Joint Legislative Public Hearing on 2016-2017 Executive Budget Proposal: Topic "Public Protection" - Testimonies


Hearing Notice Event:

Archived Video:

Hearing Event Transcipt:


 2  -----------------------------------------------------


 4             In the Matter of the
          2016-2017 EXECUTIVE BUDGET ON
 5              PUBLIC PROTECTION 
 6  -----------------------------------------------------

 7                           Hearing Room B
                             Legislative Office Building
 8                           Albany, New York
 9                           February 4, 2016
                             9:40 a.m.

12           Senator Catharine M. Young
             Chair, Senate Finance Committee
             Assemblyman Herman D. Farrell, Jr.
14           Chair, Assembly Ways & Means Committee

16           Senator Liz Krueger 
             Senate Finance Committee (RM)
             Assemblyman Robert Oaks
18           Assembly Ways & Means Committee (RM)
19           Senator John J. Bonacic
             Chair, Senate Committee on Judiciary
             Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein
21           Chair, Assembly Committee on Judiciary
22           Senator Patrick M. Gallivan
             Chair, Senate Committee on Crime Victims,
23            Crime and Correction


 1  2016-2017 Executive Budget
    Public Protection
 2  2-4-16
 3  PRESENT:  (Continued)
 5           Senator Michael F. Nozzolio
             Chair, Senate Committee on Codes
             Assemblyman Joseph Lentol
 7           Chair, Assembly Committee on Codes
 8           Senator Thomas D. Croci
             Chair, Senate Committee on Veterans, 
 9            Homeland Security and Military Affairs
10           Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell
             Chair, Assembly Committee on Correction
             Senator Frederick J. Akshar II
             Assemblyman Michael Montesano
             Senator Diane Savino
             Assemblyman Al Graf
             Assemblywoman Janet L. Duprey
             Senator Rich Funke
             Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow
             Senator Velmanette Montgomery
             Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson
             Assemblyman Joseph M. Giglio
             Senator Martin Golden
             Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.
             Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes


 1  2016-2017 Executive Budget
    Public Protection
 2  2-4-16
 3  PRESENT:  (Continued)
 5           Senator Daniel Squadron
 6           Assemblyman John T. McDonald III
 7           Assemblyman Joseph S. Saladino
 8           Senator Gustavo Rivera 
 9           Assemblywoman Diana C. Richardson
10           Senator Leroy Comrie
11           Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis
12           Senator Phil M. Boyle
13           Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy
14           Assemblyman John T. McDonald III





 1  2016-2017 Executive Budget
    Public Protection
 2  2-4-16
 3                   LIST OF SPEAKERS
 4                                     STATEMENT  QUESTIONS
 5  Honorable Lawrence K. Marks
    Chief Administrative Judge 
 6  NYS Office of Court
     Administration                         9          20                  
    John P. Melville
 8  Commissioner 
    NYS Division of Homeland Security
 9   and Emergency Services               106        113
10  Michael C. Green
    Executive Deputy Commissioner
11  NYS Division of Criminal 
     Justice Services                     180        186
    Anthony J. Annucci 
13  Acting Commissioner 
    NYS Department of Corrections
14   and Community Supervision            257        264
15  Joseph D'Amico 
16  NYS Division of State Police          361        370
17  Margaret Miller
    NYS Chief Information Officer
18  Director, NYS Office of 
     Information Technology Services      422        430
    William J. Leahy
20  Director
    NYS Office of Indigent 
21   Legal Services                       465         474
22  Robert H. Tembeckjian
    Administrator and Counsel
23  New York State Commission on 
     Judicial Conduct                     483         488


 1  2016-2017 Executive Budget
    Public Protection
 2  2-4-16
 3                   LIST OF SPEAKERS, Cont. 
 4                                     STATEMENT  QUESTIONS
 5  Thomas H. Mungeer
 6  New York State Troopers PBA            492      495
 7  Christopher M. Quick
 8  New York State Police 
     Investigators Association             497      502
    Michael B. Powers 
10  President 
    NYS Correctional Officers &
11   Police Benevolent Assn.               504      511
12  Patrick J. Lynch
    New York City Patrolmen's
13   Benevolent Association                524      530 
14  Steve Drake
15  Paul Rigby
16  Nikki Brate
    Vice President
17  NYS Public Employees 
     Federation (PEF)                      561      579
19  Jonathan E. Gradess
    Executive Director
20  Art Cody
    Legal Director, Veterans
21   Defense Programs
    NYS Defenders Association              611      
    Mark Williams
23  President-Elect
    Chief Defenders Association
24   of New York State                     620      625


 1  2016-2017 Executive Budget
    Public Protection
 2  2-4-16
 3                   LIST OF SPEAKERS, Cont. 
 4                                     STATEMENT  QUESTIONS
 5  Patrick Cullen
 6  New York State Supreme Court 
     Officers Association                  634
    Pamela Browne
 8  President
    New York State County 
 9   Clerks Association                    643
10  Billy Imandt
11  Court Officers Benevolent
     Assn. of Nassau County                651
    William Dobbins
13  President
    Suffolk County Court
14   Employees Association                 664
15  Colonel Jack Ozer
    New York Wing of the 
16   Civil Air Patrol                      672
17  Charlotte Carter
    Executive Director
18  NYS Dispute Resolution Assn.
19  Julie Loesch
20  Center for Resolution and
21  Child & Family Services                676
22  Connie Neal
    Executive Director
23  NYS Coalition Against
     Domestic Violence                     681      688


 1  2016-2017 Executive Budget
    Public Protection
 2  2-4-16
 3                   LIST OF SPEAKERS, Cont. 
 4                                     STATEMENT  QUESTIONS
 5  Soffiyah Elijah
    Executive Director 
 6  Correctional Association 
     of New York                           690      696
    Karen L. Murtagh
 8  Executive Director
    Thomas Curran
 9  Board Member
    Prisoners' Legal Services
10   of New York                           700      
11  Page Pierce
    Executive Director
12  Families Together in NYS               707
13  Terry O'Neill
14  The Constantine Institute              714
15  Anne Erickson
    President and CEO
16  Empire Justice Center                  720







 1                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Good morning.

 2                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Good morning.

 3                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Could we have some 

 4          order, please.

 5                 Welcome to the Joint Legislative 

 6          Budget Hearing on Public Protection.  I'm 

 7          Senator Catharine Young, chair of the Senate 

 8          Finance Committee.  

 9                 Pursuant to the State Constitution and 

10          Legislative Law, the fiscal committees of the 

11          State Legislature are authorized to hold 

12          hearings on the Executive Budget proposal.  

13          Today's hearing will be limited to a 

14          discussion on the Governor's proposed budget 

15          for public protection.

16                 Following each presentation, there 

17          will be some time allowed for questions from 

18          the chairs of the fiscal committees and other 

19          legislators.  

20                 I would like to welcome Judge Lawrence 

21          K. Marks, chief administrative judge of the 

22          Office of Court Administration; John P. 

23          Melville, executive deputy commissioner of 

24          the Division of Homeland Security and 


 1          Emergency Services; Michael C. Green, 

 2          executive deputy commissioner of the Division 

 3          of Criminal Justice Services; Anthony J. 

 4          Annucci, acting commissioner of the 

 5          Department of Corrections and Community 

 6          Supervision; Joseph A. D'Amico, 

 7          Superintendent of the Division of State 

 8          Police; and Margaret Miller, director and 

 9          chief information officer of the Office of 

10          Information Technology Services.

11                 At this time I would like to begin 

12          with testimony of Judge Lawrence K. Marks, 

13          chief administrative judge of the Office of 

14          Court Administration.

15                 Welcome, and good morning.


17          Good morning.  Good morning.  Thank you.  

18                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Before we begin, 

19          though, Assemblyman Farrell, who keeps me in 

20          line, reminded me that we need to introduce 

21          our members.  So if you'd hold on one second.  

22                 I'd like to introduce Senator Liz 

23          Krueger, who is ranking member of the Senate 

24          Finance Committee; Senator Michael Nozzolio, 


 1          who is chair of the Senate Codes Committee; 

 2          Senator Patrick Gallivan, who is chair of the 

 3          Crime and Corrections Committee; Senator Fred 

 4          Akshar; Senator Rich Funke; Senator Joe 

 5          Addabbo; Senator John Bonacic; Senator Diane 

 6          Savino; and Senator Marty Golden.  

 7                 Assemblyman?  

 8                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:   We've been joined 

 9          by Assemblywoman -- and chair -- Weinstein, 

10          Assemblyman Lentol, Assemblyman O'Donnell, 

11          and Assemblywoman Peoples-Stokes.  

12                 We also have Mr. Oaks, who will give 

13          us his names.

14                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Thank you, 

15          Chairman.  

16                 We've been joined also by Assemblyman 

17          Giglio, Assemblyman Montesano, Assemblyman 

18          Graf, and Assemblywoman Malliotakis.

19                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Good morning.

20                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Good morning.

21                 So, Judge, we do welcome you once 

22          again, and we're ready for your testimony.


24          Okay, thank you very much.  I'm Lawrence 


 1          Marks.  I'm the chief administrative judge of 

 2          the courts.  And thank you so much for the 

 3          opportunity to speak to you today about the 

 4          Unified Court System's budget request.  And 

 5          I'd just like to take 10 minutes, if I may, 

 6          to lay out the key issues in our budget 

 7          request.  And then of course I'd be happy to 

 8          answer any questions that you may have.  

 9                 But just before I do that, I'd like to 

10          make note of our new chief judge, Janet 

11          DiFiore, just confirmed by the Senate two 

12          weeks ago.  Everyone in the court system is 

13          excited about Judge DiFiore assuming the 

14          leadership of the Judiciary.  The Governor 

15          certainly made a terrific decision in 

16          nominating her.  And on behalf of her and the 

17          entire court system, I want to say that we 

18          very much look forward to continuing to work 

19          closely and cooperatively with the 

20          Legislature in the coming years.

21                 So turning to our budget request, I 

22          would start by providing some brief context.  

23          In fiscal year 2009-2010, the General Fund 

24          state operations portion of the court 


 1          system's budget was approximately 

 2          $1.78 billion. Today, six years later, that 

 3          amount is approximately $1.85 billion, an 

 4          increase of only $64 million, or 3.5 percent, 

 5          which averages out to about six-tenths of 

 6          1 percent of an increase each year over that 

 7          six-year period.  

 8                 Yet during that same period of time, 

 9          the Judiciary has absorbed nearly 

10          $400 million in higher costs.  These higher 

11          costs include mandated employee salary 

12          increases, increased contractual expenses, 

13          funding for indigent criminal defense to meet 

14          statutory caseload standards, and funding for 

15          civil legal services.  

16                 And because our budget is 

17          overwhelmingly -- roughly 90 percent -- 

18          salaries and fringe benefits, we've managed 

19          to do this -- that is, absorb increased costs 

20          that have been far higher than the very 

21          minimal increases in our budget 

22          allocations -- we've been able to do this 

23          primarily by decreasing our employment 

24          levels.  Indeed, the number of nonjudicial 


 1          employees in the court system has decreased 

 2          by about 2,000 since 2009, which is a 12 

 3           percent reduction in our workforce.  That 

 4          means we have fewer court officers, fewer 

 5          court clerks, court reporters, court 

 6          interpreters, court attorneys, back-office 

 7          staff, and so on.  

 8                 And although we've worked tirelessly 

 9          to try to minimize the impact of this through 

10          innovation and streamlining -- and in our 

11          budget submission we highlight steps we've 

12          taken in that regard -- those efforts have 

13          been only partially successful.  Without 

14          question, we, and more importantly the 

15          public, are still suffering consequences from 

16          our reduced staffing levels.  These 

17          consequences include delays on some days in 

18          opening courtroom parts, delays in entering 

19          judgments in the clerk's offices, lines to 

20          get into courthouses, lines in the clerk's 

21          offices, just to name a few of these 

22          consequences.  

23                 So given that context, this year we 

24          are asking for an increase in our budget.  


 1          And while you've helped us with additional 

 2          budgetary support in the last two years, this 

 3          year our situation is a little more 

 4          complicated.  And I want to take a moment to 

 5          explain that to you.

 6                 As I think you know, under the State 

 7          Constitution the Judiciary is required to 

 8          submit its proposed budget to the Governor on 

 9          the December 1st preceding the upcoming 

10          fiscal year.  But this year, as we were 

11          preparing our budget request, and when we 

12          submitted it to the Governor on December 1, 

13          the commission on Legislative, Judicial and 

14          Executive Compensation had not yet issued its 

15          findings and determinations with regard to 

16          judicial salary increases.

17                 Under the statute creating the Salary 

18          Commission, the commission's findings and 

19          determinations as to judicial salaries were 

20          not due until the end of December.  So by the 

21          time we were required by law to submit our 

22          proposed budget to the Governor, we had no 

23          idea what the Salary Commission would be 

24          doing with regard to judicial salaries.  We 


 1          were certainly hopeful that the commission 

 2          would be voting for a judicial salary 

 3          increase, but we had no idea what the salary 

 4          levels would be, and therefore we had no idea 

 5          how much they would cost.  

 6                 Consequently, what we did was note in 

 7          our budget request that we were awaiting the 

 8          Salary Commission's determinations and that 

 9          we might well be seeking additional funding 

10          to pay for judicial salary increases, 

11          depending on what the Salary Commission ended 

12          up doing.  

13                 As it happened, later that month in 

14          December, the Salary Commission issued its 

15          report, which called for phased-in salary 

16          increases for New York judges, using the 

17          Federal District Court judge salary as a 

18          benchmark, and providing for the largest 

19          portion of the phase-in to take effect this 

20          April 1st.  

21                 Now, I'm not planning on going into 

22          the details of the Salary Commission's 

23          findings now in my prepared remarks, but I'll 

24          certainly answer any questions that you may 


 1          have about that this morning.  What I will, 

 2          say, however, is that we are extremely 

 3          pleased with what the commission did, and I 

 4          would note that its findings and 

 5          determinations were fully supported by the 

 6          Legislature's two representatives on the 

 7          commission.

 8                 By using the federal salary as the 

 9          benchmark, the Commission followed the 

10          precedent that was set by the last commission 

11          in 2011, which in turn was the precedent the 

12          Legislature itself had used throughout much 

13          of the history of judicial salaries before 

14          the commission process was enacted.  Indeed, 

15          this commission has finally and essentially 

16          resolved what has been a decades-long, 

17          haphazard, inadequate and frankly unfair 

18          process for setting judicial salaries.  

19                 So we're extremely grateful for the 

20          commission's findings, and for the support of 

21          the Legislature's representatives on the 

22          commission, and through them, we are 

23          extremely grateful to you for those findings.  

24                 The problem, though -- and this is the 


 1          main issue I want to talk to you about and 

 2          highlight for you this morning -- is that the 

 3          cost of the first year of the phase-in of the 

 4          judicial salary increase, beginning on 

 5          April 1st of this year, is $27 million.  

 6          That's a cost we were not able to budget for 

 7          when we submitted our proposed budget to the 

 8          Governor on December 1st, for the reasons 

 9          that I've explained.  Our budget request 

10          submitted on December 1st sought a 2.4 

11          percent increase in our General Funds 

12          operating budget, which is an increase of 

13          $44.4 million.  An increase is necessary 

14          because we are again facing significant cost 

15          increases, which include mandatory salary 

16          increases for court employees, increases in 

17          contractual obligations, such as our 

18          contracts with local governments to provide 

19          courthouse security in certain portions of 

20          the state, annualization of the cost of the 

21          five Family Court judgeships that the 

22          Legislature created effective January 1, 

23          2016, and additional funding for civil legal 

24          services.  


 1                 But because of the additional cost of 

 2          judicial salary increases, a cost we could 

 3          not estimate when we submitted our budget 

 4          request on December 1st, we now must seek 

 5          additional funding to meet that cost.  What 

 6          we are proposing to you, and what we are 

 7          respectfully urging you to support, is an 

 8          additional $19.6 million to help pay for this 

 9          increased cost.  We are proposing that we 

10          apply the four-tenths of 1 percent part of 

11          the 2.4 percent increase we requested in our 

12          December 1 submission -- and the four-tenths 

13          of 1 percent part of that is about $7.4 

14          million.  We're proposing applying that 

15          toward the cost of the judicial salary 

16          increase, and then we also proposing that the 

17          Legislature add to our budget the remaining 

18          $19.6 million of the full cost.  That would 

19          pay for the cost of judicial salary increases 

20          in the upcoming fiscal year, and it would 

21          leave the courts with an increase of 

22          2 percent -- which is the Governor's target, 

23          as we know -- or $37 million in our operating 

24          budget to cover our increased expenses, 


 1          including the mandated court employee salary 

 2          increases, increased contractual expenses, 

 3          and additional funding for civil legal 

 4          services.  

 5                 We firmly believe that what we are 

 6          seeking is fair and reasonable.  The newly 

 7          arising cost of the judicial salary increase 

 8          has resulted from a statutory process that 

 9          was designed to inject fairness, objectivity, 

10          and transparency into the method for 

11          determining judicial salaries.  That 

12          statutory process worked, and the Salary 

13          Commission's determinations were fully 

14          supported by the Legislature's two 

15          representatives on the commission.  

16                 We respectfully submit that the fair 

17          thing to do now is to provide the funding to 

18          implement those results.  Without that 

19          funding, it will be increasingly difficult to 

20          replace employees when they leave the court 

21          system, further decreasing our employment 

22          level and resulting in the consequences that 

23          will entail.  With that funding, the 

24          Judiciary will be able to furnish the quality 


 1          of service that we need to provide to the 

 2          people of this state, a quality of service 

 3          that we all agree the public fully deserves.  

 4                 Thank you very much, and I'd be happy 

 5          to answer any questions.

 6                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Chief 

 7          Administrative Judge Marks.

 8                 We have been joined by Senator Gustavo 

 9          Rivera.  

10                 And our first speaker will be Senator 

11          John Bonacic, who is chair of the Senate 

12          Judiciary Committee.

13                 SENATOR BONACIC:  Good morning, 

14          Your Honor.


16          Good morning.

17                 SENATOR BONACIC:  It's good to see 

18          you.

19                 Before I ask you some questions, I 

20          just would like to say that I always enjoy 

21          working with my counterpart, Helene 

22          Weinstein, who chairs the Judiciary in the 

23          Assembly.  We've been having discussions how 

24          to work through this Judiciary Budget to try 


 1          to be fair to all concerned.

 2                 Your budget, I think, for court 

 3          administration is between 2.8 and 2.9 

 4          billion; would I be correct?  


 6          That's correct.

 7                 SENATOR BONACIC:  Okay.  Now, we have 

 8          a concern, what we see happening in the court 

 9          system.  As you pointed out, a lack of 

10          staffing, shorter hours.  

11                 We now see the Hurrell-Harring case, 

12          which basically stated that there's not 

13          enough district attorneys for first 

14          appearance for defendants in criminal 

15          actions.  So for five counties that brought a 

16          lawsuit, monies were given to those five 

17          counties.  So there's a need for more monies 

18          for criminal representation for mainly 

19          upstate.  That's another developing future 

20          cost on the court system.

21                 As, you know, you explained, it 

22          appears to me that the priorities are to take 

23          care of the judicial salaries, which we're 

24          all supportive of.  We think the judges are 


 1          deserving of raises.  You're struggling with 

 2          the 2 percent cap, how to live with all of 

 3          this, with a judicial court system with 

 4          access to justice that is deteriorating 

 5          rather than getting stronger.

 6                 So when I look at your budget, one of 

 7          the priorities, in addition to the raises, is 

 8          civil services.  Now, that item has jumped 

 9          from $70 million to $85 million this year.  

10          So that's free legal services for civilian 

11          actions.  Civil service; right?  As opposed 

12          to criminal.


14          Civil cases.

15                 SENATOR BONACIC:  Right.  So 

16          middle-class families have to pay for legal 

17          fees, but there's a movement to have the poor 

18          have free legal services.  I just point that 

19          out.

20                 I think for this year, that's a wrong 

21          priority.  I think that part of the budget 

22          should be no gain, because last year they got 

23          a $15 million bump, they're up to $70 million 

24          now for free legal services for civil 


 1          actions.  And you now want to take it to 85.  

 2          There's $15 million.  If you kept that level, 

 3          you would help reach your other priorities of 

 4          making the court system stronger and/or 

 5          helping to support the raises.  So I throw 

 6          that out to you.

 7                 I haven't asked you a question yet.  I 

 8          have not asked you a question.

 9                 (Laughter.)


11          waiting for the question.

12                 SENATOR BONACIC:  Right.  But things 

13          like CASA and the dispute resolution, I think 

14          these are very worthwhile services.  A lot of 

15          them are on a volunteer basis.  They help 

16          children and families in preventive action 

17          before it even gets to the courts.  They help 

18          relieve court congestion.  

19                 We did the divorce law amendments this 

20          past year; that's supposed to clean up 

21          94 percent of matrimonial actions with court 

22          congestion.  So we're trying.

23                 So I would say to you that those two 

24          volunteer programs are very helpful.  You 


 1          should look to see what you can do there.


 3          we are continuing, proposing to continue the 

 4          funding for those programs in this budget.

 5                 SENATOR BONACIC:  So now I'm going to 

 6          come to the $64,000 -- more than the $64,000 

 7          question.

 8                 If the Governor is insisting on the 

 9          2 percent cap, have you given any thought to 

10          how you're going to reconcile making the 

11          court stronger, doing the judicial raises, 

12          and what has to be saved and what has to be 

13          cut?  


15          Well, so you're asking if we don't get 

16          additional money and we had to stay within 

17          the 2 percent, how would we cope with that?  

18                 SENATOR BONACIC:  Which the Governor's 

19          kind of indicating that's where he wants to 

20          go.  I'm not speaking for the Governor, but I 

21          just --


23          if you read his commentary on our budget 

24          submission, that is what he said, that's 


 1          right.

 2                 SENATOR BONACIC:  Yes.


 4          I'll answer that.  But let me -- if I could, 

 5          let me just respond to your comments about 

 6          civil legal services.

 7                 SENATOR BONACIC:  Could you speak into 

 8          the mic a little?


10          Sure.  I was saying if -- and I'll answer 

11          your question, but if I may just initially, 

12          if I could respond to your question about --

13                 SENATOR BONACIC:  Sure.


15          your comments about civil legal services.  

16                 Look, this is a critically important 

17          program.  I mean, everyone here on this 

18          panel, every member of the Legislature should 

19          really support money for civil legal 

20          services.

21                 Our program, money goes to every 

22          single county in the state, all 62 counties.  

23          This is not a New York City program, it's not 

24          an upstate program, it's a statewide program.  


 1          And every legislative district in this state 

 2          has -- every one of you has constituents that 

 3          benefit from this money.  You know, as you 

 4          all know, there's a legal right in a criminal 

 5          case, if you can't afford an attorney, one 

 6          will be provided for you free of charge.  

 7          There's no such right, generally speaking, in 

 8          civil cases.  

 9                 And this is money that goes to provide 

10          lawyers, again, in every county in this 

11          state -- people who are facing potential 

12          eviction, people who are facing potential 

13          foreclosure, victims of domestic violence in 

14          Family Court proceedings, veterans seeking 

15          disability payments.  This is money that is 

16          very well spent.  There have been studies 

17          done by economists that have concluded that 

18          for every dollar spent on civil legal 

19          services, government can save as much as $6.  

20          And that's because if someone is evicted or 

21          their house is foreclosed on or they don't 

22          receive federal benefits, that leads to 

23          further problems and further costs imposed on 

24          government.  This is a critically important 


 1          program that I really can't emphasize enough 

 2          that everyone here should really be 

 3          supporting.  

 4                 And this last $15 million that we're 

 5          seeking in this budget is the last 

 6          installment in a plan that was announced five 

 7          years ago, five, six years ago, where each 

 8          year -- and by the way, each year in years 

 9          that were fiscally much weaker than this 

10          particular year, where the state economy is 

11          relatively strong now -- the Legislature 

12          provided money for each of the last four or 

13          five years.  And this would be the last 

14          installment that would get us to 

15          $100 million, which will meet the goal that 

16          we set for funding civil legal services.

17                 So again, I really can't emphasize 

18          enough how this is a program that benefits 

19          people throughout the state in all 

20          62 counties.  And I would urge that you 

21          support the additional funding that we're 

22          seeking for civil legal services.  

23                 Having said that, in the doomsday 

24          scenario where we don't get any additional 


 1          money -- and this is to answer your question, 

 2          Senator Bonacic, what would we do.  Well, you 

 3          know, we don't have a lot of choices in the 

 4          Judiciary budget, since we're roughly 

 5          90 percent salaries and fringe benefits.  We 

 6          don't have a capital budget, we don't have -- 

 7          other than civil legal services, we don't 

 8          have a whole lot of programs that we could 

 9          cut.  We're primarily people, and that's what 

10          makes up the vast percentage of our budget.

11                 So if we had to absorb the full cost 

12          of this judicial salary increase, the 

13          $27 million, you know, we would have to look 

14          at attrition, not replacing people when they 

15          leave the court system.  Which is how we 

16          managed far more difficult budgets going back 

17          to 2011, where we sustained a massive budget 

18          cut that year which resulted in layoffs that 

19          year because the budget cut was so extreme.  

20          And that was followed by two years of flat 

21          budgets.  And the way we managed that -- 

22          because every year our costs go up, they 

23          don't go down.  Costs go up.  

