

  (6) prior attempted escapes;

  (7) any mental or physical handicapping condition; and

  (8) any other information concerning the safety or welfare of the inmate.

  (c) In considering the above information, the chief administrative officer shall examine the following:

  (1) records made available to such officer at the time of the commitment by the court or law enforcement agency;

  (2) determinations made upon an interview with an inmate at the time of classification;

  (3) records, to the extent relevant and known to the chief administrative officer, maintained by the department of corrections and community supervision and/or any local correctional facility in this state and which are accessible and available to the chief administrative officer; and

  (4) any other relevant information brought to the attention of the chief administrative officer by any person with knowledge of the conditions of the defendant.

  8. Where the commission finds substantial noncompliance with commission rules and regulations with regard to (a) minimum staffing requirements; or (b) maximum jail capacity and security requirements; or (c) where it is determined that the county does not have an approved service plan in effect pursuant to article thirteen-A of the executive law or is found to be in non-compliance therewith, as provided in section two hundred sixty-three of such law, it shall prohibit the commingling of any of the following categories of inmates:

  (1) persons in custody on civil process, or committed for contempt, or detained as witnesses with persons detained for trial or examination upon a criminal charge with convicts under sentence;

  (2) persons detained for trial or examination upon a criminal charge with convicts under sentence;

  (3) persons under eighteen years of age with persons eighteen years of age or older; or

  (4) a woman detained in any county jail or penitentiary upon a criminal charge or as a convict under sentence with a man; and if detained on civil process, or for contempt, or as a witness in a room in which there are no other prisoners with a man, except with her husband.

  Such prohibition shall continue until such time as the commission finds that the county is no longer in substantial noncompliance with paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of this subdivision.

  Notwithstanding the provisions of this subdivision to the contrary, classification as authorized pursuant to this section may occur without compliance with paragraphs (b) and (c) of this subdivision for a period not to exceed six months immediately following the submission of a plan to the division pursuant to section two hundred sixty-two of the executive law. During such six month period the commission shall undertake to review, observe and assess the classification of inmates in local correctional facilities as authorized under this section to thereby ascertain safeguards which should be incorporated in its rules and regulations. Further, during such six month period in which such classification shall be permitted pursuant to this subdivision, the commission shall evaluate whether a local correctional facility is in substantial noncompliance with rules and regulations regarding the requirements specified in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of this subdivision and shall determine at the end of such six month period whether substantial noncompliance exists. At the expiration of the six month period if the commission finds a local facility in substantial noncompliance, the commission shall order that the prohibition set forth in this subdivision immediately take effect. The commissioner shall advise the chief administrative officer of such facility of the specific nature of the noncompliance and the specific measures which should be undertaken to remedy the noncompliance. When such measures have been implemented, the chief administrative officer shall certify same to the commissioner and upon the verification thereof by the commissioner, shall permit the chief administrative officer to classify inmates as provided under this section. In the event substantial noncompliance is not found at the expiration of the six month period, then the local correctional facility may continue to classify inmates as authorized in this section.

  9. The chief administrative officer shall forward to the commission a quarterly report relative to the housing of inmates. The report shall include, but not be limited to:

  (a) all unusual incidents or assaults occurring in a housing unit;

  (b) staffing;

  (c) daily prisoner population counts;

  (d) verification that the locality is maintaining security and supervision records as mandated pursuant to the commission's rules and regulations;

  (e) court orders which have been issued and which relate to staffing, jail capacity or security requirements; and

  (f) any other information requested by the commission and available to the chief administrative officer with respect to this section.

  10. The commission shall conduct on-site inspections and review reports required by this section to monitor the assignment of persons to facility housing units as governed by this section.

  11. The commission shall submit to the governor, the temporary president of the senate, the speaker of the assembly, the chairman of the senate crime and correction committee and the chairman of the assembly committee on codes, by March first of each year, its evaluation and assessment of housing in county jails, together with any recommendations with respect to the proper operation or improvement of housing in county jails.

  12. The provisions of this section shall govern only the assignment of persons to facility housing units and shall not be construed to prohibit the commingling of persons during their participation in any facility program or activity, including meals and visitations.

  13. Where in the opinion of the chief administrative officer an emergency overcrowding condition exists in a local correctional facility caused in part by the prohibition against the commingling of persons under eighteen years of age with persons eighteen years of age or older or the commingling of persons eighteen years of age or older with persons under eighteen years of age, the chief administrative officer may apply to the commission for permission to commingle the aforementioned categories of inmates for a period not to exceed thirty days as provided herein. The commission shall acknowledge to the chief administrative officer the receipt of such application upon its receipt. The chief administrative officer shall be permitted to commingle such inmates upon acknowledgment of receipt of the application by the commission. The commission shall assess the application within seven days of receipt. The commission shall deny any such application and shall prohibit the continued commingling of such inmates where it has found that the local correctional facility does not meet the criteria set forth in this subdivision and further is in substantial noncompliance with minimum staffing requirements as provided in commission rules and regulations. In addition, the commission shall determine whether the commingling of such inmates presents a danger to the health, safety or welfare of any such inmate. If no such danger exists the chief administrative officer may continue the commingling until the expiration of the aforementioned thirty day period or until such time as he determines that the overcrowding which necessitated the commingling no longer exists, whichever occurs first. In the event the commission determines that such danger exists, it shall immediately notify the chief administrative officer, and the commingling of such inmates shall cease. Such notification shall include specific measures which should be undertaken by the chief administrative officer, to correct such dangers. The chief administrative officer may correct such dangers and reapply to the commission for permission to commingle; however, no commingling may take place until such time as the commission certifies that the facility is now in compliance with the measures set forth in the notification under this subdivision. When such certification has been received by the chief administrative officer, the commingling may continue for thirty days, less any time during which the chief administrative officer commingled such inmates following his application to the commission, or until such time as he determines that the overcrowding which necessitated the commingling no longer exists, whichever occurs first. The chief administrative officer may apply for permission to commingle such inmates for up to two additional thirty day periods, in conformity with the provisions and the requirements of this subdivision, in a given calendar year. For the period ending December thirtieth, nineteen hundred eighty-four, a locality may not apply for more than one thirty day commingling period.

  * NB Repealed September 1, 2021