24                 So the way we managed that those years 


 1          was through attrition.  When people left, we 

 2          didn't replace them.  We had a strict hiring 

 3          freeze.  So if we were not successful in 

 4          getting this additional money, we would 

 5          inevitably have to look at attrition, not 

 6          replacing people when they leave, and we 

 7          would have to look at the civil legal 

 8          services money as well, as you've suggested.

 9                 SENATOR BONACIC:  Thank you.

10                 My only point is the Legislature has 

11          been supportive of monies for civil legal 

12          services.  But times change.  And it's a 

13          question of priorities this year.  And we're 

14          suggesting to you that maybe judicial 

15          salaries are more important than that area.  

16          But I would certainly never like to hear you 

17          say that you're going to cut more personnel 

18          from the Judiciary Budget for the 

19          administration of the courts, which are now 

20          not up to par where they should be, in terms 

21          of the hours, the staffing.  That would be 

22          really not a good thing to do.


24          agree with you.  We would be loath to do 


 1          that.  We're 2,000 employees fewer, as I 

 2          mentioned in my remarks, than we were in 

 3          2009.  And that absolutely has consequences 

 4          on the operation of the courts.  And the last 

 5          few years we have finally been able to kind 

 6          of get our heads above water and replace 

 7          people when they leave and maybe even 

 8          slightly increase our employment level.  

 9                 But again, it's the last thing we 

10          would want to do, is to go back to the 

11          scenario of a few years ago where we were 

12          bleeding people and, you know, when they left 

13          that we couldn't replace them.

14                 Please don't misunderstand me.  I'm 

15          not suggesting that we would favor further 

16          reducing our employment level.  It's the last 

17          thing we would want to do.  But in the end, 

18          because our budget is overwhelmingly, you 

19          know, 90 percent salaries and fringe 

20          benefits, when we don't have sufficient 

21          money, that's really where we look.  And we 

22          have no choice.

23                 SENATOR BONACIC:  My only last comment 

24          is I believe that there's $15 million there 


 1          in civil services that you should not give 

 2          this year to make sure that the judges get 

 3          their raises, which we all think they're 

 4          entitled to.  

 5                 And I thank you very much, Your Honor, 

 6          for coming today.


 8          Thank you.

 9                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator 

10          Bonacic.  

11                 We've been joined by senator Thomas 

12          Croci, chair of the Veterans, Homeland 

13          Security, and Military Affairs Committee, and 

14          also Senator Leroy Comrie.

15                 Chairman Farrell.

16                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Yes.  Mr. Oaks.

17                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Yes, we've been 

18          also been joined by Assemblyman Saladino.

19                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Next to question, 

20          Chairperson Weinstein.

21                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you, 

22          Mr. Chairman.  

23                 Judge Marks, it's a pleasure to see 

24          you here today.  And as Senator Bonacic said, 


 1          we work closely together.  But in relation to 

 2          the civil legal services, it's a point where 

 3          we diverge in terms of this increase.

 4                 And I just wanted to continue that 

 5          discussion a little bit more.  I looked at 

 6          the task force, permanent commission's last 

 7          report, and I just want to make sure that I 

 8          read correctly that, based on the 

 9          commission's finding, that New York State 

10          realized $260 million in taxpayer savings in 

11          the form of reduced emergency shelter costs 

12          alone as a result of legal services.  

13                 So that was one of their findings?  


15          That's correct.

16                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  And that the 

17          overall -- the finding that the overall 

18          investment in civil legal services has 

19          resulted in an overall economic benefit to 

20          New York State of $2.4 billion through 2014?  


22          Yeah, that's -- I think that's correct.  And 

23          that goes to the point that I made a moment 

24          ago that investing in civil legal services in 


 1          the end can save state and local government, 

 2          you know, significant amounts of money.

 3                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  So if we 

 4          were to cut out of the Judiciary Budget the 

 5          $15 million for civil legal services and 

 6          dedicate it to a different purpose, as my 

 7          colleague suggests, it would actually cost 

 8          New York State money in this next year going 

 9          forward?  


11          Yes.  There have been studies by economists 

12          that have suggested that, that if -- that 

13          expenditures on civil legal services is 

14          cost-effective.

15                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  And could 

16          you just maybe go into a tiny bit more detail 

17          as to how the funding that's in the Judiciary 

18          Budget for civil legal services is allocated 

19          around the state, and perhaps restate some of 

20          the services, the kinds of populations that 

21          benefit from civil legal services?


23          Yeah, the money is divided up based on a 

24          formula, 200 percent -- each county's 


 1          population that's less than 200 percent of 

 2          the federal poverty level -- the formula is 

 3          based on that.  So it's equally divided to 

 4          the state's 62 counties based on that 

 5          formula.  

 6                 And the money goes to really kind of 

 7          the essentials of life.  People who find 

 8          themselves in court without a lawyer, or who 

 9          would otherwise find themselves in court 

10          without a lawyer -- in landlord-tenant 

11          proceedings, so facing eviction; in 

12          foreclosure proceedings, where people are 

13          facing the potential loss of their home.  

14          Victims of domestic violence in family 

15          offense proceedings in the Family Court 

16          receive lawyers under this program.

17                 I mentioned veterans are a significant 

18          component of the people who benefit from 

19          these services.  Veterans who may be facing 

20          eviction, facing foreclosure, seeking 

21          disability benefits.  

22                 And so those are some of the examples 

23          of the types of people who benefit from this 

24          program in every county in the state.


 1                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  And I was 

 2          just wondering, from the court's perspective, 

 3          how do unrepresented litigants impact the 

 4          functioning of the courts, people who come in 

 5          without an attorney?  


 7          It's -- actually, I can speak personally for 

 8          this, because I sit -- in addition to my 

 9          administrative responsibilities, I sit in 

10          Supreme Court.  And I can tell you, from the 

11          court's perspective and the judge's 

12          perspective, when someone comes in without a 

13          lawyer, it's just a -- it's a night-and-day 

14          situation.  

15                 You know, it's very difficult for the 

16          judge because judges ethically can't advise 

17          litigants on the law.  The court staff can't 

18          do that.  You know, people are basically on 

19          their own.  It's not an equal playing field, 

20          obviously, when that happens.  It's not -- I 

21          mean, my own view, which I know is shared by 

22          the new chief judge, is that a justice system 

23          just doesn't make sense when you have 

24          hundreds of thousands of people coming into 


 1          court without a lawyer, their opponents often 

 2          represented by lawyers.  It's just -- it's 

 3          not a justice system, you know, that we could 

 4          all be proud of, you know, when that's as 

 5          serious a problem as it has been in New York.

 6                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  And beyond 

 7          just the impact on the individual litigant 

 8          who's unrepresented, does it also impact the 

 9          courts?  Are there additional delays?  You 

10          mentioned the court staff that are asked 

11          questions.  Does it actually increase costs 

12          to the court system and use up resources that 

13          would not be needed if those litigants were 

14          represented?


16          Yeah.  I mean, I would say that cases in 

17          which litigants are self-represented become 

18          more labor-intensive for the court -- for the 

19          judge, for the judge's staff, for the clerk's 

20          office, for the court personnel.  

21                 So yes, I would agree with that very 

22          much.

23                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  And to go to 

24          the defense side, I know and I agree with my 


 1          colleague that there is a need for increased 

 2          services for indigent defendants, 

 3          particularly in first appearances that go 

 4          beyond the Hurrell decision.  And I 

 5          understand that the Indigent Legal Services 

 6          Board has asked for increased resources to be 

 7          able to address those needs.  And I think 

 8          that that is something obviously that 

 9          personally I would support, and I think other 

10          members also.

11                 Can I just -- I just want to ask you a 

12          question about the staffing.  You mentioned 

13          that there's been a reduction of 2,000 

14          nonjudicial employees, and I think you 

15          mentioned it was 12 percent; is that correct?  


17          Since 2009, that was the high level mark for 

18          us, we have 2,000 fewer employees since that 

19          year.

20                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  And I 

21          probably should know the answer, but perhaps 

22          do you know how that compares to state 

23          agencies?  



 1          executive branch?  

 2                 For us, it's a 12 percent decrease in 

 3          the court system, the roughly 2,000 fewer 

 4          employees.  In the executive branch, 

 5          depending on how you define the executive 

 6          branch -- but if you include CUNY and SUNY, 

 7          the executive branch employment level since 

 8          2009 has dropped between 8 and 8.5 percent.

 9                 So our employment level has declined 

10          more than the executive branch.

11                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.  

12          Thank you on that.  And I think for the 

13          moment that's all the questions, 

14          Mr. Chairman.

15                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you very 

16          much.

17                 Our next speaker is Senator Michael 

18          Nozzolio, who is chair of the Codes 

19          Committee.

20                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you, 

21          Chairwoman Young.  

22                 Good morning, Judge Marks.


24          Good morning.


 1                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  We're used to 

 2          seeing Judge Prudenti in that chair.  I don't 

 3          see much of a resemblance --

 4                 (Laughter.)

 5                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  -- at least in 

 6          outward appearances.  But she certainly -- 

 7          there's big shoes to fill, and I wish you all 

 8          the luck in this endeavor.


10          Thank you.  

11                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  I want to follow up 

12          on the questioning that's already occurred.  

13          Senator Bonacic and I have discussed this 

14          issue a number of times over the last few 

15          weeks.  

16                 One of the things about Judge Prudenti 

17          is that she always looked for creative ways 

18          to solve problems, that in large part because 

19          of the creativity she exhibited, the CASA 

20          program was revived when budgetary axes had 

21          to fall.  And Senator Bonacic, myself and 

22          others worked very closely with her to 

23          restore that program.  

24                 I share your admiration for civil 


 1          legal services.  I think it's a great 

 2          program.  I probably, in the course of my 

 3          service, have had many more requests for 

 4          legal assistance through the Assembly and 

 5          Senate offices that I served in than you as a 

 6          judge would have ever had.  Literally 

 7          hundreds of people have asked.

 8                 We supported, I have supported, 

 9          through special grants, civil legal services 

10          in the Finger Lakes region.  I understand its 

11          importance.  However, Senator Bonacic, I 

12          think, stated it very clearly.  We believe 

13          we're your partner in the Legislature as we 

14          try to tackle these budget challenges.  The 

15          Judicial Pay Commission was a commission 

16          established by the Legislature because we 

17          believed there was a need to have judicial 

18          salaries increased.  And we look to be a 

19          partner with you in the court system in 

20          meeting the obligations established by the 

21          commission.  That's public policy.  We need 

22          to do that.

23                 At the same token, a major increase in 

24          the budget from one year to the next, 


 1          21 percent, for albeit a very noble program, 

 2          just is not appropriate for this period of 

 3          time.  And that we look to see you develop 

 4          the creativity that we know you are likely to 

 5          have in solving this problem.  

 6                 And certainly we understand the time 

 7          frame, we understand the budgetary 

 8          restrictions.  I think logically, though, to 

 9          say it saves money for the state -- yes, it 

10          does, but if that was the case, then we 

11          should raise civil legal services to 

12          $100 million, we should increase the budget 

13          by 75 percent, 100 percent.  Because if we're 

14          going to have such a great savings, obviously 

15          more would be helpful.

16                 But that's not the reality.  And it's 

17          not a dollar-for-dollar savings.

18                 I want to hear from you, in your 

19          capacity as leader of the court system, what 

20          types of creative solutions are here.  Judge 

21          Lippman spent a lot of time discussing pro 

22          bono work, established requirements for pro 

23          bono services for attorneys to be admitted, 

24          for attorneys to continue in other services.  


 1                 To achieve the objectives that this 

 2          body shares in supporting legal services, 

 3          yes, an increase could be appropriate.  Yes, 

 4          we need to be partners with you on the salary 

 5          increases that judges are receiving.  But 

 6          what are you doing to make civil legal 

 7          services more effective, efficient and 

 8          cost-effective for the taxpayer?


10          Well, I think your points are well taken, 

11          particularly about Judge Prudenti, who was 

12          very creative, and had to be, when she served 

13          as chief administrative judge through some 

14          very difficult years.  

15                 And hopefully things have gotten 

16          better.  But, you know, I understand 

17          necessity can be the mother of invention.  

18          And when you're really pressed, you're forced 

19          to be creative.  And I can promise you that 

20          I'll do that as well.  I mean, I'll continue 

21          that trend.

22                 But, you know, in the end we -- our 

23          budget situation has been so challenging, you 

24          know, for so many years at this point.  I 


 1          mean, we started back in 2011 with a 

 2          $170 million budget cut.  That was followed 

 3          by a flat budget the following year.  And of 

 4          course a flat budget is really a negative 

 5          budget because costs go up, they don't go 

 6          down.

 7                 The year after that was another flat 

 8          budget.  And the last two years we've 

 9          received, you know, very modest increases in 

10          the range of 2 percent -- which we greatly 

11          appreciate, and I'm not being ungrateful 

12          about that in the least, don't misunderstand 

13          me.  But at some point where costs have been 

14          going up and up and up, which is what they 

15          do, you can be creative only so much.  And, 

16          you know, you run out of ideas at some point.  

17                 So I can't sit here today and tell you 

18          about all the creative ideas that are in my 

19          head as to how we'll deal with this if we 

20          don't get additional money, because I'm very 

21          much hoping that we get additional money.  

22          I'm hoping that we can get your support about 

23          that.  

24                 But in the end, frankly, if we don't, 


 1          we'll have to prepare for that eventuality 

 2          because that's certainly a possibility.  And, 

 3          you know, we will find a way to manage this 

 4          in one way or the other.  The courts will 

 5          remain open.  I'm not suggesting in any way 

 6          at all that we won't continue to keep 

 7          courthouses open and we won't be providing 

 8          justice to the people of this state.  But 

 9          we're going to have to be very, very 

10          creative, I agree with you.

11                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  And again, we are 

12          not trying to shirk the responsibilities of 

13          the Legislature one bit.  We believe strongly 

14          that the issues of judicial salary increases 

15          have to be met, can't totally be absorbed 

16          within the traditional court budget, judicial 

17          budget.

18                 But we look to these other 

19          expenditures as -- so expect you'll have 

20          advocates to help in that endeavor, but we 

21          want you to also find ways to help the 

22          taxpayers who are paying for these bills, to 

23          find creative ways to stretch, to cut, and to 

24          provide the services in less costly ways.



 2          I appreciate that.  And I agree with you.

 3                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you.  

 4                 And thank you, Madam Chairman.

 5                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator.

 6                 But we've been joined by Senator Phil 

 7          Boyle and Senator Daniel Squadron.

 8                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Mr. Montesano.

 9                 ASSEMBLYMAN MONTESANO:  Thank you, 

10          Mr. Chairman.  

11                 Good morning, Judge.


13          Good morning.

14                 ASSEMBLYMAN MONTESANO:  Judge, in your 

15          response to the different questions, and in 

16          comments you made, you know, what I'm 

17          concerned about is -- and I'll address the 

18          indigent legal services in a moment, for the 

19          civil part.  

20                 But, you know, as a practicing 

21          attorney, I get into the courts quite a bit 

22          in Nassau County, and I can't begin to tell 

23          you the decimation of our court system in 

24          Nassau County over the last several years.  


 1          In our surrogate's court alone, we lost 

 2          approximately 35 operational staff, which 

 3          resulted in limited cashier hours, limited 

 4          record room access.  And some of those things 

 5          have cured a little bit down the line.  

 6                 In our Supreme Court, many parts are 

 7          down on a daily basis because there's no 

 8          court officers or clerks to staff them.  So 

 9          while we give this free indigent legal 

10          services in the civil parts, it's all well 

11          and good when the litigant comes in with the 

12          free attorney, but there's no courtroom to 

13          appear in.

14                 We have one clerk covering three 

15          parts.  So they run from one courtroom to the 

16          next, or they're handling three calendars at 

17          the same time.

18                 So when you indicated that a lot of 

19          these costs that OCA is incurring over the 

20          last several years has to do with personnel 

21          and salaries, when many of the -- and I'm not 

22          going to put myself in the middle of the 

23          contract negotiations.  But many of those 

24          unions that you're talking about, the court 


 1          officers and clerks specifically, they've 

 2          gotten zero contracts over the last several 

 3          years.  So I don't understand where there's 

 4          an increase in salaries, because they haven't 

 5          gotten anything.

 6                 So -- yet there's a $15 million bump 

 7          in the free civil legal services.  So I'd 

 8          like to get an idea from you what's driven 

 9          that uptick --


11          sorry, which what?

12                 ASSEMBLYMAN MONTESANO:  What is 

13          driving the uptick in the civil legal 

14          services to warrant another $15 million?


16          Well, just -- we don't have a contract with 

17          the Nassau court employees union, that's 

18          correct.  Unfortunately, we don't.  We would 

19          like to have a contract with them.  We have 

20          12 labor unions in the court system, and at 

21          the moment we have contracts with eight of 

22          the 12.  

23                 So with respect to the employees in 

24          those unions, they've received salary 


 1          increases, modest salary increases over the 

 2          last couple of years.  And that's the reason 

 3          for our increasing salary costs.  It's the -- 

 4          we have contracts with two-thirds of our 

 5          unions, but not in Nassau, unfortunately.  

 6          And hopefully we will reach agreement with 

 7          them shortly.

 8                 But the -- yes, you know, what you're 

 9          describing in the courts in Nassau, there 

10          have been consequences of our reduced 

11          staffing levels.  And I'm sure you've 

12          accurately described some of those, you know, 

13          based on your firsthand experience.  

14                 And, you know, that's my concern, is 

15          that we -- and I think there have been 

16          improvements over the last year or two.  And 

17          I very much want to be able to continue that 

18          trend and be able to improve from year to 

19          year.  Which is why I'm very much arguing 

20          for, asking you and pleading with you to 

21          provide this additional money that I firmly 

22          believe we need to continue improvement and 

23          to mitigate some of the problems that you're 

24          describing in the courts in Nassau County, 


 1          for example.

 2                 ASSEMBLYMAN MONTESANO:  And, Judge, 

 3          just to go in a different direction for a 

 4          second.  

 5                 The bail system, I know that a process 

 6          has been instituted -- I think it started in 

 7          the city -- that when bail is set on a 

 8          defendant, it can go to another judge of the 

 9          same court who's going to review the judge's 

10          bail.  Now, it just seems odd to me that a 

11          judge of the same jurisdiction and the same 

12          court is acting as an appellate review of a 

13          judge's bail.

14                 Legally, how did that come about?  


16          me explain it to you.  It's just in New York 

17          City, by the way, not in your district.

18                 There's a review -- if it's requested 

19          by the defendant or the defense counsel, 

20          there's a review, not to a judge of the same 

21          jurisdiction, but to a judge in the Supreme 

22          Court.  And this is for misdemeanor cases 

23          only, only the low-level offense.  And it's 

24          perfectly authorized under the law.  It's -- 


 1          Section 530.30 of the Criminal Procedure Law, 

 2          if you take a look at it, gives the Supreme 

 3          Court the authority, upon an application by 

 4          the defendant, to review bail that was set by 

 5          the lower court judge.  So it was based on 

 6          that statutory authority.

 7                 ASSEMBLYMAN MONTESANO:  Thank you, 

 8          Judge.  

 9                 And just a last follow-up on my 

10          question before, can you give us just a quick 

11          overview of the justification for the 

12          $15 million increase on the indigent legal 

13          fund?  What's driven that uptick and that 

14          cost over the last year?  


16          justification for it is it's the last 

17          installment of a five-, six-year plan to 

18          reach $100 million for civil legal services 

19          in this state.  Which, by the way, doesn't 

20          solve the problem of the justice gap.  There 

21          will still be multitudes of people who do not 

22          have lawyers and won't have lawyers.  But 

23          because of this money, for example, in this 

24          fiscal year there will be over 450,000 people 


 1          who have lawyers because of the money that 

 2          we're providing.  

 3                 And this would be the very last 

 4          installment that will fulfill the goal that 

 5          was set five, six years ago to reach 

 6          $100 million for civil legal services.

 7                 And we were able to add money to it in 

 8          more difficult budget years, more difficult 

 9          fiscal years than this year.  So we feel that 

10          it's very important, it benefits hundreds of 

11          thousands of people who need help throughout 

12          the state.  It levels the playing field in 

13          the courts, and we feel it's very important.  

14          And that's why we're urging the Legislature 

15          to provide that funding.

16                 ASSEMBLYMAN MONTESANO:  Thank you, 

17          Judge.  Thank you, Chairman.

18                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, 

19          Assemblyman.

20                 Our next speaker is Senator Diane 

21          Savino.

22                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you, Senator 

23          Young.

24                 Good morning, Judge Marks.



 2          Good morning.

 3                 SENATOR SAVINO:  I'm happy to see in 

 4          your testimony that you guys are actually 

 5          asking for more money.  If you recall, at 

 6          Judge DiFiore's nomination and her 

 7          confirmation on the Senate floor, I mentioned 

 8          the fact that she's inheriting a court system 

 9          that is overburdened in many ways and has 

10          suffered from a shortage of resources.  In 

11          fact, Sunday's New York Times detailed the 

12          long slog through the court system that it 

13          took one particular young man who was 

14          injured, and it took several months for cases 

15          to move that should have taken much less 

16          time.  So we know that our courts are 

17          overburdened.  

18                 But I have a question.  I know you've 

19          had several collective bargaining units in 

20          the court system.  Are all of them now 

21          settled?  Have you settled all their 

22          contracts?  


24          I was saying before we have 12 unions in the 


 1          court system.  We have contracts with eight 

 2          of the 12, and we're eager to reach agreement 

 3          with the remaining four.

 4                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Do you feel that the 

 5          proposed budget by the Governor is sufficient 

 6          to meet the financial settlements of those 

 7          contracts?  


 9          would be very difficult.

10                 SENATOR SAVINO:  It would be very 

11          difficult.


13          Yes.  Yes.

14                 SENATOR SAVINO:  And in addition, 

15          there was a lawsuit brought against the 

16          courts by the Court Officers Association that 

17          triggered a hiring mandate.  From what I 

18          understand, there was supposed to be 350 

19          court officers hired; 150 have been actually 

20          accomplished, and there's another 200 

21          outstanding.  Is there sufficient money in 

22          your budget to meet that additional hiring?


24          Well, court officers -- you know, we're down, 


 1          as I was saying before, 12 percent in our 

 2          workforce since 2009.  We have -- court 

 3          officers have been hit less hard.  At least 

 4          when you look at it today, statewide we're 

 5          about 6.2 percent fewer court officers than 

 6          we were in 2009, which is proportionally less 

 7          than some of the other titles.  And in 

 8          fact -- because, look, public safety, you 

 9          know, in the courts, there's really nothing 

10          more important than that.

11                 SENATOR SAVINO:  No doubt.


13          People who work in the courts, people who 

14          come into the courts have to be secure and 

15          safe.  And we would never compromise that.

16                 In fact, we're starting a court 

17          officer class in our academy, which when we 

18          hire court officers, they have to go through 

19          the academy, obviously.  There's a class of I 

20          think it's 150 recruits starting later this 

21          month.  Once they are deployed in the courts 

22          when they graduates from the academy, you 

23          know, later this year, we'll be down to maybe 

24          only 3 percent or so less -- 3 percent fewer 


 1          court officers than we had in 2009.

 2                 So frankly, I'm less concerned about 

 3          the number of court officers.  Although it's 

 4          not perfect, and we do need more court 

 5          officers, particularly in some parts of the 

 6          state.  But I think we're in better shape 

 7          with regard to court officers than we are 

 8          with some of the other titles.

 9                 SENATOR SAVINO:  I'm glad to see you 

10          feel that way.  But again, there's certainly 

11          a shortage of court officers, court clerks, 

12          court stenographers, and basically 

13          courtrooms.  

14                 I spoke previously about the problem 

15          we have in Richmond County.  You know, the 

16          state created a separate judicial district 

17          for Staten Island, Richmond County, in 2007.  

18          To date, we have yet to receive the seven 

19          judges that we're entitled to.  We owe three 

20          to Brooklyn.  You know, we're entitled to 10 

21          judges for the County of Richmond.  We don't 

22          have them.  We have a brand-new courthouse 

23          that we outgrew already.  

24                 And this is not your problem.  I'm 


 1          just saying this to make the point that while 

 2          the discussion today seems to be between 

 3          civil legal services and judges' salaries, I 

 4          think it goes beyond that.  We still have a 

 5          court system that is overburdened, 

 6          under-resourced, regardless of how we decide 

 7          whether you should get civil legal services 

 8          or whether judges should get a raise.

 9                 By the way, I think we should do both.  

10          But I think we also need to increase funding 

11          to the court system because we're not able 

12          to, in my opinion, deliver what Judge DeFiore 

13          says is most important to her, the speedy and 

14          efficient administration of justice. 

15                 So I would just hope that while we 

16          continue to listen to you today, people take 

17          into consideration it shouldn't be just civil 

18          legal services versus judges' salaries, it's 

19          how do we appropriately fund a court system 

20          so that we can meet that mandate of speedy 

21          and efficient administration of justice.  

22                 Thank you, Judge Marks.


24          Thank you.


 1                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Assemblyman Lentol, 

 2          Chairman Lentol.

 3                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Thank you, 

 4          Mr. Chairman.  

 5                 And congratulations, Mr. Marks, for 

 6          your ascendency to this very good position --


 8          Thank you.

 9                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  -- chief 

10          administrative judge.

11                 I guess I'm a little bit torn, because 

12          I know that having appeared in court and 

13          knowing judges like I do -- and even 

14          legislators like I do -- that none of us 

15          would like to see a wounded warrior not have 

16          a lawyer in court at the expense of my not 

17          getting a raise or a judge not getting a 

18          raise.  I would not like to see a homeless 

19          person who lost his home because of a bank 

20          who foreclosed on him illegally.

21                 And so I guess that I believe that, as 

22          Diane Savino said, that we surely have to do 

23          both.  But I certainly wouldn't advocate for 

24          taking money away from legal services and 


 1          putting additional people out on the 

 2          streets -- and, since we're going to be in 

 3          Afghanistan for a while, not having legal 

 4          representation for the veterans of the United 

 5          States of America.

 6                 Actually, I wanted to ask you about 

 7          raising the age of criminal responsibility, 

 8          because the chief judge, as you know, has 

 9          created an adolescent diversion court part in 

10          the adult criminal court in nine counties 

11          dedicated exclusively to handling cases of 

12          16-and-17-year-olds.  And since the Governor 

13          has again talked about this in his State of 

14          the State, and it's in his budget, might you 

15          provide us with an update on the status and 

16          operation of these new adolescent diversion 

17          court parts?  


19          Well, they're continuing.  This was a program 

20          that was started by the prior chief judge, 

21          Judge Lippman, at the same time that he 

22          called for statutory reform, the Legislature 

23          raising the age of criminal responsibility.  

24          Which I think, as we all know, we're one of 


 1          only two states in the country that sets the 

 2          age of criminal responsibility at 16.  

 3                 And so the adolescent diversion court 

 4          parts were a complement to the legislative 

 5          proposal.  The legislation is the ultimate 

 6          solution.  

 7                 But in the meantime, these are court 

 8          parts that were set up -- I think we have 11 

 9          of them now throughout the state.  They have 

10          been successful.  They're set up in 

11          cooperation with the district attorneys in 

12          those jurisdictions, who have been 

13          supportive.  They're a limited solution to 

14          the problem, I think it's fair to describe it 

15          that way.  They're mostly dealing with 

16          misdemeanors.  I think a few may deal with 

17          some -- a modest number of nonviolent 

18          felonies.  But they've been certainly 

19          successful.  We're continuing them.  There's 

20          been evaluations done, scholarly evaluations 

21          of the results of the adolescent diversion 

22          parts, and they've been shown to reduce 

23          recidivism for the 16-and-17-year-olds 

24          participating in the program.


 1                 So it's been a successful program, but 

 2          it's somewhat of a limited program.  And we 

 3          feel and certainly the new chief judge feels 

 4          that way, that the ultimate solution is to 

 5          statutorily raise the age of criminal 

 6          responsibility in New York.

 7                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Now, both the 

 8          Assembly and the Executive proposals talk 

 9          about a large amount of cases being shifted 

10          from the criminal part to the Family Court.  

11          And since we're talking about the lack of 

12          resources for all the court system, I'm 

13          wondering if you believe the necessary 

14          resources are available to implement that.


16          Yeah, the -- we've taken the position we 

17          could accommodate the -- there would be more 

18          cases in Family Court.  So there wouldn't be 

19          more cases overall in the court system, there 

20          would be a shift of some cases that are now 

21          in the criminal courts to the Family Court.  

22          And Family Court certainly has challenges -- 

23          I'm not going to suggest otherwise -- but 

24          Family Court does have 25 new judges.  Thanks 


 1          to the support of the Legislature, we have 25 

 2          additional judges in Family Court around the 

 3          state.  

 4                 So the other thing is when Judge 

 5          Lippman --

 6                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Has that helped, 

 7          the 25 additional Family Court judges?


 9          Absolutely.  Yeah, it absolutely helps.  We 

10          are very happy that the Legislature approved 

11          that two years ago.  

12                 But the number of 16-and-17-year-olds 

13          who have been arrested, that number has 

14          plummeted over the last half dozen years or 

15          so.  It's a fraction of what it once was.  

16                 So there might be a need for some 

17          additional resources in Family Court, but my 

18          sense is that it would not be draconian.  So 

19          it would be a problem that we would cope 

20          with.  And if the legislation passed, I think 

21          under all the proposals -- I know this about 

22          the Governor's proposal -- the effective date 

23          would not be for, you know, a year and a half 

24          down the road, so there would be time to 


 1          prepare for it.  There might be some modest 

 2          additional expense in costs for the court, 

 3          but we feel -- and, you know, we've thought 

 4          about this a great deal over recent years -- 

 5          that we would be able to handle that.  And -- 

 6          it would be a good problem to have, in other 

 7          words.  You know, we view it that way.

 8                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Thank you very 

 9          much.

10                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Next is Senator Ruth 

11          Hassell-Thompson, ranker on Judiciary.  We're 

12          going to make a chair trade.

13                 SENATOR HASSELL-THOMPSON:  Thank you, 

14          Madam Chair.  

15                 Good morning, Judge.


17          Good morning.

18                 SENATOR HASSELL-THOMPSON:  I just have 

19          a couple of questions.  I understand that 

20          most of the questions that I had wanted to 

21          pose have already been asked of you, so I 

22          won't be redundant.  

23                 But I would like to just ask, are you 

24          committed to the bail reform process that was 


 1          begun by Chief Judge Lippman last year?  And 

 2          how soon do you think, if you're committed, 

 3          that that would roll out?


 5          Well, the bail reform process has mostly been 

 6          put in place.  The new Chief Judge supports 

 7          it.  We're going to continue that.  We feel 

 8          that there are a number of people who are not 

 9          a threat to anyone -- you know, people who 

10          don't have a history of violence, who are 

11          detained pending the outcome of the 

12          disposition of their case simply because they 

13          can't afford to make bail.  

14                 There are a lot of alternatives that 

15          we feel that judges could be using to avoid 

16          that situation.  We're trying to encourage 

17          judges -- in the end, it's a judge's 

18          decision, an individual judge's discretion on 

19          whether to set bail or not and how much.  But 

20          we are trying to be supportive of judges and 

21          to provide them with sufficient resources and 

22          alternative resources so that people -- look, 

23          some people, you know, should be detained who 

24          clearly are a threat to society, a threat of 


 1          committing further violence, but many people 

 2          are not.  And they're sitting in jail 

 3          awaiting the disposition of their case simply 

 4          because they don't have the means to make 

 5          bail, and that's a problem that we're trying 

 6          address.

 7                 There's also a statutory solution 

 8          which has been proposed, and I think we'll 

 9          pursue that as well.  And I think that the 

10          new Chief Judge will want to pursue that as 

11          well.

12                 But this is a problem that we're 

13          committed to addressing and committed to 

14          trying to resolve it as best we can.

15                 SENATOR HASSELL-THOMPSON:  What have 

16          been some of the barriers to getting it 

17          resolved?


19          Statutorily?  The proposal that we sent to 

20          the Legislature a couple of years ago would 

21          address, number one, the fact that in 

22          New York -- and it's almost kind of 

23          completely upside down, if you think about 

24          it.  In New York, judges are not permitted to 


 1          take risk to public safety into account when 

 2          they make a bail determination, which doesn't 

 3          seem to make any sense.  We're one of only a 

 4          few states that prohibits judges from taking 

 5          that into account.  

 6                 Judges should be able to take that 

 7          into account, so that if there is someone 

 8          with a real propensity for violence before 

 9          them, that that should be a factor that the 

10          judge should consider in setting bail.

11                 But on the other hand, we feel that 

12          where someone does not present a risk of 

13          violence and does not present a risk of 

14          failing to return to court if they're 

15          released, that there should be a presumption 

16          of release without bail.

17                 So it sort of addresses two kind of 

18          different but in some ways related problems 

19          that we feel, you know, the Legislature 

20          should take a careful look at.  And both of 

21          those problems could be resolved, we feel, in 

22          the bill that we presented to the 

23          Legislature.  

24                 SENATOR HASSELL-THOMPSON:  I'm 


 1          confused.  I'm confused because if you're 

 2          saying the bail happens before the case goes 

 3          to trial, there still is a presumption of 

 4          innocence.  So where -- the argument that 

 5          you're raising confuses me tremendously.


 7          Well, look, there are people who have a 

 8          history of interaction with the criminal 

 9          justice system, have had prior cases and have 

10          a history of having been released pending the 

11          disposition of their case and not returning 

12          to court.  And bench warrants get issued.  

13          And, you know, that's a real problem for the 

14          courts, it's a real problem for society when 

15          people have a criminal charge against them -- 

16          presumed innocent, you're absolutely 

17          correct -- but have a history of not 

18          returning to court when they've had a 

19          criminal case.

20                 So bail, we feel, in those instances 

21          is entirely appropriate, when there's a 

22          history of not returning to court when they 

23          should be doing that.

24                 We also feel -- and this is the law in 


 1          the vast majority of states in the country -- 

 2          that in making a bail determination a judge 

 3          should be able to take into account whether 

 4          the person before them is a violent person 

 5          and may, if released, commit a further act of 

 6          violence.  To us, that seems like a very 

 7          commonsense approach and an approach that 

 8          should be reflected in the bail statutes in 

 9          New York.

10                 SENATOR HASSELL-THOMPSON:  Thank you.  

11                 Just to go back for a minute to the 

12          explanation that you were giving on the 

13          implementation of Raise the Age.  Answer for 

14          me again, how many new parts and attorneys 

15          will OCA need in order to fully implement -- 

16          I know you have -- you know, the 

17          implementation is not going to occur in '16.  

18          But we're also looking at you absorbing a 

19          tremendous deficit this year in terms of the 

20          new judges that have come on, and judge 

21          raises and a lot of other issues.  I would 

22          not like to see any of these issues become a 

23          barrier to us implementing this program as we 

24          move out.  


 1                 So what would the numbers mean given 

 2          the financial straits that you find OCA in at 

 3          this moment?  


 5          Frankly, I don't think we would need 

 6          additional resources to accommodate a 

 7          statutory raise of the age of criminal 

 8          responsibility.  I think we could accommodate 

 9          the -- again, it wouldn't create more cases 

10          in the court system, it would move certain 

11          cases from one court to another court.

12                 So, you know, we have flexibility in 

13          reassigning judges from one court to another 

14          court.  We have flexibility in reassigning 

15          court staff -- the court officers, court 

16          clerks and the like -- from one court to 

17          another court.

18                 If you combine that with the 25 

19          additional Family Court judgeships that we 

20          have now and the fact that the rest of 

21          16-and-17-year-olds, you know, are much lower 

22          than they were a few years ago, we feel that 

23          we could accommodate this change -- which, 

24          again, would not be more cases, it would be 


 1          moving cases from one court to another.  We 

 2          feel we can accommodate that with what we 

 3          have.

 4                 SENATOR HASSELL-THOMPSON:  Is it not 

 5          true that when you took the last budget cut 

 6          that you lost close to 2,000 employees across 

 7          the spectrum?  So I'm --


 9          Yes.  But we're dealing with -- it's the same 

10          number of cases.  Raise the Age doesn't 

11          necessarily reduce the number of cases, 

12          although it can.  It could lead to more 

13          diversion of cases out of the courts and 16- 

14          and 17-year-olds going into programs.  You 

15          know, rather than having their cases go 

16          through the court system.  

17                 But we're not expanding the number of 

18          cases, we're merely moving them from one 

19          court to another.  We feel a court that -- 

20          cases can be better served and can be better 

21          handled in the Family Court than in the 

22          criminal courts.  So given that and given our 

23          flexibility to move judges around and our 

24          flexibility to move court employees around, 


 1          since this wouldn't be more cases for the 

 2          court system, it would be the same number of 

 3          cases or maybe even fewer cases, that we 

 4          could accommodate them.

 5                 SENATOR HASSELL-THOMPSON:  Okay, my 

 6          time is going to run out.  But I guess the 

 7          crux of the question for me is we've given 

 8          you 20 new judges, but do you have the court 

 9          support staff for those 20 judges in the 

10          numbers given the cuts that you've taken?


12          Yes.

13                 SENATOR HASSELL-THOMPSON:  And I think 

14          that's the basis of my question, because 

15          these are Family Court judges.


17          have sufficient staff for the new Family 

18          Court judges, yes, we do.

19                 SENATOR HASSELL-THOMPSON:  Thank you, 

20          Judge.

21                 Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

22                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

23                 Next, Assemblyman Graf.

24                 ASSEMBLYMAN GRAF:  Hi, Judge, how are 


 1          you?


 3          Good morning.

 4                 ASSEMBLYMAN GRAF:  Now, you have one 

 5          program where at arraignments everyone gets 

 6          assigned an attorney.  Right?  And even if 

 7          the person is making $200,000, $300,000 -- or 

 8          no matter what he makes, right, they get 

 9          assigned an attorney at arraignment.  How 

10          much is that costing us?


12          People making $200,000, $300,000 a year are 

13          getting attorneys at arraignments?  I can't 

14          tell you that that's never happened, but I 

15          can honestly say I don't believe that's a 

16          major problem in the court system.  

17                 ASSEMBLYMAN GRAF:  Well, that's what 

18          happening.  In Suffolk County they have 

19          assigned attorneys, okay, that sit in the 

20          courtroom.  And if somebody doesn't have an 

21          attorney, and it doesn't matter what they 

22          make, for arraignment they're getting an 

23          attorney.  



 1          Yeah, I think that attorneys staff the 

 2          arraignment parts in places like Suffolk 

 3          County.  And, you know, the courts are under 

 4          a very strict mandate from the Court of 

 5          Appeals that people have to be arraigned 

 6          within 24 hours of their arrest.  So if 

 7          someone is arrested, is brought by the police 

 8          to the courthouse, is brought to the 

 9          courtroom to be arraigned and there's a 

10          lawyer assigned to that arraignment part, 

11          yes, that could happen, that somebody who 

12          otherwise could afford a lawyer would have 

13          the services of that lawyer for the very 

14          brief arraignment proceeding.

15                 ASSEMBLYMAN GRAF:  Well, they have --


17          they would not receive a free lawyer for the 

18          pendency of the case.

19                 ASSEMBLYMAN GRAF:  If I can, Judge.  

20          You have Legal Aid assigned to the courtroom, 

21          but there are income requirements.  All 

22          right?  So anyone that doesn't meet the 

23          income requirement in Suffolk County, right, 

24          who cannot be assigned Legal Aid is being 


 1          assigned almost like an 18-B attorney.  All 

 2          right?  Even if they're making $200,000 a 

 3          year, if they're being arraigned.  

 4                 That money -- and I'm looking -- could 

 5          be better used, all right, to staff court 

 6          personnel.  Because let me explain what's 

 7          happening.  It takes me, in Suffolk County in 

 8          district court, up to three and a half years 

 9          to get a hearing.  I just did a trial on a 

10          misdemeanor.  It took me five years, five 

11          years, to get a jury trial.

12                 And what's happening is we've come to 

13          a point where we've cut the court staff so 

14          much in an attempt to save money that it's 

15          actually costing us money.

16                 So what's happening in Suffolk 

17          County -- and I don't know about the rest of 

18          the state, because that's mainly where I 

19          practice -- is if somebody has to be taken 

20          into custody, the entire courtroom shuts 

21          down.  That slows down the entire process, 

22          right, and leads to court congestion.

23                 There are times where they have to 

24          bring a person from custody up to the 


 1          courtroom.  That takes forever, because they 

 2          have limited personnel to bring that person 

 3          to the courtroom.  There have been times in 

 4          Suffolk County where you have an individual 

 5          who's in custody and it's so hard to get that 

 6          person into the courtroom that where there 

 7          would have been disposition in the case and 

 8          that person would have been released that 

 9          day, they wind up getting adjourned for two 

10          weeks, so they spend more time in custody.

11                 So what I'm saying to you -- you know, 

12          and I'm just looking at all the things that 

13          you've been forced to do because of budget 

14          constraints.  And I'm not picking -- I'm 

15          saying we need more money for court officers, 

16          we need more money for court clerks, because 

17          we're at a crisis point where the safety of 

18          the personnel in the courtroom are in 

19          jeopardy.  The safety of the people appearing 

20          in the court is now in jeopardy because of 

21          the lack of court officers.  The 

22          courtrooms are not functioning properly 

23          because of the lack of personnel.

24                 And I mean you have gotten creative, 


 1          and I'm not blaming the judges and I'm not 

 2          blaming the administration, I'm blaming us 

 3          for not looking at the problems here and 

 4          identifying these problems and making sure 

 5          that we're not stepping over a dollar to pick 

 6          up a dime, which is what I think we're doing 

 7          here.

 8                 You've seen the slowdowns in the 

 9          courtroom.  You know, you watch the 

10          calendars.  So, I mean, do you agree with the 

11          fact that we've gotten to the point where 

12          it's actually costing us money because it's 

13          slowing down the process?  


15          Yeah.  No, I think there are delays in cases 

16          throughout the court system.

17                 But I have to tell you, if it's taking 

18          five years to get a misdemeanor trial in 

19          Suffolk County, that is absolutely 

20          unconscionable.  And I will -- I can promise 

21          you I will look into that today, this 

22          afternoon, because that's -- that's 

23          unconscionable in a --

24                 ASSEMBLYMAN GRAF:  Judge, half the 


 1          other problem, if you want to relieve the 

 2          congestion, is the 30.30 statute doesn't 

 3          exist in New York State.  Okay?  Because all 

 4          we get is it's always court time, it's always 

 5          court time.  That's nonsense.  They're 

 6          denying clients' rights to a speedy trial.

 7                 And I look at the appellate decisions, 

 8          and never, never is there a decision on 

 9          30.30, for the most part.  So it's like --


11          30.30 is -- I agree with you, it's a 

12          misnomer.  It's never been an effective 

13          speedy trial statute.  It is not effective in 

14          moving cases to trial.  I agree with you 

15          completely on that.

16                 ASSEMBLYMAN GRAF:  Well, year after 

17          year I keep saying that we have to do 

18          something with this.  You know, it's 

19          nonsense, when I sit there -- and I've been 

20          in front of judges and I'm ready for trial, 

21          I'm ready for a hearing, and the judge goes, 

22          "Well, we can't do a trial today."  I say, 

23          "Well, send me to another courtroom."  Okay?  

24          And I get court time.  And then if I do an 


 1          appeal, it's never decided on 30.30.  

 2                 So basically we're ignoring the 

 3          Constitution in the State of New York, and 

 4          that's causing court congestion.

 5                 So, I mean, I have a lot of problems 

 6          with what's going on in our courtrooms, 

 7          especially with the staffing requirements.  

 8          All right?  And I do think that we're 

 9          stepping over a dollar to pick up a dime 

10          here, and by not funding especially 

11          correction officers and clerks and everything 

12          else, right, it's actually costing us money.

13                 The last thing is the recording 

14          devices that we have for transcripts, it's 

15          not the same as a person that is actually 

16          taking it down, a court reporter.  Because 

17          when we get that back, there's nothing but 

18          errors and everything else in the time 

19          period.

20                 So I would say, you know, we need to 

21          fund court personnel.  If you really want to 

22          save money, we need to hire more court 

23          personnel.



 1          agree with you.

 2                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

 3                 Senator.

 4                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  Our 

 5          next speaker is Senator Dan Squadron.

 6                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Thank you very 

 7          much, Madam Chair, and the committee.  It's 

 8          good timing, and I want to pick up right 

 9          where Assemblymember Graf left off, with I 

10          think you referred to it as the nonexistent 

11          30.30 statute.  In fact, we might be better 

12          off with none than with this.  

13                 The current 30.30 statute was written 

14          in order to keep the federal government from 

15          coming into New York State in the early '70s, 

16          signed by Governor Rockefeller, in 

17          contradiction to a report from the court on 

18          how to actually fix our speedy trial statute, 

19          at a time when court congestion wasn't as bad 

20          as it is today.

21                 I appreciate your testimony.  I 

22          understand that the Commission on Judicial 

23          Pay ties your hands a little bit.  But I do 

24          want to say when we have the kind of delay 


 1          and backup that we see, when we have the kind 

 2          of violation of the accused's constitutional 

 3          rights, the kind of cost and pain suffered by 

 4          victims from the sort of court delay that we 

 5          have, I really urge -- and I've done the same 

 6          thing to the incoming chief judge -- an 

 7          aggressive look at a crisis of court delay, a 

 8          crisis of constitutional rights to a speedy 

 9          trial being absolutely ignored in New York 

10          State.  In fact, the statute to protect them 

11          is used to damage them.  

12                 In my home borough of Brooklyn, we're 

13          up 26 percent on court delays in 2015.  In 

14          2013 in New York City, 594 days citywide mean 

15          age at disposition.  Five hundred ninety-four 

16          is almost two years.  It's 732 days in the 

17          Bronx.  In 2012, 55 percent of felony cases 

18          in New York City were pending for more than 

19          six months.  That is a crisis.

20                 In fact, the Advisory Committee on 

21          Criminal Law and procedure gave a report to 

22          you last year that said most would agree -- 

23          as you have already, which I really 

24          appreciate -- that 30.30 has been largely 


 1          unsuccessful in moving criminal trials in an 

 2          expeditious fashion.

 3                 It also says the problem is more than 

 4          just a lack of sufficient judicial resources.  

 5          It also involves a willingness to go to 

 6          trial.

 7                 You said, in response to Senator 

 8          Hassell-Thompson, that people are sitting in 

 9          jail because they can't make bail.  I would 

10          amend that.  They're sitting in jail because 

11          they can't make bail and because of the kind 

12          of court delays we have.

13                 I carry a bill to fix this named for 

14          Kalief Browder, who spent more than a 

15          thousand days in jail before having his case 

16          dismissed.  Tragically, he committed suicide 

17          last year.  

18                 What's the solution?  How are we going 

19          to do it together this year?


21          Well, I think the -- these are all real 

22          problems that you've discussed, and the 

23          solution is -- and I think the new chief 

24          judge is very interested in this problem, and 


 1          I think you'll be hearing more from her 

 2          shortly about this.  But I think she wants to 

 3          address and focus her attention on this.  

 4                 And this has to be a priority.  It 

 5          will be a priority.  But I think the ultimate 

 6          solution -- you know, the criminal justice 

 7          system has many components and obviously the 

 8          court system is a central component within 

 9          the criminal justice system.  But to 

10          eliminate some of these problems, address 

11          these delays, streamline the process, we have 

12          to work together with the other components of 

13          the criminal justice system.  There's a lot 

14          that we can do ourselves, that the judiciary 

15          can do, but we can't do it all.  And we need 

16          to work with law enforcement, with the 

17          defense bar, with the institutional criminal 

18          defense providers, with probation 

19          departments.  I mean, we need to work 

20          together with all the components of the 

21          criminal justice system to solve these 

22          problems.  That's the only way to do it.

23                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  And just explain to 

24          me the role of the court system and then the 


 1          role of the other partners you just 

 2          described.


 4          It's -- we have a major role, maybe the 

 5          critical role in --

 6                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  And what is that 

 7          role?  Just sort of more specifically.


 9          Well, in the end, it's the judge that can 

10          move the case to trial.  I mean, the parties 

11          have to be ready, but if there's delay or 

12          lack of readiness, if there are excuses, in 

13          the end it's the judge that has to ensure 

14          that there's a quick resolution and an 

15          expeditious resolution of the case.

16                 So first and foremost and ultimately, 

17          the responsibility is with the court system 

18          and with judges.

19                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Let me just ask 

20          this question directly.  If court congestion 

21          didn't stop the clock, wouldn't that move 

22          trials a lot more quickly?


24          court congestion --


 1                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  If court congestion 

 2          wasn't a reason to stop the speedy trial 

 3          clock, wouldn't that move trials much more 

 4          quickly?


 6          Absolutely.

 7                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Is that something 

 8          you support?


10          that what?

11                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Something you 

12          support --


14          sure.

15                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  -- allowing the 

16          clock to run for the entire time between 

17          trial or hearing dates even if it's court 

18          congestion that's leading to the delay?


20          mean if court congestion is the reason for 

21          the delay --

22                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  The prosecutor asks 

23          for a week and gets a date three weeks hence.  

24          Is that seven days or is that 21 days?  



 2          Under the speedy trial statute?

 3                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Currently it's 

 4          seven.  If it were 21, I think that would be 

 5          the beginning of solving this problem.  I'm 

 6          asking, is that something that the courts --


 8          Look, a more effective speedy trial statute 

 9          could make a great contribution to 

10          eliminating delays in criminal cases, no 

11          question.

12                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  So it sounds like 

13          you also agree that we don't need more money 

14          before we talk about fixing speedy trial -- 

15          we should fix 30.30 and then next year we'll 

16          talk about the money that we need to make 

17          that work.  Is that the right order of 

18          operations?


20          think there are a lot of things we can do 

21          without more money.  

22                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Thank you very 

23          much.  I really appreciate it.



 1          Thank you.  

 2                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  We have been joined 

 3          by Senator Velmanette Montgomery.

 4                 Assembly?  

 5                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  We've also been 

 6          joined by Assemblywoman Duprey.

 7                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Any questions on 

 8          this side?  Oh.  Danny O'Donnell.

 9                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  Well, it's 

10          been a rough morning for me, Judge.


12          It's part of the job.

13                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  Senator 

14          Nozzolio suggested $100 million for legal 

15          services; I almost passed out.  And I agree 

16          with Al Graf, so that's really quite a 

17          morning for me.

18                 (Laughter.)

19                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  I had chosen 

20          not to speak, because I would like to go home 

21          sometime in my lifetime today, so -- but 

22          there's a couple of things I want to raise.  

23                 One is I want to say that I 

24          100 percent agree with Senator Squadron.  And 


 1          just so you know, I was a full-time public 

 2          defender from 1987 to 1995.  And at the 

 3          beginning of that time, if a DA came into the 

 4          courtroom and said, "Your Honor, my key 

 5          witness is in Florida, and I'll be ready 

 6          tomorrow," and the case was adjourned for a 

 7          month, the judge charged that whole month to 

 8          the people on the running of the clock.  

 9                 So now there's an absolute 

10          manipulation of that, where they say "But 

11          I'll be ready tomorrow," and then they 

12          adjourn the case for two months and only 

13          charge one day to the people.  With all due 

14          respect, sir, that's the judge's fault.  The 

15          judge doesn't have to do that.  The judge 

16          could say "Well, you're not ready today, 

17          you're not ready."  

18                 And in the time that I worked there, 

19          it went from when you could expect some 

20          attempt to try a case within the speedy trial 

21          limits to a point where it could never ever 

22          happen.  Which leads me to my statement about 

23          bail.

24                 We have too many people in jail 


 1          awaiting trial on bail.  So isn't it true a 

 2          judge is allowed to take into consideration, 

 3          in setting the bail, the nature of the crime?


 5          Yes.

 6                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  Aren't they 

 7          allowed to take into consideration the facts 

 8          that they're aware of about the crime?  


10          Yes.

11                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  Aren't they 

12          allowed to take into effect any history of 

13          coming or not coming to court?  


15          Absolutely.

16                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  Aren't they 

17          allowed to take into effect family ties, 

18          community ties and other things determined by 

19          the criminal justice system?  


21          You've read the statute recently, I guess.

22                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  No, I haven't, 

23          I'm just pretty smart about this.  

24                 So my question for you is, how many 


 1          people are you aware of that have been 

 2          accused of murder who have never been accused 

 3          before who get released on bail?


 5          couldn't say on that --

 6                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  I would like 

 7          someone -- one of the minions that work for 

 8          you -- to tell me what the answer to that 

 9          question is.  Because the answer, in my 

10          opinion, is almost nobody -- except if you're 

11          white and rich, but that's not your fault.  

12          Almost no one.  

13                 So if in fact almost no one is 

14          released when they're charged with murder, 

15          then what that means is in effect the system 

16          is taking into account what the risk might be 

17          to society to let them out, and we don't need 

18          to change the bail statute to give more 

19          people reasons to keep more people in jail.

20                 We need to change the bail statute so 

21          that we're not having people sit in places 

22          like Rikers island for years -- years -- 

23          before they can assert their constitutional 

24          right to the presumption of innocence.


 1                 And I think the judiciary needs to 

 2          take a better role and look at this and not 

 3          advocate for changing it to make the bail 

 4          statute even harder on people who don't have 

 5          resources.

 6                 Thank you, sir.


 8          Thank you.

 9                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.  

10                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

11                 Senator Liz Krueger.

12                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.  I also 

13          wasn't planning to ask too many questions 

14          because so many of us are here today.  

15                 But just going back to civil legal 

16          services, even though there has been the 

17          growth in money available, can you tell me 

18          how many people have to go to a court 

19          situation without an attorney in the civil 

20          system?


22          It's still about -- although there's been 

23          great improvement with that problem, there's 

24          still a great majority of the people in civil 


 1          cases who can't afford a lawyer, still don't 

 2          have a lawyer.  It's as much as 70 percent.

 3                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  And someone gave me 

 4          the number that we were at 2.3 million cases 

 5          without attorneys, and we're down to 

 6          1.8 million.  Does that seem a realistic 

 7          number to you of the number of people who 

 8          don't have attorneys for civil cases?  


10          know -- it's very difficult to kind of 

11          document this.  But I think that sounds 

12          correct, if I recall.  I know that the 

13          estimates are that over the last five, six 

14          years, the percentage of people in civil 

15          cases who can't afford an attorney who have 

16          an attorney has gone from 20 percent to 

17          30 percent, which is actually a 50 percent 

18          increase, if my math is correct.  

19                 But obviously that still leaves the 

20          great majority of people without a lawyer.  

21          So it's -- it's an ongoing problem.  This 

22          additional money has made, you know, an 

23          enormous difference in the lives of the 

24          people who do have lawyers because of it, and 


 1          it's hundreds of thousands of cases a year 

 2          where people now have lawyers because of this 

 3          money.  But it's a gargantuan problem, no 

 4          question.

 5                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  I certainly -- I 

 6          represent a part of Manhattan Island, and I 

 7          certainly can verify that the difficulty in 

 8          finding somebody -- representation in endless 

 9          numbers of civil cases for disproportionately 

10          the elderly, the disabled, tenants -- and 

11          again, the biggest issue I see in the 

12          problems here are that in a civil case where 

13          it's not you versus the government, it's you 

14          against someone, the someone else always has 

15          an attorney.  And so the unfairness of going 

16          through the court process to me seems fairly 

17          extreme.

18                 So, you know, for the record, we can't 

19          support reducing funding for civil legal 

20          services.  We have to continue our commitment 

21          that was a multiyear commitment to expanding 

22          funds for civil legal services.

23                 Thank you.



 1          Thank you.

 2                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator.

 3                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Assemblywoman 

 4          Peoples-Stokes.

 5                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN PEOPLES-STOKES:  Thank 

 6          you.  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  

 7                 Judge, I appreciated hearing all your 

 8          comments today, and I actually appreciated 

 9          hearing the questions and responses from my 

10          colleagues.  But I just have one really quick 

11          point I want to raise, and hopefully you're 

12          able to give me that number today.  And, if 

13          not, I can look forward to receiving it soon.

14                 What is the total number of staff on 

15          the Office of Court Administration?  And what 

16          is the total number of counsel on civil legal 

17          services?  And what are the diversity numbers 

18          there?


20          sorry, I don't have that with me.  But I'll 

21          absolutely get you those numbers.  We have 

22          them.  And we'll get them to you.

23                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN PEOPLES-STOKES:  The 

24          numbers and the diversity.



 2          Yes.

 3                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN PEOPLES-STOKES:  Thank 

 4          you, sir.

 5                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

 6                 Senator Marty Golden.

 7                 SENATOR GOLDEN:  Thank you very much, 

 8          Madam Chair.  

 9                 I have to believe judges should have 

10          the discretion to set bail and the ability of 

11          the defendant to return to court and also set 

12          the risk assessment of the violence.  And I 

13          think you're doing an outstanding job.  And I 

14          do believe that we have to help you correct 

15          the imbalance in the system in putting more 

16          dollars made available so we can have more 

17          judges and more employees to be able to move 

18          these cases through the system.

19                 Real quick question.  I'm also the 

20          chair of the Public Employees, and I had them 

21          up in my office about a month ago.  And I 

22          thought I heard 14 percent they're down, and 

23          that's different from the number that you've 

24          given.


 1                 The court officers across the State of 

 2          New York are 14 percent off from where they 

 3          were in 2009?


 5          That -- could you repeat that?  I'm sorry.

 6                 SENATOR GOLDEN:  The number of court 

 7          officers presently are down 14 percent from 

 8          the number in 2009 that I have.


10          It's 6 percent.  But depending on who came to 

11          you, they might have been talking about a 

12          particular court or type of court.

13                 SENATOR GOLDEN:  That was statewide.


15          Statewide it's 6 percent.  I'll show you the 

16          numbers.

17                 SENATOR GOLDEN:  If you could get 

18          those numbers for me, I'd appreciate it.


20          will.

21                 SENATOR GOLDEN:  Thank you, 

22          Your Honor.


24          Thank you.  


 1                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator.

 2                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  That's it.

 3                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.  Senator 

 4          Velmanette Montgomery.

 5                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Thank you, Madam 

 6          Chair.  

 7                 Judge, good morning.


 9          Good morning.

10                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  I just have one 

11          question that I would like to ask.  You are 

12          familiar with the Center for Court 

13          Innovation?


15          Yes.

16                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  And one of the 

17          issues or one of the sort of experimental, if 

18          you will, I guess we can say, courts that 

19          they have come up with and have been actually 

20          put into action by -- under the auspices of 

21          Chief Justices Kaye and Lippman, and I hope 

22          that we're looking to make that a permanent 

23          and central part of our court system, and 

24          that is the youth courts.


 1                 So I'm not -- I'm not -- I don't 

 2          understand and I don't know how you view 

 3          that.  It has worked so beautifully in one of 

 4          the community courts in my district.  And all 

 5          of the information that I have in those areas 

 6          other than the Red Hook Youth Court, which is 

 7          in my district, have really benefited young 

 8          people extremely well.  

 9                 It's also an opportunity to teach 

10          young people how the system works, to give 

11          them an opportunity to develop some skill and 

12          some understanding of the system because they 

13          play the roles of all of the different 

14          components of the court.  And so it keeps 

15          young people out of the system, but it also 

16          acts as an extremely important leadership 

17          development program.  

18                 So I'm wondering what you think about 

19          it and if we can look forward to continuing 

20          to support that court and make it more 

21          central to what we do as it relates to young 

22          people in our state.


24          Yeah, the youth courts are terrific.  And, 


 1          you know, we have them in Brooklyn, we have 

 2          them in places all over the state.  They're 

 3          supported by defense attorneys offices where 

 4          we have them.  And, you know, they're a 

 5          terrific idea.  You find them in other states 

 6          around the country, not just New York.  And 

 7          we're totally committed to continuing to 

 8          support them.

 9                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Thank you.

10                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator.

11                 Senator Michael Nozzolio.

12                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you again, 

13          Madam Chair.  

14                 Judge, coming to the issue of bail, 

15          that Judge Lippman drafted a bill but because 

16          Judge Lippman is not a member of the 

17          Legislature, I as chair of the Codes 

18          Committee, as a professional courtesy, 

19          introduced his legislation.  It's been 

20          pending before the Codes Committee for a 

21          number of months.  

22                 And I'd like to have your reaction to 

23          a comment made that says the reform of the 

24          so-called broken jail system, Judge Lippman's 


 1          bill, insults judges, overlooks that bail 

 2          review is available presently, fails to 

 3          provide a complete record of bail release 

 4          decisions, and intrudes on the judiciary's 

 5          independence.

 6                 Now, that's not by a member of the 

 7          Legislature, that's by a co-Supreme Court 

 8          judge, Judge McLaughlin in the City of 

 9          New York, who indicated that these provisions 

10          would establish what he called a two-tier 

11          system of justice where you'd see an 

12          automatic judicial review triggered when a 

13          defendant is unable to make bail.  

14                 Now, that means, to me, that we'd have 

15          50,000 appeals automatically.  And you were 

16          talking about clogging the system earlier, 

17          the demands on the budget.  Certainly I know 

18          those have to be weighed.  We're seeking 

19          justice here.  But from a logistical 

20          standpoint -- and I think it would be very 

21          fair for you to be able to comment publicly 

22          on Judge McLaughlin's public opposition to 

23          the legislation.



 1          Well, I have to say I strongly disagree with 

 2          that assessment of that program.  Fifty 

 3          thousand cases, it's just -- that's just not 

 4          true.

 5                 It's a misdemeanor program.  It takes 

 6          advantage of an existing statutory provision 

 7          in the law which gives a Supreme Court judge 

 8          de novo review -- authority, on the 

 9          application of a defendant, to conduct a de 

10          novo review, a full review of a lower court's 

11          bail ruling.

12                 We've simply set up a part in Supreme 

13          Court to allow for that, if the defendant 

14          makes an application, to have the case 

15          calendared in the Supreme Court part.  It's 

16          not a lot of cases.  It's limited to 

17          low-level cases.  It's not insulting to 

18          judges at all.  Judges -- you know, judges -- 

19          bail is set in the arraignment parts where 

20          the volume is enormous.  There's strict 

21          constitutional and statutory time limits on 

22          how quickly cases have to be arraigned.

23                 In the arraignment part, it quickly 

24          follows the arrest.  The defense lawyer 


 1          doesn't really know much about the defendant 

 2          at that point.  The prosecutor doesn't know 

 3          much about the defendant.  The judge 

 4          certainly doesn't know much about the 

 5          defendant.  And the process that was put in 

 6          place is merely to give an option to the 

 7          defendant to make an application later on to 

 8          a Supreme Court judge where there will be 

 9          more time to evaluate the case, there will be 

10          more information at that point.  

11                 And there's nothing insulting to 

12          judges about this at all.  It's a fairer 

13          process that's been put in place that's 

14          entirely consistent with what the law now 

15          authorizes.

16                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Nonetheless, Judge 

17          McLaughlin felt pretty insulted by this.  And 

18          I -- certainly opinion differs.  And that 

19          we'll look to you for further explanation of 

20          this from your vantage as a judge 

21          experienced.

22                 It seems as though, just on its 

23          surface, that any defense counsel would be 

24          tiptoeing around malpractice if they didn't 


 1          seek an automatic appeal under this 

 2          provision.  And to me, that begs the question 

 3          in the real world, wouldn't they be doubly 

 4          encouraged to pursue extrajudicial review?


 6          Well, that's an interesting point.  

 7                 But, you know, this is in place now.  

 8          It's not -- it's been implemented.  And the 

 9          experience of the last couple of months since 

10          it was implemented is completely to the 

11          contrary.  There have been very few 

12          applications made to the Supreme Court judge.  

13          Actually, surprisingly few.  

14                 So it hasn't opened the floodgates.  

15          Any suggestion that it would, that hasn't 

16          turned out to be the case at all.

17                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you for your 

18          insights.


20          Sure.

21                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you, Madam 

22          Chair.

23                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator.

24                 Senator Tom Croci.


 1                 SENATOR CROCI:  Thank you, Madam 

 2          Chair.  

 3                 Thank you, Judge, for your appearance 

 4          here today.  

 5                 I represent the Third Senate District, 

 6          which includes the Central Islip Court 

 7          Complex on Long Island, which as you know is 

 8          collocated with a federal courthouse as well.

 9                 Some of my concerns come out of a 

10          recent visit there where there is long lines 

11          outside of the courthouse.  In light of 

12          what's happened in San Bernardino and other 

13          places, it comes to our attention that having 

14          long lines of civilians standing outside of 

15          federal buildings, state, county, town 

16          government buildings, is probably not a good 

17          idea.

18                 Recognizing that some of the staffing 

19          levels the court officers are contending with 

20          lead to some of these long lines, and also 

21          recognizing that on Long Island our law 

22          enforcement has stepped up their approaches 

23          to combating the heroin and opioid epidemic 

24          on Long Island, we're seeing more individuals 


 1          who are incarcerated for those crimes and who 

 2          are going through the court system.  

 3                 So I have two concerns.  One is the 

 4          lines and the security situation that it 

 5          presents.  And then two is inside the 

 6          courthouse, we've had instances where rival 

 7          drug gangs are actually having altercations, 

 8          and the staffing levels, it seems to me, 

 9          we're spreading them pretty thin.  

10                 So I was wondering if you could 

11          address that in your remarks.  Thank you.  


13          Well, I mean it's a good point that you 

14          raise.  You know, lines outside the 

15          courthouse aren't good because, as you say, 

16          they can create public safety concerns.

17                 But it's also unfair to the people who 

18          have to wait on line.  Weather can be 

19          inclement, and we don't want people waiting 

20          in lines to get into courthouses.  It can be 

21          a problem.  You know, I recognize that.  

22                 And it again goes back to staffing 

23          shortages and, you know, not enough court 

24          officers in the lobbies at the magnetometers, 


 1          you know, moving people through the screening 

 2          and, you know, getting them through that so 

 3          they can go up to attend to their court 

 4          business.  So, I mean, it's a problem.  We 

 5          have to do a better job to avoid lines, I 

 6          agree with that.

 7                 The -- what was the second issue?

 8                 SENATOR CROCI:  Talking about actually 

 9          responding within the courthouse when you 

10          have individuals who are involved in 

11          drug-related offenses.


13          do have a process in place that we are -- our 

14          court officers in our public safety 

15          department try to be aware of when a case 

16          comes in, if there's some gang connection.  

17          And when we know about that -- and, you know, 

18          often we do know that, if not always, but 

19          usually we will know that -- that there's 

20          some gang connection to a particular case, we 

21          will deploy more officers where they need to 

22          be deployed when that case is called in the 

23          courthouse.

24                 So it's something we are aware of and 


 1          have tried to address.

 2                 SENATOR CROCI:  And one follow-up.  

 3          Are court officers instructed in the use and 

 4          administration of Narcan?


 6          sorry?

 7                 SENATOR CROCI:  I said, are court 

 8          officers instructed in the administration of 

 9          Narcan, the anti-heroin overdose drug?


11          believe so, but I'll to check that for you.  

12          I'm not sure.

13                 SENATOR CROCI:  Thank you.


15          Thank you.

16                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

17                 Thank you very much for your testimony 

18          today.


20          Thank you.

21                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  We truly appreciate 

22          it.  Look forward to continuing to work with 

23          you.  So thank you.



 1          Thanks so much.

 2                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

 3                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Our next speaker is 

 4          Commissioner John P. Melville, commissioner, 

 5          New York State Division of Homeland Security.

 6                 (Pause.)

 7                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  If we could have 

 8          some order, please.  We need to get underway.  

 9          We have a long, long list of speakers.

10                 Welcome, Commissioner.  

11                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Thank you, 

12          Senator.

13                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Proceed.

14                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Thank you.

15                 Good morning.  Thank you, Chairwoman 

16          Young, Chairman Farrell, and distinguished 

17          members of the Joint Committee.  I am John 

18          Melville, commissioner of the Division of 

19          Homeland Security and Emergency Services.

20                 I appreciate the opportunity to 

21          discuss with you today some of the good work 

22          of the agency over the past year as well as a 

23          few of the highlights of Governor Cuomo's 

24          public safety budget.  


 1                 The division is charged with an 

 2          enormous responsibility, which includes an 

 3          all-hazards prevention, preparedness, 

 4          response and recovery mission.  The 

 5          Governor's budget provides the resources 

 6          needed to accomplish our mission and protect 

 7          public safety.  Total appropriations are 

 8          $1.5 billion, up $583 million over last year. 

 9          Six hundred million dollars is added in the 

10          event of future disaster.  A reduction of 

11          $3.2 million in one-time appropriations for 

12          citizen preparedness, reduced need for 

13          capital financing in the amount of 

14          $15 million, and the addition of $1.3 million 

15          for an expanded counterterrorism program, all 

16          contribute to the change.  

17                 Unfortunately, this past year our 

18          nation witnessed an increase in the number of 

19          terrorist attacks and plots -- three here in 

20          New York alone.  The most recent example was 

21          the New Year's Eve Rochester arrest, which 

22          ultimately proved to be an intelligence and 

23          operational success.  

24                 In December, Governor Cuomo stated 


 1          that the threat of terrorism is a "new 

 2          normal" for Americans.  Unfortunately, I have 

 3          to agree.  

 4                 Let me discuss some of the efforts we 

 5          are undertaking to ensure the safety of 

 6          New Yorkers from Montauk to Buffalo.  This 

 7          past year, the Governor launched the "See 

 8          Something, Send Something" mobile application 

 9          so that people can report suspicious 

10          activities.  To date, it has been downloaded 

11          over 40,000 times.  

12                 In addition to community-level 

13          awareness, we have to arm our first 

14          responders with the intelligence information 

15          they need to keep pace with emerging 

16          terrorism trends.  The Governor outlined a 

17          plan to consolidate the division's 

18          intelligence and analysis function into the 

19          New York State Police to continue their work 

20          at the New York State Intelligence Center, 

21          which serves all law enforcement and public 

22          safety agencies throughout the state.  This 

23          will allow the division, as a primary 

24          consumer of the intelligence, to focus on key 


 1          preparedness activities, and will be used to 

 2          inform our decision-making in the areas of 

 3          grant funding, the homeland security strategy 

 4          and target hardening.  

 5                 Ultimately, the collective goal is to 

 6          provide quick and actionable intelligence to 

 7          our local law enforcement and public safety 

 8          partners who, along with vigilant private 

 9          citizens, truly are the first line of 

10          defense.  

11                 The Governor also proposes 

12          $1.3 million in funding to drastically 

13          increase the number of vulnerability 

14          assessments -- or, as we term them, "Red Team 

15          exercises" -- the division will execute 

16          across the state.  

17                 In conjunction with Operation 

18          Safeguard activities and our "See Something" 

19          campaigns, we want to increase the state's 

20          collective detection capacity of tactics that 

21          may be used by terrorists in preoperational 

22          planning.  

23                 The division's Red Team will then 

24          test, through a series of adversary-based 


 1          assessments, to determine the success of the 

 2          preparedness strategy.  As a target-rich 

 3          state, New York continues to rely on federal 

 4          homeland security funding.  

 5                 In 2015, New York State received over 

 6          $262 million from the Homeland Security Grant 

 7          Program, which has been used in communities 

 8          throughout the state to prevent, protect and 

 9          prepare for terrorism and other catastrophic 

10          events.  

11                 The division continues to advance the 

12          state's preparedness posture for all hazards, 

13          including natural disasters.  Last August, 

14          the Governor announced a new incident 

15          management system called "NY Responds" to 

16          establish a uniform electronic system to be 

17          used throughout the state and by all 

18          counties.  We completed the first phase of 

19          the transition in December, with a full 

20          implementation expected to be completed this 

21          year.  

22                 We also continue our recovery work, 

23          which includes the reimbursement of over 

24          $5 billion to New York communities for Sandy, 


 1          Irene and Lee rebuilding and resiliency 

 2          projects.  

 3                 Last year the Governor announced the 

 4          first-in-the-nation College of Emergency 

 5          Preparedness, Homeland Security and 

 6          Cybersecurity at the University at Albany.  

 7          To date, 159 students have enrolled in the 

 8          college's minor program and, by fall of this 

 9          year, the major program should be available 

10          as an official offering.  

11                 The college also leverages the network 

12          of resources of the State Preparedness 

13          Training Center in Oriskany for 

14          out-of-classroom, hands-on training.  The 

15          SPTC is quickly being recognized as a 

16          world-class facility.  

17                 The U.S. Departments of Defense and 

18          Justice chose the SPTC to host the annual 

19          Raven's Challenge, which is an 

20          interoperability exercise to test the 

21          capabilities of bomb squads and military 

22          explosive ordnance disposal units.  It was 

23          such a success that, this May, New York will 

24          once again host the Raven's Challenge at the 


 1          SPTC.  

 2                 Moving to citizen preparedness 

 3          training, in conjunction with the National 

 4          Guard, the Red Cross and together with our 

 5          partners in the Legislature, we have been 

 6          able to train over 95,000 new people.  

 7                 Last year the Governor announced that 

 8          the Office of Fire Prevention and Control 

 9          would be deploying 19 trailers equipped with 

10          firefighting foam to local fire departments 

11          and county hazmat teams.  Prepositioning this 

12          equipment ensures the state is well-prepared 

13          to confront fires caused by crude oil and 

14          other highly flammable substances.  

15                 Finally, the division's Office of 

16          Interoperable and Emergency Communications is 

17          modifying its approach to the state's 

18          interoperable communications grant 

19          distribution strategy.  This year there will 

20          be two separate programs:  One will include a 

21          formula-based distribution, and the second 

22          includes a targeted distribution of 

23          $20 million towards statewide 

24          interoperability.  


 1                 While not possible to cover all the 

 2          great work of the division during my 

 3          testimony today, I hope that I have provided 

 4          you with an idea of the priorities for the 

 5          Division of Homeland Security and Emergency 

 6          Services into the next fiscal year.  These 

 7          include strengthening response integration 

 8          and coordination, intelligence-driven target 

 9          hardening, training, and thoughtful 

10          investments of state grants to bolster the 

11          state's preparedness and response posture.  

12                 I appreciate the opportunity to be 

13          here and appear before you today, and I am 

14          pleased to answer any questions you may have.

15                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, 

16          Commissioner, for that testimony.  Protecting 

17          our communities and our citizens is job one 

18          for New York State government, and there's an 

19          intense interest in what you have to say 

20          today by the Senate.

21                 At this time I would like to introduce 

22          our chair of the Homeland Security, Veterans 

23          and Military Affairs Committee, and that's 

24          Senator Tom Croci.


 1                 SENATOR CROCI:  Thank you, Madam 

 2          Chair.  

 3                 And thank you, Commissioner, for your 

 4          appearance today.  It's been a great 

 5          privilege to have the opportunity to work 

 6          with you and the staff over the past year.

 7                 One of the things I'd like to 

 8          compliment you on is your investment in the 

 9          prevention and preparedness for the State of 

10          New York.  I think that was best seen in he 

11          recent blizzard that we had downstate.  

12          Pre-staging of assets certainly saved a lot 

13          of time in responding when the storm finally 

14          stopped, and I think that it's partly due or 

15          in large part the amount of snow that was 

16          able to be moved was because of that 

17          investment in prevention and preparedness.

18                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Thank you, 

19          sir.

20                 SENATOR CROCI:  I listened with 

21          interest to your testimony, and of course 

22          we've had conversations about some of the 

23          proposals in the budget.  In talking about 

24          the Article VII language in Part D of the 


 1          ELFA budget bill, you mentioned in your 

 2          testimony that the transfer of certain 

 3          assets, human assets in this case, would 

 4          focus on key preparedness activities, will be 

 5          used to inform our decision-making in certain 

 6          areas. 

 7                 So I'm wondering, with respect to that 

 8          transfer of personnel to State Police, what 

 9          if any counterterrorism functions does the 

10          Division of Homeland Security retain in that 

11          transfer?

12                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Thank you, 

13          Senator.  We propose to transfer 10 people, 

14          or 10 positions, from our intel and analysis 

15          section in the Division of Homeland Security 

16          and Emergency Services to the State Police.  

17                 That transfer sounds a little more 

18          ominous than it really is.  In actuality, 

19          those people will probably be sitting in the 

20          same seats they sit in now.  They work at the 

21          New York State Intelligence Center with the 

22          State Police.  They are supervised not only 

23          by us, but by the State Police.  And what we 

24          plan to do is just streamline the chain of 


 1          command with the analysts so the information 

 2          can get right to the people that it needs to 

 3          right away.  

 4                 I need it; I still will get it.  But I 

 5          am not operational as the State Police are.  

 6          They get that information right out to the 

 7          people on the ground that need it first.  I 

 8          will still get it.

 9                 As far as maintaining duties with 

10          respect to the Office of Counterterrorism, we 

11          have a critical infrastructure team that 

12          we're very proud of.  They do inspections all 

13          around the state, some legislated, some not.  

14          We are proposing a significant increase in 

15          our Red Team exercises that we will be 

16          conducting throughout all the 

17          counterterrorism zones in New York State, 

18          which there are 16 of them.  

19                 We have our training center at 

20          Oriskany, which we run.  It's first responder 

21          training for not only police but fire, EMS, 

22          emergency managers, and it's very 

23          counterterrorism-based. 

24                 So in actuality, our core mission will 


 1          remain the same, Senator.  We will still be 

 2          receiving that intelligence information.  I 

 3          still will remain the homeland security 

 4          advisor to the Governor.  I will report to 

 5          the legislature.  And I am still the point of 

 6          contact for the Department of Homeland 

 7          Security of the federal government.

 8                 SENATOR CROCI:  So you mentioned that 

 9          you'll still receive the information 

10          regardless of where these analysts are 

11          positioned and where they're sitting.  That's 

12          not clear statutorily in the budget.  I guess 

13          we would have to statutorily amend the 

14          article in order so that you receive that 

15          information?  Because otherwise how would 

16          that information flow from the State Police 

17          now up to you?

18                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Well, the 

19          analysts will actually physically be 

20          supervised by the State Police in this 

21          proposal.  

22                 I will still be a consumer of that 

23          intelligence information.  As a matter of 

24          fact, we recently took on a director in the 


 1          Office of Counterterrorism in the Division of 

 2          Homeland Security and Emergency Services.  

 3          His name is Mike Cerretto.  He's very 

 4          qualified, well respected, a 30-year member 

 5          of law enforcement.  And he is actually still 

 6          a member of the New York State Police even 

 7          though he has been detailed to the Division 

 8          of Homeland Security and Emergency Services 

 9          and in actuality works for us now.  So Mike's 

10          still being -- Director Cerretto's still 

11          being a member of the New York State Police 

12          will ensure that we receive that information, 

13          as I have no doubt.

14                 SENATOR CROCI:  So hypothetically we 

15          have a new -- someday we have a new 

16          commissioner, we have a new director and 

17          another governor, maybe a Republican 

18          governor, so the relationships will change.  

19          How do we ensure that that information flow 

20          remains the same regardless of those 

21          relationships?

22                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Well, the 

23          analysts will be at the NYSIC, working for 

24          the New York State Police.  The NYSIC is the 


 1          fusion center for all of New York, all of our 

 2          law enforcement partners.  It's federally 

 3          funded, and the mandate to the New York State 

 4          Police, who runs the NYSIC, is to share that 

 5          information with everybody.

 6                 I fortunately have the unique 

 7          distinction of having worked in the New York 

 8          State Police for 32 years before I became the 

 9          commissioner in the Division of Homeland 

10          Security.  I have the utmost respect and 

11          confidence, I know how the organization 

12          works, and its main goal, main mission, main 

13          function is to push that intel out to the 

14          people that need it.  It will not be 

15          stovepiped.

16                 SENATOR CROCI:  But there's nothing 

17          that's going to be in statute to ensure that.  

18          It's because we have great relationships, 

19          very qualified individuals in yourself and 

20          your new director, no doubt about that.  But 

21          there's no formal pipeline that's laid out in 

22          statute.  Is that your understanding?  

23                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  I believe, 

24          Senator, that the fact that it is New York 


 1          State's fusion center, funded by the 

 2          Department of Homeland Security, they are 

 3          mandated to share that information with 

 4          everyone.

 5                 SENATOR CROCI:  Okay.  Obviously 

 6          you've had a very distinguished career.  And 

 7          again, it's been a great privilege to work 

 8          with you and get to know you personally.

 9                 In your professional opinion -- and 

10          you better than anyone personally dealt with 

11          the attacks of September 11th, as did so many 

12          in this room and so many in our state -- do 

13          you believe that we're doing everything we 

14          can as New Yorkers, as the State of New York, 

15          to protect us, to protect our residents?

16                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  I do, Senator.  

17          Unfortunately, the threat remains to New York 

18          State.  New York State is certainly a target.  

19          I believe we certainly put our resources into 

20          every effort that we can to keep New Yorkers 

21          safe.  That is our main function, is 

22          emergency preparedness, training, response 

23          coordination, recovery.  I think that we have 

24          what we need to do that, and we do do it.  


 1          And we do it very well.

 2                 SENATOR CROCI:  So one concern, in 

 3          looking at the proposal, is that information 

 4          flow, and to ensure that not only the 

 5          individuals charged with the counterterrorism 

 6          mission in the state in the executive branch, 

 7          at the higher levels, who are advising the 

 8          Governor on these matters, are receiving the 

 9          latest and the best intelligence and the most 

10          timely intelligence that they possibly can.

11                 The National Security Act and the way 

12          the National Security Councils have been set 

13          up is there just for that reason, so that the 

14          decisionmakers, the policymakers are 

15          receiving that information on which to make 

16          good legislative decisions and good executive 

17          actions.  So I'm looking forward to working 

18          with staff and finding a way that we can 

19          accomplish this and ensure that regardless of 

20          who sits in our chairs -- my chair, your 

21          chair, or your very experienced and diligent 

22          staff -- we want to make sure that that 

23          information flow happens regardless of 

24          personality, regardless of relationship.  The 


 1          process piece I think is something we need to 

 2          continue to work on.  

 3                 And with regard to your training 

 4          center, I think I've mentioned that one of 

 5          the key lessons from the 9/11 Commission 

 6          report, and certainly something we've learned 

 7          locally in the wake of Superstorm Sandy and 

 8          recent weather events, is that we should 

 9          train the way we fight.  So on the ground in 

10          response and recovery operations, 

11          preparedness as well, we should train at the 

12          local level the first responders who actually 

13          will be responding to those disasters, 

14          whether it's New York City or Buffalo or 

15          Suffolk and Nassau counties.

16                 While it's great that we have these 

17          statewide investments in the training 

18          centers, I hope we can work with the 

19          Executive and with your department to make 

20          sure that we're pushing some of that training 

21          and those training dollars down to the local 

22          level -- to the cities, to the counties -- 

23          who are asking us for that, to bring fire, 

24          law enforcement, police, your first 


 1          responders, your ambulance companies, bring 

 2          them together for realistic training at the 

 3          local level, because in the event of a 

 4          catastrophic attack or weather event, they're 

 5          going to be responding together.  

 6                 And going back to that personality 

 7          issue, it's great that those personalities 

 8          know each other before they're responding, as 

 9          I'm sure you could attest to in your 

10          distinguished career.  I think it's very 

11          important, and I hope to work with the staff 

12          and your division to ensure that that occurs.

13                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  I look forward 

14          to that, Senator.

15                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Assembly, thank you.

16                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

17                 Assemblywoman Peoples-Stokes.

18                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN PEOPLES-STOKES:  Thank 

19          you, Mr. Chairman.

20                 And thank you, Mr. Melville, for your 

21          testimony this morning.  I would join my 

22          other colleagues who have already expressed 

23          how the number-one issue for everyone who 

24          lives and represents this government is that 


 1          our citizens must be safe.  And we do realize 

 2          that we live in a difficult time.  And so 

 3          your due diligence to make sure that we are 

 4          safe is very much appreciated.

 5                 I did want to just really comment on 

 6          the citizen preparedness.  I have had a few 

 7          of them in the district, and they've been 

 8          located in different places and different 

 9          citizens have attended it, and they have very 

10          much appreciated that.  So while, you know, 

11          our first responders are highly skilled and 

12          trained, I think it's also important to -- 

13          for the average citizen to understand what 

14          should you do in case of some disaster.  So 

15          thank you for that. 

16                 I understand from looking at the 

17          budget that there's $14 million in additional 

18          dollars for counterterrorism in New York City 

19          by the State Police, and an additional 

20          $23 million by the National Guard for 

21          New York City.  And so I guess my question is 

22          clearly New York City, having been targeted 

23          before, and the seat of finance is in our 

24          state -- and quite frankly, the seats of 


 1          finance in the world should be protected.  

 2          But I'm just wondering how far will, you 

 3          know, these dollars be able to go to protect 

 4          other parts of the state?  I did hear your 

 5          comments about Rochester.  And as you know, 

 6          I'm located very close to that, so we were 

 7          paying attention to that issue.  But we are a 

 8          state that borders Canada, 15 minutes if 

 9          you're in Buffalo, and closer in some other 

10          places.

11                 And so I wondered could you speak a 

12          little bit about why all those dollars are 

13          being designated -- excess dollars are being 

14          designated to New York City?

15                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Sure, 

16          Assemblywoman.  Thank you for your comments 

17          about the citizen preparedness; we're very 

18          proud of that training effort.

19                 We fund -- we, being the Division of 

20          Homeland Security and Emergency Services, 

21          fund every county in the state through our 

22          State Homeland Security Grant program.  We 

23          also fund different areas across the state 

24          through our targeted grant programs and other 


 1          grants that we administer.  There's also a 

 2          UASI federal grant that a lot of money goes 

 3          to New York City, Long Island, Westchester.  

 4          That is a decision that is made by the 

 5          federal government with respect to where 

 6          UASI -- it stands for Urban Area Security 

 7          Initiative -- where they are.  We don't 

 8          decide that, the federal government does.

 9                 I believe -- and I really can't speak 

10          to the National Guard budget items or the 

11          State Police.  But I would suspect that that 

12          money is probably going to be used to 

13          continue the Governor's initiative of putting 

14          troopers and National Guard soldiers in the 

15          very important transportation hubs in and 

16          around New York City, whether it be Grand 

17          Central, Penn Station or those types of -- 

18          but that's -- probably that can be better 

19          answered by either the superintendent or 

20          General Murphy.

21                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN PEOPLES-STOKES:  Okay.  

22          Well, I was very excited about the 

23          announcement of the cybersecurity curriculum 

24          at UAlbany.  And I note from your comments 


 1          that there are some 159 students that have 

 2          availed themselves of that opportunity.  That 

 3          might seem like a large number now, but it's 

 4          really not, particularly with the increasing 

 5          rates of people being hurt, average citizens 

 6          being hurt by people abusing the internet.  

 7          Not to withstand what could happen from a 

 8          violent perspective, but from a consumer 

 9          perspective, it's a huge issue.

10                 And so is there any thought by your 

11          agency -- or I guess I can also ask this 

12          question of Nancy Zimpher from SUNY as well, 

13          and CUNY -- if there's any thought about 

14          expanding this curriculum to other colleges 

15          and universities throughout the state.

16                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  I can't answer 

17          that, Assemblywoman.  I don't know.  I can 

18          tell you that the college originally was 

19          hoping for 50 students to sign up for the 

20          minor; they got 159.  The major will 

21          hopefully be available this fall.  

22                 We're excited at the Division of 

23          Homeland Security and Emergency Services 

24          about the college because it will prepare 


 1          professionals that we can utilize in our 

 2          field.  We're looking forward to that.

 3                 We're also excited about it because 

 4          the SPTC, the training center in Oriskany, 

 5          will be the out-of-classroom training spot 

 6          for the students who attend the State 

 7          University of New York at Albany College of 

 8          Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness 

 9          and Cybersecurity.  So we're happy to 

10          showcase that, and we hope the students find 

11          that that is a world-class facility.

12                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN PEOPLES-STOKES:  Thank 

13          you.

14                 I recently had the opportunity to 

15          speak to some veterans in the state of 

16          Florida who -- where they've established a 

17          program specifically to train veterans in 

18          cybersecurity.  So I'd like to connect with 

19          you real soon, perhaps late next week, and 

20          have an additional conversation about that 

21          end of it.  Thank you.  

22                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Perfect.  

23          Thank you, Assemblywoman.

24                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.


 1                 Senator?

 2                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.

 3                 Next, Senator Joe Addabbo, ranker on 

 4          the committee.

 5                 SENATOR ADDABBO:  Thank you, Madam 

 6          Chair, and thank you, Commissioner, for being 

 7          here today.

 8                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Thank you.

 9                 SENATOR ADDABBO:  And let me echo the 

10          sentiments of my colleagues:  The daunting 

11          task of protecting the roughly 20 million 

12          people in New York State, I want to again 

13          thank you very much for your efforts on that 

14          of the division.  

15                 I think the critical movement of the 

16          services to New York State Police is a major 

17          move, certainly for, again, protection of our 

18          people.  I'd like to know the further 

19          details, if I may.  I need to convince, as we 

20          all do, our constituency that this is a more 

21          efficient move for the protection of our 

22          people.  

23                 Briefly, how do we convince our 

24          residents that this is a more efficient move 


 1          as we look to secure, again, the people of 

 2          our state?

 3                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Sure, Senator. 

 4          And, you know, I've been in this position for 

 5          a little over a year and have had the 

 6          opportunity to look at the agency as a whole 

 7          and all the different missions that we were 

 8          charged with.  And the counterterrorism 

 9          mission is certainly at the forefront of all 

10          of those.

11                 So we constantly evaluate how we do 

12          things and why we do things and, you know, 

13          can we do them better.  And during the course 

14          of this past year I've had several 

15          conversations with members of my staff as 

16          well as the State Police, and eventually Ray 

17          Kelly, the former commissioner in New York 

18          City, who was asked by the Governor to review 

19          the counterterrorism efforts of all the state 

20          agencies.  After that year of review, my 

21          discussions with the superintendent and other 

22          public safety partners, and Commissioner 

23          Kelly, we all agreed that we thought that 

24          this was a smart move.  


 1                 What it really does is just defines 

 2          the line of communication and the chain of 

 3          command a little bit clearer.  As I said, 

 4          those people work in the NYSIC.  They're very 

 5          talented, I'm very proud of them.  They're 

 6          literally probably not going to change their 

 7          seat at their desk, it's just that the line 

 8          of authority will be right to the 

 9          State Police, it will get to the people that 

10          need that information instantaneously.

11                 I use that information to pass out to 

12          constituents across the state, but I don't 

13          need that actionable intelligence as fast as 

14          they do.  I can set the state homeland 

15          security strategy the next day, depending on 

16          the intel; they need it right then and there 

17          to push out.  And that's really the reason, 

18          it's just to try and streamline the chain of 

19          command and make things work better, faster, 

20          safer for the public.

21                 SENATOR ADDABBO:  We've seen obviously 

22          the importance of information-gathering.  

23          Rochester you mentioned earlier as well in 

24          your testimony.  So getting that information 


 1          quicker certainly makes it more efficient.  

 2          And I look forward to working with you and 

 3          furthering obviously this critical change.

 4                 But that being said, with the change 

 5          going, with services to the New York State 

 6          Police, the terror alert system, the New York 

 7          State Police will then have the authority to 

 8          use the terror alert system?  It would be 

 9          under their jurisdiction at that point?

10                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Well, we're 

11          not giving up any authority in the Division 

12          of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.  

13          As I said, Senator, I remain the state 

14          homeland security advisor, the point of 

15          contact from the federal government and to 

16          the Governor and to the Legislature.  So that 

17          will -- inasmuch as it does now, it will 

18          remain with us.

19                 SENATOR ADDABBO:  So basically there 

20          is some sense of shared responsibilities 

21          here.

22                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Yes.  We still 

23          are maintaining our core mission, which is -- 

24          much of that is counterterrorism.  This is 


 1          just a small piece, albeit a very important 

 2          piece of it.

 3                 SENATOR ADDABBO:  The restoration of 

 4          $600 million to now get the total to 

 5          $1.2 billion for disaster assistance locally, 

 6          can we talk about possibly how the plan is to 

 7          spend that money?

 8                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  That money, 

 9          Senator, the $600 million, is just an 

10          appropriation.  It gives us the authority to 

11          spend that if we have to.  That's really to 

12          be used for future disasters.  Hopefully we 

13          don't have to spend it, but it's there in 

14          case we need to.

15                 SENATOR ADDABBO:  I would be remiss if 

16          I didn't say thank you.  A third of my 

17          district was affected by Sandy.  You know, 

18          the areas of Howard Beach, Broad Channel, 

19          Rockaway.  I still have roughly over 4,000 

20          people still on the road to recovery three 

21          years after the storm.  So again, I want to 

22          say thank you.

23                 There has been, again, monies for 

24          Sandy.  Can you detail or explain those 


 1          additional monies for Sandy recovery?

 2                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Sure.  We have 

 3          funneled more than $5 billion in recovery 

 4          money to the victims of Superstorm Sandy, 

 5          Irene and Lee.  We've also funneled 

 6          approximately $1.4 billion through these what 

 7          we call HMGP grants, which are Hazard 

 8          Mitigation Grant Programs.  

 9                 The Hazard Mitigation Grant program 

10          money that has been used in your district, 

11          Senator, has basically been used for big 

12          projects that would benefit whole 

13          communities.  The individual homeowner would 

14          not really be covered through us under that.  

15          That would be under a different funding 

16          stream, a HUD funding stream, CDBG money that 

17          comes under a different -- the Office of 

18          Storm Recovery.  So if those people in your 

19          district are struggling, we'd be happy to 

20          talk about that and to help them in any way 

21          we can, but we don't really control that 

22          funding.

23                 SENATOR ADDABBO:  No, and again, I 

24          understand.  I just want to thank the efforts 


 1          of all those associated with New York Rising, 

 2          and working with HUD and their requirements.  

 3          But -- and certainly helping not only my 

 4          constituents, but those throughout the state 

 5          who are still, again, recovering from 

 6          Superstorm Sandy.

 7                 And lastly, you had mentioned in your 

 8          testimony the "See Something" app, 40,000 

 9          downloads.  Can you just walk us through the 

10          process of somebody downloading that app and 

11          the information that you may receive and how 

12          it goes forward after that?

13                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Sure.  Happy 

14          to.  It's a free app.  Any cellphone, you 

15          Google it, you'll find it, you can download 

16          it.

17                 And what it allows you to do is take a 

18          picture of whatever you might term 

19          suspicious.  You can add a text to it and 

20          send it along, or you can just send the 

21          picture.  And what it does is it goes to the 

22          New York State Intelligence Center, where it 

23          is then reviewed and evaluated by members at 

24          the center, and it is pushed out to -- the 


 1          way we handle -- or the way the State Police 

 2          in the NYSIC now, it's pushed out to the 

 3          Joint Terrorism Task Force in the particular 

 4          area that it might have been sent from.  They 

 5          have the right of first refusal per se.  And 

 6          if they don't feel it's appropriate for them 

 7          to adopt the case, it will go to a local 

 8          police department.

 9                 It can be geotagged so even if you 

10          don't include a text, we can tell, normally, 

11          where it comes from.

12                 SENATOR ADDABBO:  I was going to say, 

13          those who give the information, is it 

14          confidential information on their end?

15                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  It is.

16                 SENATOR ADDABBO:  It is, okay.

17                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  I believe that 

18          the State Police and the people at the NYSIC 

19          reserve the right to try and contact them if 

20          they need to, but they don't have to.

21                 SENATOR ADDABBO:  Commissioner, once 

22          again, thank you very much for your efforts.  

23          And of course through our good chair, Senator 

24          Croci, I look forward to working with you as 


 1          well.

 2                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Thank you, 

 3          Senator.

 4                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Assembly?

 5                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you very 

 6          much.  

 7                 Assemblyman Lentol.

 8                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Good morning, 

 9          Commissioner.

10                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Good morning, 

11          sir.

12                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  And thank you for 

13          your service.  

14                 I just was wondering, while you were 

15          testifying -- maybe I'm behind the times, but 

16          I remember after 9/11 how much we were 

17          shortchanged by the federal government in the 

18          resources that New York City as well as New 

19          York State deserved because we were the 

20          primary target of terrorism.  

21                 So I have two questions leading from 

22          that.  Is that still true?  And does your 

23          agency have an advocacy function in 

24          Washington to make sure that we get the 


 1          resources from them that we deserve for this 

 2          problem?

 3                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Well, I can 

 4          tell you that we are always advocating for 

 5          more money from the federal government.  And 

 6          I believe that the Governor's office has that 

 7          issue handled for the most part.  We do not 

 8          really lobby Washington for that.  But we 

 9          deal with FEMA and the Department of Homeland 

10          Security all the time.

11                 We receive, in New York State, 

12          probably 30 percent or in the area of 

13          30 percent of the UASI money that's 

14          distributed throughout the country, and I 

15          would say 18 percent or so of the State 

16          Homeland Security Grant Program.  Is that 

17          enough?  I don't know if we could ever have 

18          enough.  But we certainly do great things 

19          with that amount of money that we do get from 

20          the federal government.

21                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  As far as 

22          disaster preparedness goes, I remember, even 

23          though it wasn't my district, but in some 

24          places upstate during Irene and Lee, there 


 1          were people who were flooded out and who died 

 2          as a result of not being able to be rescued.  

 3          And I wonder, since then, if we've developed 

 4          a better, for lack of a better word, roadmap 

 5          to be able to go by boat, by helicopter or 

 6          any other means in order to rescue people who 

 7          may in the future need to be rescued from a 

 8          storm like Sandy, Lee or Irene.

 9                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Unfortunately, 

10          Assemblyman, we do learn from the tragedies, 

11          and we react to them.  We change our training 

12          structure and our tactics all the time based 

13          on the intelligence that we've received and 

14          the events that have occurred in New York 

15          State and around the world.  We have targeted 

16          tech rescue grants, we call them now, that go 

17          to fire departments.  We have swift water 

18          rescue programs that we train on.

19                 So we're well aware of that.  Our 

20          first responders and our Office of Fire 

21          Prevention and Control teach many, many, many 

22          courses around the state in just that type of 

23          circumstance.

24                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Thank you, sir.


 1                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Thank you.

 2                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

 3                 Our next speaker is Senator Michael 

 4          Nozzolio.

 5                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you, 

 6          Chairwoman.  

 7                 Good afternoon, I guess it is now.  

 8          Good afternoon, Commissioner Melville.

 9                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Good 

10          afternoon,  Senator.

11                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Kudos to you and 

12          the division for taking charge, working with 

13          the Governor, under his direction, in 

14          managing the emergency preparedness of our 

15          state.  The reaction in storm management, 

16          communication, ensuring safety is improving 

17          with every instance of those kinds of 

18          challenges, and I thank you and your division 

19          for that effort.

20                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Thank you, 

21          Senator.

22                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  I would like to 

23          focus, however, on some issues that are not 

24          so seen, they're unseen, but personally could 


 1          be extremely devastating to individuals, 

 2          taxpayers, constituents of this state -- and 

 3          that's the issue of security, and 

 4          specifically cybersecurity.  

 5                 That your division's experiences with 

 6          cybersecurity -- and with all admiration for 

 7          encouraging student participation in 

 8          education, tell us beyond that, what is the 

 9          division doing to beef up our cybersecurity 

10          efforts?

11                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Well, the 

12          analysts that we have now, Senator, are 

13          collocated at the NYSIC with the Multistate 

14          Information Sharing and Analysis Center, 

15          which is the federal government's 

16          cybersecurity watchdog, if you will.  They 

17          also work with the state --

18                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Is that in 

19          Rensselaer?  Where is that located?

20                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Yes, it is.

21                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Rensselaer?

22                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Yeah.  That's 

23          collocated with our New York State 

24          Intelligence Center.  And the State Police 


 1          also are collocated there with their 

 2          cybersecurity investigative teams.

 3                 Probably in 2013, the Division of 

 4          Homeland Security and Emergency Services -- 

 5          cybersecurity was taken away as one of our 

 6          core functions, and removed to the ITS, along 

 7          with our funding and personnel.  

 8                 We don't have a main role in 

 9          cybersecurity.  We're well aware of it, we 

10          use it in terms of intel passing all the 

11          time.  We have a critical infrastructure unit 

12          that goes all around the state and is 

13          legislated in some respects to do certain 

14          types of critical infrastructure, in others 

15          not.  But they take a cybersecurity component 

16          with them from ITS to do the cybersecurity 

17          inspections of, say, pipelines or energy 

18          transmission facilities, things of that 

19          nature.

20                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  This expands on 

21          Senator Croci's comments, that you were 

22          finding the Division of Homeland Security not 

23          having direct reportable information by law 

24          and channel, that is strengthened by law, 


 1          that provides that security function.  And 

 2          I'll be probing this with those 

 3          representatives of Office of Information 

 4          Technology later today and others.  

 5                 That you'd have to be totally immune 

 6          from what's going on if we didn't recognize 

 7          this.  Last year alone, we've seen cyber 

 8          attacks on the Internal Revenue Service, the 

 9          Office of Personnel Management, even the 

10          Joint Chiefs of Staff.  And if that's the 

11          case, isn't the New York State Department of 

12          Taxation and Finance going to be next?  We've 

13          seen a major security breach in the largest 

14          repository of health and financial data 

15          probably in this state, in the data breach 

16          that occurred with Excellus last year.

17                 So I am wondering what type of 

18          commitment do we have to help, first, guard 

19          our public sector-held information and, 

20          secondly, encourage and assist those private 

21          companies in doing business in New York to 

22          protect the data of its citizens.

23                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Senator, we're 

24          well aware of the cybersecurity threat.  We 


 1          at the Division of Homeland Security and 

 2          Emergency Services view our role in 

 3          cybersecurity as an intelligence-driven role, 

 4          passing information along about schemes, 

 5          attacks, issues.

 6                 We also have the role of responding to 

 7          an emergency that would occur as a result of 

 8          a cyber attack.  So it would not necessarily 

 9          be the attack itself, but the issues that 

10          follow after that attack.  And that's really 

11          what we would be functioning or at least 

12          focusing on with our Office of Emergency 

13          Management.

14                 I think that the state is 

15          well-prepared with their Multistate ISAC, the 

16          NYSIC, and the State Police and the other 

17          efforts across the state from ITS, to deal 

18          with those types of investigations.  It's 

19          just not what we do per se.

20                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  And I understand 

21          that, Commissioner.  I'm not suggesting that 

22          you be an investigatory or law enforcement 

23          operation.  That's not your role, it's not 

24          something I would even suggest.


 1                 However, just as you are involved in 

 2          storm preparedness, just as you are involved 

 3          in other disaster preparedness, why are we 

 4          not having you involved -- and I ask that 

 5          question because I think it's something the 

 6          Legislature ultimately has to deal with, 

 7          along with the Governor -- why aren't we 

 8          involved, Homeland Security involved in 

 9          issues of cybersecurity protection?  Ensuring 

10          that someone is overseeing, with security in 

11          mind, the vast data systems that are being 

12          held by state government?  That's what I 

13          believe we need to address.  

14                 And certainly your -- after the fact 

15          is too late.  The horse is out of the barn, 

16          it's too late a question for you to be 

17          involved.  Then it's a question for law 

18          enforcement.

19                 But what should be done proactively by 

20          the Division of Homeland Security to protect 

21          the data of New Yorkers?

22                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  I believe we 

23          are doing what we need to do now, Senator.  

24          We react to issues that may or may not be 


 1          created by a cyber breach.  We have analysts 

 2          that work with the State Police in close 

 3          coordination with the Multistate ISAC Center.  

 4          So we are there to push information out that 

 5          we receive about cybersecurity issues to our 

 6          partners, to the public, to the private 

 7          sector.  So I believe our role is being 

 8          fulfilled at this point.

 9                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Yes, from a 

10          statutory standpoint that is, I'm sure, 

11          accurate.  But shouldn't the role be to 

12          protect in the first place?  Shouldn't the 

13          role be -- not as a law enforcement 

14          enterprise and a, again, closing the barn 

15          door after the horse ran away -- shouldn't it 

16          be more to make sure the barn door is locked 

17          and not tampered with and having the 

18          appropriate security to ensure that 

19          particularly the data is protected?

20                 And that I think is -- let me ask you 

21          this.  Who is in charge of the state to 

22          protect the data of its citizens, that's 

23          entrusted with the state?

24                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  I would say 


 1          the ITS, the State ITS, as well as the State 

 2          Police and their partners at the NYSIC.

 3                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Commissioner, thank 

 4          you.  We'll certainly be probing that issue.  

 5          And it may be something that our chair of the 

 6          homeland security, Commander Croci, is going 

 7          to be dealing with in the months ahead.  So I 

 8          appreciate your candor and your forthcoming 

 9          comments.  Thank you.  

10                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Thank you, 

11          Senator.

12                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator.

13                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Assemblyman Ortiz.  

14                 ASSEMBLYMAN ORTIZ:  Good morning, 

15          Commissioner.

16                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  How are you, 

17          sir?  

18                 ASSEMBLYMAN ORTIZ:  I am doing well.  

19                 I have a few questions, very quick, if 

20          I can put on my glasses.

21                 My first question is, what is the 

22          working relationship that you have with the 

23          ICE and Homeland Security at the federal 

24          government?


 1                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  The federal 

 2          Homeland Security?

 3                 ASSEMBLYMAN ORTIZ:  No, yours.  What 

 4          is the relationship between your Homeland 

 5          Security and the federal Homeland Security?  

 6          Do you guys talk to each other often?  And 

 7          how often?  

 8                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  We do talk to 

 9          each other often.  I would say more through 

10          email communication, but I do have 

11          conversations with people in Washington.  I 

12          am the homeland security advisor for the 

13          Governor, so I am the point for contact for 

14          certain things with the Department of 

15          Homeland Security.

16                 ASSEMBLYMAN ORTIZ:  Okay.  So right to 

17          my second question, so you are familiarized 

18          with the Obama deportations approach 

19          throughout the country; correct?

20                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  The what?  I'm 

21          sorry.  

22                 ASSEMBLYMAN ORTIZ:  The Obama 

23          deportation, the President of the United 

24          States has said we -- you know, he has given 


 1          ICE the green light to go through state by 

 2          state to deport folks after January 2014.

 3                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Okay.

 4                 ASSEMBLYMAN ORTIZ:  Are you 

 5          familiarized with that?  

 6                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Somewhat.

 7                 ASSEMBLYMAN ORTIZ:  Okay.  So my third 

 8          question goes along the lines of if you are 

 9          somewhat familiarized with it, I represent 

10          the areas of Sunset Park in Brooklyn.  I have 

11          a lot of undocumented immigrants who live in 

12          my district.  And what we've been getting in 

13          my office is that there has been some folks 

14          from ICE, some local enforcements, who has 

15          been knocking on their doors and going 

16          through the churches and looking for folks 

17          who are not legally in this country.

18                 Are you familiarized with this?  

19                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  No, I'm not, 

20          Assemblyman.  And really that has -- that 

21          issue, albeit a very important issue, has 

22          really no place in the Division of Homeland 

23          Security and Emergency Services at a state 

24          level.  That's a federal program and a 


 1          federal issue.  We don't have anything to do 

 2          with that.

 3                 ASSEMBLYMAN ORTIZ:  So you have not 

 4          anything to do -- despite the fact that you 

 5          have a relationship with the Homeland 

 6          Security/ICE agency at the federal 

 7          government?

 8                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  My 

 9          relationship with the Homeland Security 

10          people at the federal level really has to do 

11          with our grant funding, what we get from 

12          them, what we spent it on, how we spend it, 

13          what we target.  It really has nothing to do 

14          with immigration issues.

15                 ASSEMBLYMAN ORTIZ:  Okay.  And you 

16          just stated that you serve as an advisor to 

17          the Governor to ICE, to Homeland Security; 

18          correct?

19                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  I am the 

20          advisor to the Governor for homeland security 

21          issues here in New York State.

22                 ASSEMBLYMAN ORTIZ:  Well, let me just 

23          recommend a couple of things.  I think that 

24          we do have a lot of serious issues regarding 


 1          law enforcement.  And I know the -- I 

 2          addressed this issue to the superintendent 

 3          last year about folks in the law enforcement 

 4          stopping individuals, Hispanic individuals in 

 5          Buffalo, in the Western Hemisphere {sic} and 

 6          then that came to Long Island as well.  

 7                 I think that if you are the advisor to 

 8          ICE and you work for our Governor, my advice 

 9          will be probably to try to have a more 

10          preactive action plan, that these families 

11          will not have fear, these families will not 

12          have fear as they have bring their children 

13          to the hospital, their children to the 

14          schools.  Right now in my district we have 

15          seen a decrease of kids going to school as a 

16          result of this initiative.

17                 So if you are the advisor, I would 

18          recommend that you take that message back to 

19          those folks that you're speaking to, either 

20          via email -- on behalf of the people that we 

21          represent in our own community.  

22                 And thank you for the job that you 

23          continue to do in serving us in the state.  

24          Thank you.


 1                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Thank you, 

 2          Assemblyman, and I would love to have a 

 3          dialogue with you about that at some point.

 4                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

 5                 Senator Marty Golden.

 6                 SENATOR GOLDEN:  Thank you, Madam 

 7          Chair.  

 8                 And thank you for your service.  

 9          You're doing an outstanding job.

10                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Thank you, 

11          Senator.

12                 SENATOR GOLDEN:  I don't want to beat 

13          a dead horse, but -- I know we went over 

14          this, seven -- two downstate, five upstate, 

15          and we probably beat it to death.  But just 

16          in my family, my son went down with the viral 

17          last weekend, I went down with the viral on 

18          Wednesday and Thursday, my wife went down 

19          with the viral on Friday, Saturday, and 

20          Sunday.  When the wife goes down, the whole 

21          house gets shut down.  All right?  So we went 

22          down, it was different.

23                 You got seven people, two downstate 

24          and five upstate.  How do we -- if there's 


 1          any type of sickness, vacations, how is that 

 2          manned?  How does that work?

 3                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  You're 

 4          referring to the intelligence analysts, 

 5          Senator?

 6                 SENATOR GOLDEN:  Yes.

 7                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Yeah, we have 

 8          seven presently.  There's 10 actually being 

 9          proposed to be transferred.  We have three 

10          openings that we haven't been filled yet, and 

11          we probably -- we're waiting till this 

12          transfer occurs and they go to the State 

13          Police.  

14                 But each one of those analysts is 

15          cross-trained in different types of 

16          counterterrorism, and they have different 

17          expertises, although some are experts more so 

18          in one field than the other.  So if one is 

19          out, another covers.  But for the most part, 

20          that's never been an issue for us.

21                 SENATOR GOLDEN:  What was a little 

22          shock for me last week is when the Port 

23          Authority -- not the Port Authority, but the 

24          ILA went out on strike and ports were shut 


 1          down in Jersey and in New York.  Anybody 

 2          having some idea that that was going to 

 3          happen obviously would have had some 

 4          advantage.  

 5                 How did -- were we informed of that?  

 6          Did we know about that?  And how do we stay 

 7          in touch with our ports, and how are we 

 8          dealing with our maritime.

 9                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  The 

10          longshoremen issue that was last week?  Yeah, 

11          I was made aware of it after it happened, 

12          actually, and was made aware of it when it 

13          ended.  But it wasn't really a -- I would say 

14          a counterterrorism issue per se.  So even 

15          though our analysts track all open-source 

16          intel about all different things, the ports 

17          being one of those areas, I don't think we 

18          received any previous Intel that this was 

19          coming.

20                 SENATOR GOLDEN:  But we are in touch 

21          with maritime?  If there's a ship coming in, 

22          we have problems with the ship, or a cruise 

23          ship or a tanker?  

24                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  We have 


 1          analysts that brief monthly at the ports who 

 2          are very familiar with shipping industries 

 3          and the Coast Guard and all the partners that 

 4          certainly are involved in various ports 

 5          around the state.

 6                 SENATOR GOLDEN:  Thank you.  

 7                 The Superstorm Sandy -- which again, 

 8          you did an outstanding job -- but again, 

 9          we're in our fourth year and there are still 

10          thousands of people that are still not in 

11          their homes and still waiting to get their 

12          homes razed, and there's still a whole lot 

13          that has to be done and hardening of our 

14          arteries.  And you've explained to us and 

15          expressed to us how to fund it and gotten 

16          money out from the federal government and 

17          from the state government into the city and 

18          state and Long Island.  Is there anything 

19          that's not -- are there any obstacles in your 

20          way of not getting that money out?  Is there 

21          anything that's not giving you the 

22          opportunity to let that money flow more 

23          freely?  

24                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  I would have 


 1          to say no, Senator.  We had over 12,000 

 2          contracts for public assistance -- repairing 

 3          bridges and tunnels and roadways and things 

 4          like that -- and we're current on all 12,000.  

 5                 The issue with some of those funding 

 6          problems is the work has to be done first.  

 7          The municipality has to pay for the work.  

 8          Once that municipality pays, we reimburse 

 9          through the federal government.  So it's 

10          not -- we just can't give the money up-front 

11          and say okay, go do your project.  It has to 

12          be done, the work has to be completed, it has 

13          to be inspected, it has to be paid, and then 

14          we reimburse.

15                 And we are current on all those 

16          contracts.  We don't have any outstanding 

17          bills as far as I know.

18                 SENATOR GOLDEN:  So you're working 

19          closely with the Army Corps of Engineers and 

20          in certain areas where we need dredging to be 

21          able to get our police boats, our fire boats 

22          in and out of -- and get them operable when 

23          needed, you're on top of all of that?  

24                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  I believe so, 


 1          Senator.  That's probably those HMGP grants 

 2          that aren't really targeted at individuals or 

 3          communities.  They're large-scale projects.  

 4          For example, they're -- one of the projects 

 5          is bridge scour projects for 106 bridges 

 6          across the state.  There's projects like that 

 7          that HMGP money goes for that just take a 

 8          long time to complete.  And we pay as the 

 9          bills come in.  So, you know, those 12,000 

10          contracts that we have open, we are current 

11          on, but they just take a long time to get to 

12          the end.

13                 SENATOR GOLDEN:  I have a town hall 

14          coming up in Garrison Beach, Manhattan Beach 

15          and Sheepshead Bay in the Brooklyn area in 

16          the City of New York.  I may ask somebody 

17          from your office to attend.  It's coming up 

18          on March 1st, March 2nd.  So if I can get 

19          somebody to attend, I would appreciate it.  

20          Because I'm going to have both -- not only 

21          the homes and the people that are affected by 

22          Build It Back and by other streams of funds 

23          that are being made available for the 

24          building and rebuilding of these homes, but 


 1          also they're going to have people there from 

 2          the hardening of the arteries in and around 

 3          those areas, to make sure that that water 

 4          doesn't come in and hit them again.  

 5                 So if you can, I'd appreciate somebody 

 6          from your office at that, if I can.  I'll 

 7          send a memo to your office.

 8                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  We'll 

 9          certainly look forward to that, Senator.

10                 SENATOR GOLDEN:  The settlement funds, 

11          are you guys getting any of the settlement 

12          funds that the -- coming in from the Attorney 

13          General and other areas?  Is Homeland 

14          Security getting any of that at all?

15                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Settlement 

16          funds?  I'm not familiar with that.

17                 SENATOR GOLDEN:  Settlement funds from 

18          the different settlements that the Attorney 

19          General has made or others have made with 

20          financial institutions of wrongdoing, where 

21          we see billions of dollars coming into the 

22          State of New York.  Are you getting any of 

23          those funds coming into your organization?  

24                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Those funds 


 1          don't get channeled through us.

 2                 SENATOR GOLDEN:  They don't get 

 3          channeled at all.  Last question, or last 

 4          series of questions.  

 5                 The interoperability, how long is this 

 6          going to take?  I know that it's a tough 

 7          question, but I've still got the Port 

 8          Authority in one area and I still got NYPD in 

 9          another area.  And we know the 9/11 was 

10          Port Authority.  So we want to make sure 

11          we're on top of that in the city, and for the 

12          state.  If you can -- I know it's a leap 

13          here, but if you can give us some timeline as 

14          to when this interoperability is going to be 

15          in effect across the State of New York or, 

16          more so, when it's going to be effective with 

17          Port Authority and NYPD, I would greatly 

18          appreciate it.

19                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Hey, I 

20          understand the issue, Senator.  And I'm no 

21          radio geek, so that's a hard thing for me to 

22          say.  I asked the same question when I came 

23          to the agency:  How long is this going to 

24          take?  We keep throwing money, money, money 


 1          at this.  You know, $228 million, I think, to 

 2          the counties to get this done.

 3                 It's a hard problem.  You'll probably 

 4          hear from the superintendent later this 

 5          afternoon about the issues maybe they had in 

 6          Dannemora with radio interoperability.  And 

 7          we sent people up there to assist with that.  

 8                 We're close.  We're throwing another 

 9          $75 million at this problem this year to the 

10          counties to take care of this.

11                 We're trying to fill gaps now.  We're 

12          almost there.  I would say our goal is to be 

13          interoperable statewide by the end of 2017.  

14          But New York's a big state, it's got a lot of 

15          topography issues, a lot of -- it's just a 

16          hard issue to finish.  But we're almost 

17          there.

18                 SENATOR GOLDEN:  My time is up.  If 

19          you could let me know when Port Authority --

20                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Yes, it is.

21                 SENATOR GOLDEN:  -- NYPD is going to.  

22          If you can get a memo to my office on Port 

23          Authority and NYPD.  I would appreciate it.

24                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  We will do 


 1          that, Senator.

 2                 SENATOR GOLDEN:  Thank you very much.  

 3                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator 

 4          Golden.

 5                 SENATOR GOLDEN:  You're quite welcome, 

 6          Madam Chair.

 7                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Assembly?  

 8                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  I think we're done.

 9                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Senator Bonacic.

10                 SENATOR BONACIC:  Thank you, 

11          Commissioner.  I think you're doing a 

12          terrific job since you've taken on this 

13          responsibility.

14                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Thank you, 

15          Senator.

16                 SENATOR BONACIC:  Especially 

17          outstanding when it comes to natural 

18          disasters -- floods, fire, Sandy.  And 

19          dealing with us, as Senator Golden said.  

20                 But I want to talk about terrorism.  

21          Terrorism has now moved up to maybe the top 

22          two things that are on Americans' minds, that 

23          we want to be safe in America.  And I myself, 

24          a little upset when I hear the Governor say 


 1          that terrorist attacks on America is the new 

 2          normal.  If we're the greatest country in the 

 3          world, we should never have the mindset of 

 4          terrorist attacks on the homeland being 

 5          normal.  It's a crisis.  Okay?  

 6                 And I know you don't walk on water, 

 7          and I know many of these things that are 

 8          happening are beyond your control.  But my 

 9          view of this -- and I'm not a dramatist -- I 

10          think there is a clear and present danger to 

11          New York and America.  New York especially 

12          has the biggest bull's-eye of all the states 

13          in America.  And how we handle the Syrian 

14          crisis, with refugees, how we handle 

15          deportation for visas that have expired, how 

16          we handle our borders, how we handle 

17          immigration issues -- when are we going to 

18          stop gutting the military? -- all of these 

19          factors are happening, challenges, because of 

20          a failure of leadership in Washington.

21                 So I wanted just to say that.  And I 

22          know that may not be within your province.  

23          But Senator Croci, Senator Nozzolio and I 

24          have talked about -- at length about this 


 1          cybersecurity.  Now, we've seen a pattern 

 2          over the last few years.  We see the Chinese 

 3          hacking our military secrets.  We see them 

 4          hacking the IRS.  We see them hacking Hillary 

 5          Clinton's personal server that has national 

 6          security issues.  

 7                 So I just think -- and this has gone 

 8          on for a while.  I think they're sleeping at 

 9          the switch, some of these people in 

10          Washington.  There's a loss of confidence, in 

11          my mind.  This is only me speaking.

12                 So I would suggest to you, if it's 

13          within your power in working with the 

14          Governor, to come up with a budget on how we 

15          can do more cybersecurity in the State of 

16          New York, to give you more resources so you 

17          don't have to depend on what other 

18          bureaucracies and what other people are 

19          doing, because I see us as having the biggest 

20          bull's-eye in New York.

21                 So if it's within your power, I would 

22          certainly be supportive of more money for 

23          homeland security -- on cybersecurity, 

24          in-house, under your leadership and whatever 


 1          agencies you need to make us the best that we 

 2          can be.

 3                 And for the law enforcement that we 

 4          have in New York and in this country, I think 

 5          they have the most challenges in the world 

 6          and they're doing the best job that they can 

 7          with all that's facing them.  And we're so 

 8          grateful for the work that they do.

 9                 Thank you, Commissioner.

10                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  I agree.  

11          Thank you, Senator.

12                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you very 

13          much, Senator Bonacic.

14                 Our next speaker is Senator Squadron.

15                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Thank you very 

16          much, Madam Chair.  

17                 Thank you, Commissioner, for the work 

18          you do and the testimony you're providing.

19                 So as we look at a growing mandate, 

20          for the reasons we've heard and so many 

21          others, speak just briefly to something I've 

22          worked with the department on going back many 

23          years, to the coordination especially with 

24          New York City -- which as we know is a 


 1          central target, has been centrally impacted 

 2          by Sandy and other severe emergencies, and 

 3          has in its NYPD one of the great 

 4          counterterrorism programs in the nation, and 

 5          in its own Office of Emergency Management a 

 6          very, very sophisticated emergency response 

 7          system.  How is that coordination with the 

 8          City of New York going?

 9                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Excellent.

10                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Great.  So that's 

11          true vis-a-vis NYPD?  

12                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Yes, it is.  I 

13          meet with Chief Waters regularly, the chief 

14          of counterterrorism.  Superintendent D'Amico 

15          of the State Police and I are good friends, 

16          we converse often about those types of 

17          issues.  And the cooperation between the 

18          Office of Emergency Management in New York 

19          City, the Police Department, and us is 

20          outstanding.

21                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Great.  And the 

22          office of Fire Protection and the FDNY?  

23                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Perfect.

24                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Excellent.  I 


 1          passed a bill a number of years ago that 

 2          produced a report about some of the real 

 3          dangers to residents in New York City and 

 4          FDNY due to the fact that state buildings, 

 5          buildings under the state code in New York 

 6          City are not covered by the city building 

 7          code, historically did not have shared 

 8          building plans, which meant that tragically, 

 9          in my district, when FDNY went to respond to 

10          a fire at 130 Liberty Street at the World 

11          Trade Center site, they didn't have the same 

12          plans on file they would for another 

13          high-rise fire, and in that case leading to 

14          truly tragic circumstances.  

15                 There had been a plan to embed State 

16          Office of Fire Protection personnel with FDNY 

17          in their emergency response so that it was 

18          much easier to coordinate that information 

19          up-front and make sure that we weren't 

20          putting FDNY personnel at risk and were 

21          ensuring the kind of safety we have in state 

22          buildings in city buildings.  

23                 Is that program still continuing?  And 

24          what confidence can we have that FDNY is 


 1          going to have the same information going into 

 2          a building under state jurisdiction as it 

 3          does every other building in the city?  

 4                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Can you just 

 5          provide some context as far as a date for 

 6          that, Senator?  Because I've only been here a 

 7          year, and I don't know if that goes way back 

 8          or --

 9                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Sure, of course.  

10          Yeah, that report I believe came out in 2012.  

11          And then through 2012 and '13 and into the 

12          beginning of 2014, we worked with 

13          then-Commissioner Cassano and Hauer on this 

14          quite extensively.

15                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Okay.  I'm 

16          going to have to get back to you, if that's 

17          okay, Senator.  I know there was some issue 

18          about state buildings in the city and it was 

19          a legal issue that our legal team was looking 

20          at.  I don't know if it's the same issue that 

21          you're referring to -- it may be.  But I 

22          don't have an answer for you.

23                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Okay.  Well, this 

24          is a critically important issue.  We need a 


 1          path to a solution here.  And we can't, you 

 2          know, rely on sort of the status quo or on, 

 3          you know, bureaucratic attempts to hold on to 

 4          one role or the other.  

 5                 The fact is building plans are 

 6          available to FDNY when they get an emergency 

 7          in every building in the city unless it's not 

 8          under city jurisdiction, which means all the 

 9          state buildings, the Port Authority 

10          buildings, the buildings at the World Trade 

11          Center site are not automatically shared in 

12          that way.

13                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Okay.

14                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Further, some of 

15          the roles and the consistency between the 

16          roles and the processes for how you create 

17          safe buildings or fire-safe buildings are not 

18          the same.  And therefore, it can create 

19          concerns and risks both for the users of 

20          those buildings and for emergency personnel 

21          who are responding.  

22                 This is something that has to be 

23          better coordinated than it has been in the 

24          past.  We started that process, and it sounds 


 1          like -- and thank you for your sort of 

 2          straightforwardness in this answer -- it's 

 3          not clear that process has been completed in 

 4          a way that's sufficient.  So I would love a 

 5          report on where that is and why it is that we 

 6          can have more comfort now than a half-decade 

 7          ago when tragic consequences ensued and 

 8          firefighters lost their lives at 130 Liberty 

 9          Street related to this issue.

10                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Yeah, don't 

11          misunderstand me, Senator; I don't know if 

12          that issue has been resolved.  I do know that 

13          we have a wonderful working relationship 

14          between our Office of Fire Prevention and 

15          Control and the FDNY.  I would assume that if 

16          it was some critical issue, as you described, 

17          I would be aware of it.  I really haven't 

18          heard -- I know there was an issue about 

19          building inspections or something --

20                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Exactly.

21                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  -- but it 

22          hadn't risen to the level of really a 

23          critical problem that I certainly would hope 

24          that I would be aware of.  


 1                 So it may be solved, it may be done, 

 2          but I guarantee I'll get back to you.

 3                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  I mean, one of the 

 4          issues is this long-standing problem folks 

 5          have gotten used to -- which doesn't mean 

 6          it's not a problem but sometimes it doesn't 

 7          rise to the level of an alarm bell being 

 8          rung.  It's smoldering as opposed to sort of, 

 9          you know, really burning out of control right 

10          now.  But let's stop it while it's 

11          smoldering.  

12                 So I'll look forward to some feedback 

13          and follow-up on where we are with that issue 

14          over the next couple of weeks.  Thank you so 

15          much.  

16                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  As do I.  

17          Thank you.  

18                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you very 

19          much.  Senator Krueger.

20                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you very much.  

21                 And thank you for your excellent work.

22                 A number of my colleagues were 

23          discussing their support for even more money 

24          for your agency.  My question actually is, 


 1          your agency is receiving $600 million 

 2          additional in federal revenue this year 

 3          compared to last year.  So last year you had 

 4          $653,774,000 in federal special revenue; this 

 5          year it increases by $600 million.  

 6                 Where is all this money going in the 

 7          current budget?

 8                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  That 

 9          $600 million increase in Aid to Localities, 

10          Senator, is really just an appropriation, in 

11          case we need to pass federal funds through 

12          for a future disaster, that we have the 

13          ability and the appropriation to do that.

14                 We don't have any plans to use that 

15          money.  I hope we don't.

16                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So it's a cash 

17          infusion from the feds or a line of credit, 

18          that if something happens, we can make 

19          requests for certain categories of things?  

20                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  The latter, is 

21          my understanding.

22                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Okay.  Can you talk 

23          a little bit about how you used last year's 

24          $653 million, or is that also still just a 


 1          line of credit that we drew down some of but 

 2          not all of?  

 3                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  That is 

 4          correct.  And this is just increasing that 

 5          $600 million in case we need to use it.

 6                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Did we use any of 

 7          that $653 million from the fiscal year that's 

 8          closing?

 9                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  We did not 

10          have a federally declared disaster in all of 

11          2015.  I'm taking credit for that.  But --

12                 (Laughter.)

13                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  So I'm going 

14          to say no, Senator.  But as much as I'm not a 

15          radio geek, I'm really not a budget person 

16          either.  But I -- that's my understanding.

17                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  And do you know, is 

18          there a specific set of language somewhere, 

19          and perhaps that you could get us, that 

20          explains under what circumstances we can draw 

21          that money down?  

22                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Certainly.

23                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  I would appreciate 

24          that.


 1                 And do you have any understanding of 

 2          whether, if we don't spend it by some date, 

 3          do we not have access to it?  

 4                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  I think it 

 5          just gets -- my understanding -- and again, 

 6          take it from where it's coming from -- is 

 7          that it would have to be reappropriated next 

 8          year.  But I'm not sure.

 9                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you very much.

10                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, 

11          Commissioner.  By the way, good work on not 

12          tapping that fund, so keep it up.

13                 I want to just quickly ask, to follow 

14          up on Senator Krueger's question, so 

15          generally that fund would be used, for 

16          example, for FEMA disasters or some kind of 

17          terrorism attack, is that basically it?

18                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  If we had a 

19          flood, if we had a hurricane, if we had a 

20          tornado, that type of disaster, we would be 

21          able to appropriate those funds.  Because the 

22          Legislature had said it was okay to do that.

23                 And that money would come to us 

24          through FEMA or DHS.


 1                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Correct.  Thank 

 2          you.

 3                 Our final speaker, to wrap up, is 

 4          Senator Croci.

 5                 SENATOR CROCI:  Well, thank you, Madam 

 6          Chair, for the opportunity to ask a couple of 

 7          follow-up questions, Commissioner.  And I 

 8          appreciate your patience here today with us.

 9                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  My pleasure.

10                 SENATOR CROCI:  We touched on a little 

11          about the Governor's statement about a "new 

12          normal."  My colleague brought that out.  And 

13          I think Commissioner Kelly, Ray Kelly, is one 

14          of those individuals who helped redefine what 

15          our actions needed to be, particularly in 

16          New York City, in the wake of the attacks in 

17          the early '90s on Lower Manhattan, but also 

18          specifically after September 11th and the 

19          kind of counterterrorism unit and capability 

20          that the NYPD built.

21                 So I'm very interested in having the 

22          opportunity, perhaps the Legislature to see 

23          that report.  Given his expertise and his 

24          national recognition, it would be very 


 1          interesting to see that.

 2                 But I am curious -- you have a direct 

 3          one-on-one relationship with the head of 

 4          counterterrorism at the NYPD.  And I'm just 

 5          curious, why we would take away statutory 

 6          language that puts you in charge of 

 7          counterterrorism in the State of New York by 

 8          taking that title away, along with bodies, if 

 9          you are the individual who has relationships 

10          in counterterrorism.  That's a question that 

11          I had, if you had any follow-up answer.

12                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Sure.  I don't 

13          view this transfer of the analysts from my 

14          division to the Division of State Police as 

15          anything more than getting them in line to 

16          streamline their intel to the people who need 

17          it first, and then we'll get it.  

18                 I don't think that I will not be 

19          considered a counterterrorism person anymore.  

20          I mean, I'll still have those relationships, 

21          I'll still have different functions with 

22          respect to counterterrorism in the Division 

23          of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, 

24          just not the intel and analysis report.


 1                 SENATOR CROCI:  So why take that 

 2          statutory responsibility away from you, then, 

 3          counterterrorism, by changing that language 

 4          in the statute as proposed here?

 5                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  Are you 

 6          referring to the analysts?

 7                 SENATOR CROCI:  Well, but it also -- 

 8          there's a deletion of the term 

 9          "counterterrorism."  So I was just wondering 

10          if that's something that you had a thought 

11          on.

12                 COMMISSIONER MELVILLE:  My impression, 

13          Senator, is that it's just the analysts 

14          moving over and that all other 

15          counterterrorism responsibilities lie with 

16          the Division of Homeland Security and 

17          Emergency Services, the ones that we have 

18          now.  

19                 I remain, again, the homeland security 

20          advisor to the Governor and the contact for 

21          the Department of Homeland Security in 

22          Washington.  And I really don't think it's 

23          going to change anything other than make it a 

24          little clearer for the analysts to get their 


 1          information to the people that need it first, 

 2          and then we'll get it.  And so will everybody 

 3          else.

 4                 SENATOR CROCI:  Touching on what 

 5          Senator Nozzolio mentioned about the transfer 

 6          of cybersecurity responsibilities to ITS and 

 7          then, two years later now, a proposal to take 

 8          counterterrorism and certain bodies out of 

 9          that pool, I think it's a conversation that 

10          we'll have to continue to have.  I'm 

11          concerned at the deemphasis of it because I 

12          believe at the executive level, the lessons 

13          of 9/11 and the "new normal" have suggested 

14          that we need to continually augment that and 

15          we need to continually highlight that from 

16          the executive level.  And that I would want 

17          any executive, but particularly the Governor 

18          of this state and his staff, to be getting 

19          the most timely and accurate intelligence 

20          possible so that good decisions could be made 

21          and good policies could be passed to protect 

22          New Yorkers.

23                 My last statement was just that I 

24          really -- I do believe that you have, in the 


 1          year, been able to work well with the 

 2          Legislature.  These are very complicated 

 3          issues.  I share my colleagues' concerns that 

 4          we're out of time with regard to attacks.  

 5          And if Paris and San Bernardino and going 

 6          back to the attacks in the Boston Marathon 

 7          and others, if that isn't indicative of 

 8          what's coming -- it's an inevitability that I 

 9          hate to concede, and I'm sure every New 

10          Yorker hates to concede.  But I believe that 

11          there are things we can do, there are 

12          prevention preparedness moves that we can 

13          make in the State of New York, legislative 

14          and others.  

15                 It does take us out of our normal 

16          comfort zone, and that's the new normal, that 

17          we have to take actions we ordinarily 

18          wouldn't as a Legislature, and look at laws 

19          and administrative controls for the Governor 

20          and authorities that we wouldn't ordinarily.  

21                 So I'm concerned about what's coming 

22          for us, certainly.  I heed the message of the 

23          director of the FBI, who has since last year 

24          asked state and local governments to look at 


 1          this in a new light and to come up with 

 2          innovative ways to assist our federal 

 3          partners.  And I just don't want to 

 4          deemphasize that in statute, I don't want to 

 5          deemphasize that in our administrative rules, 

 6          and I would hope that we could continue to 

 7          work together with the Governor's office to 

 8          make sure that we're doing everything we can 

 9          to protect New Yorkers.  We have no higher 

10          priority.  We have no more solemn duties than 

11          the security of our state and the residents 

12          of New York.

13                 So thank you, and I look forward to 

14          working with you in the future.

15                 Thank you, Madam Chair.

16                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Chairman 

17          Croci.

18                 Commissioner, we truly appreciate your 

19          participation today and for being so patient 

20          and sticking with us as we had our questions 

21          asked and answered.  So thank you for that.  

22                 And our next speaker is Executive 

23          Deputy Commissioner Michael C. Green --

24                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.


 1                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

 2                 -- New York State Division of Criminal 

 3          Justice Services.

 4                 (Pause.)

 5                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Could I have your 

 6          attention, please.  Thank you.  

 7                 Executive Deputy Commissioner Green, 

 8          welcome.  We're glad to have you here.  We 

 9          look forward to your testimony.

10                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Thank 

11          you.  

12                 Good afternoon, Chairwoman Young, 

13          Chairman Farrell, and distinguished members 

14          of the Legislature.  I'm Mike Green, head of 

15          the Division of Criminal Justice Services, 

16          and I appreciate you having me here today.

17                 Governor Cuomo's proposed budget for 

18          fiscal year 2016-2017 will allow DCJS to 

19          support the criminal justice system in 

20          communities across our state, expand the use 

21          of evidence-based programs proven to be 

22          effective and cost-efficient, and continue 

23          the development of innovative programs that 

24          position New York as a national leader in 


 1          effective public safety policy.  

 2                 New York continues to experience 

 3          reductions in crime and prison population. 

 4          Reported crime reached an all-time low in 

 5          2014, and that year we maintained our 

 6          standing as the safest large state in the 

 7          nation.  New York also has the lowest 

 8          imprisonment rate of any large state. 

 9                 Statewide crime data is not yet 

10          available for 2015, but preliminary trends 

11          indicate that crime continued to decline last 

12          year.  And we will have better numbers by 

13          mid-spring.  

14                 In addition to reintroducing 

15          legislation to raise the age of criminal 

16          responsibility, the Governor has proposed a 

17          range of other reforms to enhance the 

18          fairness and effectiveness of our criminal 

19          justice system and build trust between law 

20          enforcement agencies and communities.  

21                 In his Built to Lead agenda, Governor 

22          Cuomo advocates for legislation requiring 

23          recording of interrogations in serious cases, 

24          and reforming identification procedures, to 


 1          bring New York in line with 49 other states 

 2          that allow photo-array identifications into 

 3          evidence at trial.  

 4                 Law enforcement agencies have embraced 

 5          recording, and we have already provided 

 6          approximately $3 million for them to purchase 

 7          and install the technology.  DCJS plans to 

 8          announce additional funding this year.  

 9                 The Innocence Project and the District 

10          Attorneys' Association support these 

11          concepts; it's time they became law.  

12                 The Governor also is committed to 

13          reforming New York's bail statute.  New York 

14          is one of only four states that prohibit 

15          judges from considering risk to public safety 

16          as a factor when setting bail.  A commonsense 

17          amendment will allow judges to consider that 

18          risk when setting bail or allowing release 

19          and permit them to use proven risk 

20          assessments to aid in pre-trial release 

21          decisions.  Other jurisdictions have 

22          successfully implemented the use of risk 

23          assessments, which has resulted in fewer 

24          individuals being detained pre-trial as well 


 1          as increased public safety.  

 2                 Through the Pew-MacArthur Results 

 3          First Initiative, DCJS has strengthened the 

 4          state's community-based alternative to 

 5          incarceration network, funding programs that 

 6          are effective in reducing recidivism and 

 7          cost-efficient.  We are training ATI 

 8          providers, in addition to implementing a 

 9          fidelity and evaluation system to ensure the 

10          programs we fund are delivered as designed.  

11                 New York's ATI realignment work has 

12          been touted by Pew-MacArthur in a recently 

13          published case study as a best practice for 

14          other states to follow to reduce recidivism 

15          and maximize taxpayer dollars.  

16                 The Governor's budget invests nearly 

17          $26.2 million through DCJS in programming 

18          that reduces incarceration and recidivism.  

19          That figure includes new funding:  $1 million 

20          to expand the state's County Re-Entry Task 

21          Forces to include new task forces in Queens 

22          and increase the capacity of existing county 

23          task forces; and $1 million to create new 

24          defendant screening and assessment programs 


 1          in jurisdictions outside New York City.  

 2                 In its second year, New York's Gun 

 3          Involved Violence Elimination initiative, or 

 4          GIVE, supports the use of proven strategies 

 5          to reduce shootings and save lives.  GIVE 

 6          targets the 17 counties that collectively 

 7          report 87 percent of the violent crime 

 8          outside of New York City.  GIVE provides 

 9          police departments and their county law 

10          enforcement partners $13.3 million in 

11          funding, in addition to training and 

12          technical assistance from national experts to 

13          help implement programs proven to be 

14          effective.  

15                 New York is unique among states in its 

16          commitment to funding only evidence-based 

17          work through GIVE.  The initiative's emphasis 

18          on procedural justice -- which focuses on 

19          ensuring that interactions between law 

20          enforcement and individuals are fair, and 

21          that individuals who come in contact with 

22          police believe they are being treated fairly 

23          and respectfully -- also sets GIVE apart. 

24                 More than 200 law enforcement 


 1          professionals recently attended a two-day 

 2          symposium to help them put procedural justice 

 3          into action.  Research shows that positive 

 4          police-community relations contribute to 

 5          safer communities.  

 6                 To help stem the tide of gun violence 

 7          that continues to claim too many lives,  

 8          particularly those of young men of color,  

 9          DCJS encourages GIVE jurisdictions to 

10          implement street outreach work into their 

11          strategies.  We've provided additional 

12          funding to support street outreach in 10 GIVE 

13          jurisdictions and in the Bronx.  The 

14          Governor's budget proposal funds GIVE and 

15          street outreach work at the same level as the 

16          current budget.  

17                 This 2016-2017 budget proposal will 

18          allow DCJS to continue supporting our local 

19          partners, expanding our evidence-based work, 

20          and implementing initiatives designed to 

21          foster fairness, respect and transparency in 

22          the state's criminal justice system.  

23                 I thank you for the opportunity to 

24          speak with you today, and I'd be happy to 


 1          take any questions you have.

 2                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, 

 3          Executive Deputy Commissioner Green.  

 4                 Our first speaker is Senator Gallivan, 

 5          who is chair of the Senate Crime and 

 6          Corrections Committee.

 7                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you, Madam 

 8          Chair.  

 9                 Good afternoon, Commissioner.

10                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Good 

11          afternoon, Senator.

12                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  I have questions in 

13          three different areas that is outside of the 

14          testimony that you just gave us.  And you may 

15          not or may not be aware -- and if this is not 

16          your area of responsibility, if you can point 

17          me in the right direction so I can follow 

18          through.

19                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  

20          Certainly.

21                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Two years ago, in 

22          the 2014-2015 budget, there was language in 

23          that budget to provide for a statewide law 

24          enforcement records management system.  And 


 1          the goal, of course, was to do a number of 

 2          things -- to increase the ability of law 

 3          enforcement agencies statewide to interact 

 4          with each other, streamline reporting, help 

 5          them provide better service in the area of 

 6          case management, things like that.

 7                 What is the status of that?

 8                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I am 

 9          aware of the issue you're speaking about, and 

10          it's an issue that involves both DCJS and the 

11          New York State Police.  The State Police side 

12          of it -- and I'm sure the superintendent can 

13          address this better than I do -- is that 

14          their records management system needs to be 

15          updated.  The technology that it's built 

16          upon, as I understand it, is on the verge of 

17          becoming unsupported.

18                 Basically the same records management 

19          system through DCJS is offered to local law 

20          enforcement agencies.  At one time there were 

21          well over 200 local law enforcement agencies 

22          that took advantage of that offer and used 

23          that as their records management system.  

24          Again, that same system has the same problems 


 1          as the State Police one, in that the 

 2          technology was becoming unsupported two years 

 3          ago when that proposal was put forward.  

 4                 That proposal was subject to the 

 5          approval by the Legislature of a plan 

 6          submitted to the Legislature by the 

 7          Executive.  The State Police and DCJS put 

 8          together that plan, submitted it to the 

 9          Legislature, we met with legislative staff 

10          repeatedly.  And it's my understanding that 

11          to this date there is still not legislative 

12          approval for that plan.

13                 What's happening on the ground, in the 

14          meantime, is I have local law enforcement 

15          agencies calling me literally every week 

16          saying, I need a new records management 

17          system, do I need to go out and buy my own 

18          records management system or is this ever 

19          going to happen?  Just last week I received 

20          an outreach from the Sheriffs Association 

21          asking me the same thing.  So I really 

22          appreciate you raising the issue.  I think it 

23          is an issue that needs to be addressed 

24          urgently.  And we're still waiting for 


 1          approval.

 2                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  I was aware, I 

 3          think it was late last session and into the 

 4          summer, perhaps into the fall, I was aware 

 5          that there was discussions that were ongoing.  

 6          Has there been recent discussions over the 

 7          past several months, to your knowledge?  

 8                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I have 

 9          not personally heard anything from the 

10          Legislature.  I've met, I'd say, at least 

11          three or four times with staff, we've 

12          answered questions in person, we've responded 

13          to all the written questions that we've 

14          received.  So I'm not aware of any 

15          unaddressed inquiries from the Legislature to 

16          DCJS.

17                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  How can I find out 

18          where this is, the status of it?  

19                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Again, 

20          to the best of my understanding -- and I have 

21          been following this on a weekly basis because 

22          of the inquiries and the concerns I get from 

23          local law enforcement -- is that we're just 

24          waiting for approval from the Legislature, 


 1          that the RFP is drafted and ready to go, the 

 2          RFP was provided to the Legislature.  The 

 3          plan was drafted, it was amended a number of 

 4          times in response to concerns that the 

 5          Legislature raised.  The plan was provided to 

 6          the Legislature.

 7                 So, you know, everything is done, 

 8          ready to go, and the RFP is waiting to go out 

 9          the door.  And the only thing we're waiting 

10          on is the legislative approval.

11                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  All right, thank 

12          you.

13                 The next question has to do -- it does 

14          have to do with the Governor's budget 

15          proposal this year, but more so pointing to 

16          last year.  So in the last fiscal year there 

17          was $60 million allocated, the category was 

18          for law enforcement safety equipment.  But it 

19          was to include vehicles for State Police and 

20          then some other equipment, bulletproof vests, 

21          things of that nature.

22                 There was a recent news article within 

23          the past three or four weeks where a 

24          spokesperson for the Governor said that that 


 1          money was contingent on the Legislature 

 2          reaching an agreement with the Governor on 

 3          last year's various criminal justice 

 4          proposals.  I was in on many of those 

 5          meetings; I don't recall any time that that 

 6          funding was contingent when we put that 

 7          budget forward.

 8                 So this year's budget essentially 

 9          takes that $60 million for badly needed State 

10          Police cars, for badly needed equipment and 

11          the other things, and reallocates it for 

12          different things.  I do know that there was a 

13          much smaller amount allocated for equipment, 

14          I think it was $4 million or something of 

15          that nature.  Are you able to comment on that 

16          and maybe allay our concerns that the State 

17          Police does not need vehicles, does not need 

18          additional equipment?

19                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  First of 

20          all, you would certainly have better 

21          information than I in terms of what was said 

22          in the negotiating sessions.  I wasn't there.  

23                 I am well aware of the $60 million you 

24          talk about.  What I can tell you is that that 


 1          money was never provided to DCJS.  Originally 

 2          there was conversation about DCJS doing an 

 3          RFP or solicitation for local law 

 4          enforcement.  I know one issue related to the 

 5          appropriation language.  The way the language 

 6          was drafted, it did not give DCJS the 

 7          authority to pass that money through on the 

 8          local assistance grants.  I know that the 

 9          Executive and DCJS provided input as to 

10          language that would fix that problem, and 

11          it's my understanding that language never 

12          made it into the bill.  

13                 You know, I do know that the state 

14          does invest through other sources in -- you 

15          know, for example, bulletproof vests and 

16          other funding sources that law enforcement 

17          can use.  But that $60 million has never come 

18          to us for distribution.

19                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Fair enough.  Where 

20          can you point me to get answers?

21                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Again, 

22          you know, I think there were negotiations 

23          between the Executive and the Legislature.  

24          And I -- you know, I know one of the things 


 1          that would need to be fixed is that 

 2          appropriation language.

 3                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  All right.  Thank 

 4          you.

 5                 The last question has to do with an 

 6          overall small item in the State Budget, but 

 7          very significant for some of the local law 

 8          enforcement agencies that enforce the 

 9          navigation law.  The Governor's budget calls 

10          for a reduction in reimbursements to those 

11          specific local agencies that provide those 

12          services -- some of the Finger Lakes, Lake 

13          Erie, Lake Ontario, agencies like that.  

14                 The budget -- the reduction was from 

15          50 percent to 25 percent.  In the overall 

16          scheme of the State Budget, $1 million is not 

17          significant.  But to these local agencies, 

18          it's huge.  Some of them have expressed to me 

19          they won't have the ability to provide the 

20          enforcement of the navigation on these 

21          various bodies of water.  

22                 How can you suggest we deal with that?  

23                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Again, I 

24          do not believe that that is through the DCJS 


 1          budget, because I'm not familiar with that 

 2          and I believe I know our budget fairly well.  

 3          But I can certainly look into it and get you 

 4          information on what budget stream that is in.

 5                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  All right.  Thank 

 6          you.

 7                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Assembly?

 8                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Yes.  Assemblyman  

 9          Joe Lentol -- Chairman Joe Lentol.

10                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Thank you, 

11          Chairman, Chairman Dennis Farrell.  

12                 (Laughter.)

13                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  And thank you, 

14          Commissioner Green, for the work that you've 

15          been doing.  I've been watching you, and I 

16          admire all the work that you've done in this 

17          job.

18                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Thank 

19          you.

20                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  I just wanted to 

21          digress from some of the questions that I 

22          wanted to ask you because of some of your 

23          testimony, and following up on what 

24          Mr. Gallivan asked.  And I guess the first 


 1          thing I'm going to ask is about the cloud 

 2          that he discussed.  And we have had and we 

 3          have sent letters over to you regarding some 

 4          issues that we'd like to resolve in order for 

 5          us to get on board with some legislation 

 6          that's needed either independently or in the 

 7          budget.  So I'm just hoping that you'll be 

 8          able to meet with our staff, that your staff 

 9          will be able to meet with our staff to clear 

10          up some of those issues.

11                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I'm 

12          sorry, I missed -- you said with regard to 

13          what issue?  

14                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  With the cloud.

15                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I guess 

16          I -- when you say cloud, I really don't know 

17          what you're talking about.  The issue is a 

18          records management system --

19                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Yes.

20                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  -- it's 

21          not a cloud.  

22                 So, you know, we have met every single 

23          time we've been asked to meet; we've reached 

24          out and asked for meetings.  To my knowledge, 


 1          we've answered every single inquiry.

 2                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Okay.

 3                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  And I 

 4          will make myself available at any time going 

 5          forward to meet with you, your staff, or 

 6          anyone else from the Legislature with regard 

 7          to the records management system.

 8                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Thank you.  

 9          That's all I can ask.

10                 And secondly, I'm very perplexed by 

11          the Governor's commitment to reforming the 

12          bail statute.  Because the mayor of the City 

13          of New York as well -- it's not only the 

14          Governor -- have proposed issues like the 

15          Governor is proposing with respect to public 

16          safety being required and having a statutory 

17          change in order to include public safety in 

18          bail reform.

19                 At the same time, trying to implement 

20          a program to allow people to get out, rather 

21          than -- on bail, as opposed to having them 

22          languish for two or three years and then 

23          committing suicide like what happened in the 

24          case in the Bronx.


 1                 And so I don't want to ask a long 

 2          question, but I know historically that -- and 

 3          I don't know if you were here to hear 

 4          Mr. O'Donnell's questions earlier --

 5                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Yes, I 

 6          heard the questions. 

 7                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  -- about bail 

 8          reform and how we know that judges take into 

 9          account all of the things involving public 

10          safety when they set bail.

11                 So my most important concern is that 

12          this will prevent the judges from letting 

13          anybody out if they have a new component 

14          that's added to the statute regarding risk 

15          assessment or public safety.  Because I don't 

16          know, some of the judges that I've seen 

17          aren't brave, and they might take the 

18          position, well, the Legislature just passed a 

19          statute that we have to take public safety in 

20          mind, so why should I let anybody out who 

21          comes before me?  That's my question.

22                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I think 

23          that's a very good question.  You know, and I 

24          know you've spent a great deal of time both 


 1          in and dealing with the criminal justice 

 2          system, as has Assemblyman O'Donnell.  

 3                 And I think that sometimes your first 

 4          instinct is to say, well, if you let judges 

 5          consider that type of risk, we're going to 

 6          hold more people.  You know, and certainly I 

 7          can admit that when I first heard the issue, 

 8          that was one of the things that crossed my 

 9          mind.  

10                 But I'm a firm believer in 

11          evidence-based work.  I think that we 

12          constantly need to look at our system and see 

13          how can we make it better.  I think we need 

14          to look at what's happening in other parts of 

15          the country in terms of new practices that 

16          have been studied and shown results, and see 

17          what we can learn from them.  And this is one 

18          of the areas where I think we can learn.  

19                 If you look at, for example, some of 

20          the work the Arnold Foundation has done where 

21          you allow judges to consider that risk and at 

22          the same time you provide a framework -- so 

23          right now, assuming what Assemblyman 

24          O'Donnell said is true -- and I certainly 


 1          can't tell what's going on in the mind of 

 2          judges, but, you know, I have to say that I 

 3          think the inference that he asked people to 

 4          draw is reasonable -- then you have judges 

 5          right now with no guidance, no legislative 

 6          authority, considering that risk.

 7                 I would argue that it's much better to 

 8          put it in legislation, establish guidelines, 

 9          and then allow judges to use evidence-based, 

10          validated risk assessment instruments as a 

11          tool -- not to replace their judgment, but as 

12          a tool in addition to their judgment -- and 

13          train judges and prosecutors and defense 

14          lawyers on how to use those instruments.  And 

15          what the evidence has shown in the 

16          jurisdictions that have done that is that you 

17          actually end up holding fewer people, not 

18          more people, and at the same time you have 

19          fewer crimes committed by people who are 

20          released because you're making better 

21          decisions as a system as to who to release.

22                 And, you know, to your point about 

23          judges being concerned or not wanting to take 

24          a risk, if you have valid risk assessment 


 1          instruments, in some cases that may give the 

 2          judge the cover that the judge feels he or 

 3          she needs to make that decision and release 

 4          somebody who doesn't pose a public safety 

 5          risk and could safely be released.

 6                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Just to let you 

 7          know that I'm kind of a student of history, 

 8          because my father had been here before I was, 

 9          and he was here during the 1965 revision of 

10          the State Penal Law, when the Republican 

11          Party controlled both houses of the 

12          Legislature and the Governor was a 

13          Republican.  

14                 And at that time, the Penal Law was 

15          amended by a sentencing commission, I guess, 

16          or a -- I'm sorry, a law revision commission 

17          that was basically headed by Mr. Bartlett, 

18          Assemblyman Bartlett, who was a Republican 

19          member -- I guess from Ms. Duprey's district, 

20          I'm not sure, upstate New York.  

21                 And that commission recommended, after 

22          a long arduous discussion about the issue of 

23          preventative detention, that we should leave 

24          it out of the Penal Law, we should put in 


 1          provisions to allow judges to make the 

 2          assessment based on the risk factors that 

 3          Mr. O'Donnell mentioned earlier about it, so 

 4          that a judge's hands wouldn't be tied by a 

 5          preventative detention statute that would 

 6          require them to set high bail in most every 

 7          case.  

 8                 I just wanted to point that out to 

 9          you, because that was done in 1965 when the 

10          Penal Law was revised.  So ...

11                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  From the 

12          question, it sounds like you have an 

13          advantage and may be a little bit older than 

14          I am --

15                 (Laughter.)

16                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Just a little 

17          bit.

18                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  But, you 

19          know, I think that that's a good point, that 

20          we should learn from history.  But I think we 

21          also have to learn from the experiences.  And 

22          I'm not sure that the science behind risk 

23          assessment that exists today existed back 

24          then when they were making that decision.


 1                 And again, if you look to 

 2          jurisdictions that have implemented this and 

 3          implemented it properly, the result is fewer 

 4          people being held.

 5                 And back to your initial statement, 

 6          this proposal is being put forth by the 

 7          Governor because of his belief that if we 

 8          make better decisions and we use the science 

 9          that's available, we can hold fewer people 

10          and make the state safer.

11                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  I want to move 

12          on, but I should also point out, which I 

13          forgot to mention, that at the time in 1965 

14          we had a crime rate that was much worse than 

15          today, when that decision was made.

16                 But let me move on to the independent 

17          monitor.  Because we talked about this last 

18          year when you were here, and I don't want to 

19          ask a whole host of questions.  But it's hard 

20          for me to understand whether this was a 

21          mistake to be put back in the budget or not.  

22          Because since the Governor issued an 

23          executive order to allow the Attorney General 

24          to act as a special prosecutor -- and an 


 1          independent monitor would have no resources 

 2          at all within which to work, and the Attorney 

 3          General would have a multitude of resources 

 4          to handle these cases -- why are we asking 

 5          again for an independent monitor and why not 

 6          let the Attorney General handle these cases 

 7          as a special prosecutor?  

 8                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  To 

 9          address your first point, it is not a mistake 

10          that it was put back in.  I think -- at least 

11          from my position, I think the Governor made 

12          clear last year that he believed that the 

13          best option was the legislative option that 

14          he put forward.

15                 As I know you're well aware, there are 

16          many very important considerations to be 

17          balanced here.  One of those is that every 

18          county has an elected district attorney that 

19          the people of that county elected to handle 

20          cases like this and make decisions like this 

21          in their county.

22                 And a countervailing consideration is 

23          public confidence in the criminal justice 

24          system, which we know is critical, you know, 


 1          for a number of different reasons.  One of 

 2          which is studies show that when public 

 3          confidence in the criminal justice system 

 4          erodes, one of the things that can follow is 

 5          lawlessness and higher crime rates.

 6                 So in balancing those things, the 

 7          Governor put forth a proposal that would not 

 8          automatically take away the district 

 9          attorney's ability to handle cases but would 

10          put a provision in place when the district 

11          attorney either did not go to the grand jury 

12          within a reasonable time on the case or the 

13          grand jury issued no bill, to have an 

14          independent monitor come in, review the facts 

15          of the case, review the grand jury 

16          proceedings and make a report to the 

17          Governor, so when the Governor exercised his 

18          or her powers in terms of whether or not to 

19          appoint a special prosecutor, it would be 

20          made based on solid information about the 

21          facts and circumstances of that particular 

22          case.  And if the Governor felt that there 

23          was an injustice or that there was new 

24          evidence, the Governor could appoint a 


 1          special prosecutor.  

 2                 And I don't agree with your assessment 

 3          that there would be no resources, because I 

 4          think that it is envisioned under their 

 5          proposal that both the independent monitor 

 6          and, if necessary, the special prosecutor 

 7          would have the resources necessary.

 8                 Now, last year the Governor made clear 

 9          that that was his preference, but that if it 

10          didn't pass, he felt something had to be 

11          done.  And when nothing was passed, he felt 

12          something needed to be done, he signed the 

13          executive order.

14                 We're obviously in a different 

15          position this year.  You know, now there's an 

16          executive order in place.  But that doesn't 

17          change the fact that the Executive feels that 

18          the best path forward is a path that creates 

19          that balance between those two very important 

20          considerations.  And I believe that that is 

21          the reason why this legislation is put back 

22          in again in the Governor's Article VII 

23          budget.

24                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  I listened very 


 1          carefully to the Governor at his State of the 

 2          State message, and I thought I heard him 

 3          say -- and maybe I'm mistaken, because you 

 4          said I'm getting older; my hearing may be 

 5          getting bad.  But I thought the Governor said 

 6          that he was asking for not an independent 

 7          monitor but passage of the Keith Wright bill 

 8          to make permanent a grand jury -- I'm sorry, 

 9          a special prosecutor in the Attorney 

10          General's office to prosecute these cases and 

11          investigate whether or not an additional 

12          prosecution is necessary.

13                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I was 

14          sitting much farther back than you were, so I 

15          might not have heard right either.  But my 

16          comments are based on the language of the 

17          Article VII bill that was submitted.  And I 

18          believe what I have just indicated in my 

19          comments is consistent with the language 

20          that's in that Article VII bill.

21                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Okay.

22                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  You're at zero now.

23                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  I'm at zero, so 

24          I'll turn my time over to the next speaker.


 1                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.

 2                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you very 

 3          much.

 4                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Our next speaker is 

 5          Senator Mike Nozzolio.

 6                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you very 

 7          much.

 8                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Good 

 9          afternoon.

10                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Mr. DCJS 

11          Commissioner, former district attorney and 

12          good friend.  How are you, Mike?

13                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Good, 

14          thank you.

15                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Senator Funke and 

16          Senator Akshar may be talking about other 

17          issues regarding parole, and I want to put 

18          you on notice in this forum that we are very 

19          concerned with -- by we, those of us in the 

20          Senate -- as we review the budget, in terms 

21          of the allocation of resources for parole.  I 

22          know that's not directly within your purview, 

23          but certainly we will be probing that with 

24          Acting Commissioner Annucci and others.  


 1                 But I wanted you to know that that's a 

 2          big concern of ours, and particularly in 

 3          Western New York.  The supervision and the 

 4          problems we've had with the caseload of 

 5          parole officers as well as the results of 

 6          very tragic incidents occurring in your 

 7          hometown over the last few years regarding 

 8          those who are out on parole and committing 

 9          very violent crimes soon after their 

10          discharge.  So putting you on notice of that, 

11          Mike.

12                 Again in your region, but this is -- 

13          we're finding this happening throughout the 

14          state, is the scourge of heroin.  It's a 

15          scourge, it's a deeply rooted problem that is 

16          no longer isolated in the inner cities but 

17          expanding well into the suburbs and rural 

18          areas.

19                 Just as an aside, the sheriff of 

20          Seneca County had a forum late last fall, and 

21          it was discussed how those traveling from the 

22          Central Finger Lakes, going to Rochester and 

23          Syracuse to buy their supplies, and then 

24          coming home, a round trip of 80 to 100 miles 


 1          and actually distributing, as dealers of 

 2          heroin, and having a market in the Central 

 3          Finger Lakes, which never existed before.  

 4                 But you travel the Thruway, we travel 

 5          the Thruway.  Just think of those who are 

 6          high on heroin going back and forth to their 

 7          places of obtaining supplies and being high 

 8          on the road -- in fact, inebriated, under the 

 9          influence.  And that just is nonetheless a 

10          very disturbing situation.

11                 What is DCJS doing, your agency, to 

12          stem the heroin epidemic and to address the 

13          heroin epidemic in our state? 

14                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  That's a 

15          very good question.  You know, and I 

16          certainly agree with you that heroin is a 

17          very serious problem.  One thing I'd say to 

18          preface my remarks, as you noted, I was a 

19          prosecutor, I spent 25 years in the DA's 

20          office, the last eight years as the DA.  And 

21          I can't tell you how many wiretap 

22          applications I signed on drug cases, how many 

23          search warrants, you know, how many thousands  

24          of drug dealers were prosecuted and, you 


 1          know, God knows how many pounds of heroin and 

 2          coke and whatever else.  And none of it made 

 3          the drug problem go away.

 4                 So, you know, when we think about this 

 5          problem, I think we need to think about it 

 6          from more than just a law enforcement 

 7          perspective.  You know, if all we do is 

 8          figure out how to arrest people and how to 

 9          confiscate drugs, we're on a never-ending 

10          treadmill and we'll just keep doing that with 

11          no change.  

12                 So, you know, a huge part of the 

13          equation has to be on the treatment side.  

14          And I, in my remarks, briefly talked about 

15          how we are bringing evidence-based practices 

16          to the support of the funding that we do, to 

17          make sure that the money that we provide to 

18          Alternative to Incarceration programs -- so 

19          when people come into the criminal justice 

20          system, need help and get referred to help, 

21          the help that they're getting is effective 

22          help that's done by agencies that are running 

23          in a way that is designed to make sure that 

24          they get effective treatment and don't keep 


 1          cycling through the system.  So that's one 

 2          area that we're working in.

 3                 We've also been very active in terms 

 4          of Naloxone, working with a number of other 

 5          state agencies.  We've been engaged in a 

 6          program for about two years now to train and 

 7          provide law enforcement officers across the 

 8          state with Naloxone.  So far, over 8,000 

 9          officers have been trained as part of that 

10          program, including about 2,500 trainers under 

11          the Train the Trainer model.  They've 

12          administered Naloxone about a thousand times.  

13          Over 900 of those 1,000 administrations have 

14          resulted in saves.  

15                 In addition, we've provided funding 

16          and do provide funding to the special 

17          narcotics prosecutor, to district attorney's 

18          offices across the state, some of which is 

19          used for the prosecution of drug cases.  And 

20          then through our work with crime analysis 

21          centers, we provide resources to local law 

22          enforcement on the crime analysis side to 

23          help fight this.  So those are some of our 

24          efforts.  I'd be happy if you want to follow 


 1          up.

 2                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Is there any area 

 3          of the state that is doing better than -- is 

 4          establishing better successes than maybe 

 5          other areas of the state?

 6                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I travel 

 7          the entire state from, you know, the North 

 8          Country to Buffalo to Long Island and 

 9          everywhere in between.  And I -- you know, I 

10          consistently hear that this is an issue.  I 

11          couldn't point to one area and say they've 

12          got it figured out.

13                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Well, please -- 

14          there are many -- in our conference and all 

15          across the Legislature, they're deeply 

16          concerned about this issue.  And your 

17          suggestions and guidance in the future will 

18          be very helpful as we try to appropriately 

19          provide legislative solutions.  

20                 And I must say the task force that a 

21          number of members have served on, the Heroin 

22          Task Force, has not just relied on the 

23          traditional law enforcement measures.  We 

24          agree with you that treatment is paramount to 


 1          ever finalizing and reducing the demand.

 2                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I 

 3          certainly share your concern, appreciate it, 

 4          and would look forward to working with you on 

 5          this very important issue.  And I also wanted 

 6          to thank you for your service as a Senator, 

 7          too.

 8                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you, Madam 

 9          Chair.

10                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator.

11                 Assembly?

12                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Assemblyman Graft 

13          {sic}.

14                 ASSEMBLYMAN GRAF:  Thank you, Denny.  

15          You can leave off the T, though.  

16                 (Laughter.)

17                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  I'll take it off if 

18          I find it.

19                 ASSEMBLYMAN GRAF:  Okay, a few 

20          questions.  Going back to the police vests.  

21          Now, the report that I read was that, you 

22          know, we had money allocated to upgrade vests 

23          for police officers.  And the Governor didn't 

24          get his whole package, and he basically took 


 1          his ball and went home.  And he gave the 

 2          money to the DOT.  That's the report that I 

 3          had.  Right?  

 4                 So I don't know if the plows need 

 5          Kevlar, that the snowmen are shooting at 

 6          them, but I don't appreciate the Governor 

 7          sitting there and playing politics with the 

 8          lives of hardworking police officers.  And 

 9          now I look at this reform package that the 

10          Governor has, and he's just jumping on the 

11          anti-cop bandwagon again.  

12                 As far as special counsel, now, you 

13          know the grand jury proceedings have been 

14          secret, and there's a reason that they're 

15          secret, for -- you know, from the inception.  

16          And I'm reading through this stuff.  And if 

17          I'm not mistaken -- and you can correct me if 

18          I'm wrong -- most of this stuff here says 

19          they're allowing the DA to turn over a report 

20          if they don't indict.  Is that correct?  It 

21          allows them to.

22                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  

23          Basically the provision would allow the 

24          district attorney to either do a report or 


 1          write a letter to make information available 

 2          to the public explaining why the case 

 3          resulted the way it did.

 4                 And I can tell you, you know, I first 

 5          of all spent my entire career trying to 

 6          support law enforcement, and I strongly 

 7          disagree with your characterization.  But 

 8          secondly, I personally have been in a 

 9          position where I have presented high-profile 

10          cases to the grand jury where police shot 

11          somebody -- and shot and killed somebody, in 

12          circumstances -- and I felt like my hands 

13          were unduly tied in those circumstances, 

14          where I had to go out and tell the public, 

15          this is what happened, and by law I'm not 

16          allowed to tell you one additional word.  

17                 You know, I don't think anyone wants 

18          to disclose names of witnesses that testified 

19          or other information that would compromise 

20          anybody.  But to give the public just a basic 

21          level of information so that there can be 

22          some understanding.  If the case gets 

23          no-billed and the determination was that a 

24          police officer was justified in doing what he 


 1          or she did, then I think it's only fair not 

 2          only to the public but to the police officer 

 3          that the community have some understanding of 

 4          why that happened so that they don't have 

 5          this notion in their head that there was some 

 6          kind of fix that happened and it was a bad 

 7          result.

 8                 ASSEMBLYMAN GRAF:  You know, we have 

 9          duly elected DAs, and that's their job to 

10          make this decision whether they're going to 

11          indict or not.  And this just looks to me, 

12          for political purposes, all right, to be able 

13          to get another bite at the apple when it 

14          comes to police officers.  That's --

15                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  

16          Actually, it does not.  This does not give 

17          anybody another bite at the apple.  This does 

18          not in any way, shape or form change the law.  

19                 Right now, under existing law if a 

20          case goes to a grand jury and the grand jury 

21          no-bills, there's a provision in the law that 

22          allows the district attorney or any other 

23          prosecutor who's duly appointed to go to a 

24          judge in that jurisdiction and seek 


 1          permission to get that case re-presented to a 

 2          grand jury based on either new evidence or 

 3          some flaw with the posterior proceeding.

 4                 ASSEMBLYMAN GRAF:  But you're removing 

 5          that.

 6                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  That 

 7          same rule would continue to apply.  There is 

 8          no new bite at the apple.  This simply goes 

 9          to who it is that will be carrying out that 

10          function.  Will it be the district attorney, 

11          or will it be a special prosecutor?  But it 

12          does not create --

13                 ASSEMBLYMAN GRAF:  But wait a minute, 

14          wait a minute, wait a minute --

15                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  -- a 

16          second bite.

17                 ASSEMBLYMAN GRAF:  Wait a minute.  

18          Now, if the special prosecutor does not like 

19          the way that the DA presented the case to the 

20          grand jury, right, the special prosecutor can 

21          bring the case again; correct?  

22                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  No.

23                 ASSEMBLYMAN GRAF:  That's the way I 

24          read it.


 1                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  First of 

 2          all, "does not like" is not the standard in 

 3          the bill.  There has to be a substantial flaw 

 4          with what happened, or there has to be new 

 5          evidence.  

 6                 And secondly, the law right now 

 7          requires anybody who wants to go back into a 

 8          grand jury after there's been a no-bill to 

 9          get permission from a judge.  And under this 

10          proposal, it simply says that there would be 

11          a special prosecutor, not the DA.  But it 

12          does nothing to change that existing section 

13          of law.  

14                 And that special prosecutor would 

15          still have to go back in front of a judge and 

16          show the judge that there was cause under the 

17          existing standard to go back into grand jury 

18          before he or she could do so.

19                 ASSEMBLYMAN GRAF:  Okay.  And -- so 

20          the way I'm reading this, a lot of this 

21          allows the DA, the DA may -- correct?  He 

22          doesn't have to give a statement.  He doesn't 

23          have to write a letter.

24                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Correct.


 1                 ASSEMBLYMAN GRAF:  He doesn't have to 

 2          go out there.

 3                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  But if 

 4          the DA, like me in that situation I was in, 

 5          felt that it's important that the public 

 6          understand at a basic level what happened, it 

 7          gives them the ability to do that.

 8                 ASSEMBLYMAN GRAF:  Okay.  

 9                 Now, is part of this the video cameras 

10          for the police officers too?  Is that what 

11          he's looking at, with the ones that they 

12          wear?  

13                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Yes, 

14          that is one of the items that the Governor 

15          has put forward -- not as a budget bill, but 

16          in his State of the State, the Build to Lead 

17          agenda book.

18                 And frankly, my recollection is that 

19          two years ago in his State of State, it was 

20          something he talked about.  I know there was  

21          legislation last year that both the District 

22          Attorneys Association and the Innocence 

23          Project had signed off on that I believe 

24          passed the Senate.  And that same framework 


 1          is the framework that the Governor is 

 2          proposing.

 3                 You know, A, we're the only state in 

 4          the country that doesn't allow photo-array 

 5          identifications into evidence at trial.  And 

 6          all of the research on this issue suggests 

 7          that if it's done properly, your best 

 8          identification is the one that's done first 

 9          and soonest in time to the crime, which 

10          almost always is a photo-array 

11          identification.  And yet we keep that best 

12          identification from the jury.

13                 So that was half of the package.  The 

14          other half of the package is video recording 

15          of interrogations in serious cases.  And 

16          again, you know, the MPTC has adopted 

17          policies regarding it.  Almost every major 

18          police department in the state is recording.  

19                 You know, I can tell you, as someone 

20          who tried cases, the last case I tried was a 

21          case where two police officers were shot and 

22          one of my best pieces of evidence was 

23          3Ω hours of a recorded interview with the 

24          person who was convicted of attempting to 


 1          murder those police officers.

 2                 You know, it's something that I think 

 3          almost everyone who's up on these issues in 

 4          law enforcement agrees we should be doing.

 5                 ASSEMBLYMAN GRAF:  Yeah, I'm talking 

 6          about the body cams.  Is that part of these 

 7          proposals?  

 8                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  No, I 

 9          don't believe there's legislation with regard 

10          to body cameras.

11                 ASSEMBLYMAN GRAF:  Okay.  Thank you.

12                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

13                 Senator Squadron.

14                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Thank you very 

15          much.  

16                 I've got a lot to cover here.  I don't 

17          know if you were here earlier when we had 

18          that extensive conversation about speedy 

19          trial or the absolute lack of speedy trials 

20          in New York State.

21                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I was 

22          listening to all of it.

23                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  I appreciate it.  

24          What if any data does DCJS keep on the period 


 1          from arraignment to disposition or trial 

 2          delays in general?  

 3                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I don't 

 4          have it with me, but I do believe we have 

 5          county-by-county data on time from 

 6          arraignment to disposition.

 7                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  County by county.  

 8          Also related to charge levels -- felony, A 

 9          and B misdemeanors -- to sort of track the 

10          ready for trial statute?  

11                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I'd have 

12          to check and see how far it's broken down.  

13          But I can certainly find out and get back to 

14          you on that.

15                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Great.  And then 

16          sort of taking off the data hat and putting 

17          on the policy hat, what do you think DCJS can 

18          do to help solve this crisis?

19                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I think 

20          that it's mainly an issue within OCA.  You 

21          know, our role -- you know, we provide 

22          support, provide funding to prosecutors.  We 

23          provide a very small amount of aid to 

24          defense.  It's mainly the Office of Indigent 


 1          Legal Services that does that.  

 2                 So I think our role is minor.  I do 

 3          agree with you that it's a very important 

 4          issue.  You know, when we talk about things 

 5          like the number of people being held in 

 6          jails, you know, one part of it is who's 

 7          going to jail, but another part of it is how 

 8          long are they in jail.  And certainly on the 

 9          pretrial side it's a huge issue.

10                 So, you know, I'd be happy to follow 

11          up on the data piece and certainly be willing 

12          to work with you, OCA, and anyone else on 

13          what I think is a very important issue.

14                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Great.  Thank you 

15          very much.  We'd really like to see trends 

16          especially.  I mean, you know, it's something 

17          that the five boroughs of New York City know 

18          a lot about.  We heard about it from the 

19          Long Island perspective as well.

20                 Speaking of reporting, the Governor 

21          proposes the sort of expanded reporting for 

22          summonses, et cetera, similar to last year's 

23          proposal, as I understand it.  Is that fair 

24          to say?


 1                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Yes.  

 2          Basically right now we get fingerprintable 

 3          offenses and we can do all kinds of reports 

 4          or data with regard to fingerprintable 

 5          offenses.  This would give us information 

 6          with regard to non-fingerprintable offenses.

 7                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Great.  And last 

 8          year we covered that it would be sort of part 

 9          of a unified database with the 

10          fingerprintable offenses so there would be 

11          ways to sort of cut it to include 

12          fingerprintable and non-fingerprintable 

13          offenses in terms of how it was sort of 

14          stored and analyzed.

15                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Yeah, I 

16          don't want to say unified.  I don't know in 

17          terms of the logistics.  I don't think they 

18          would be combined.  

19                 But certainly our intention would be 

20          to be able to provide the same level of data 

21          with regard to those offenses that we provide 

22          you now with regard to the fingerprintable 

23          ones.

24                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Great.  And 


 1          Assemblymember Lentol and I carry a bill that 

 2          would do this.  

 3                 Let me just kind of speed around here 

 4          for a second.  Which of these factors either 

 5          would be authorized or required to be 

 6          included in the information?  Obviously, 

 7          offenses and violations are included; right?  

 8                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Yes, 

 9          like harassment, disorderly conduct.

10                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Demographics on an 

11          individual's charge, race, ethnicity, 

12          et cetera?  

13                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Yes.

14                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Whether the summons 

15          or appearance ticket contained a custodial 

16          arrest or not?

17                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I don't 

18          know if the proposal is that specific.  And 

19          I'd have to check.  But there may be language 

20          in there that indicates that it is subject to 

21          regulation by the commissioner of DCJS in 

22          terms of how it gets reported.

23                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Disposition?

24                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  No, I 


 1          don't believe it's disposition, because it's 

 2          coming -- the requirement is for the police 

 3          department.  So I don't believe they would 

 4          have the disposition information.

 5                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  And therefore not 

 6          sentence, either, right?  Neither disposition 

 7          nor sentence.

 8                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  No, that 

 9          would have to be information that would come 

10          from OCA.

11                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Great.  And then of 

12          course that could be aggregated countywide, 

13          statewide, any -- regionally, et cetera?  

14                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  

15          Absolutely.

16                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Okay.  That's 

17          important.  And hopefully this year we can 

18          get that over the top, since knowing what 

19          we're talking -- you said fact-based a number 

20          of times; I couldn't agree more.

21                 Speaking of which, let's talk about 

22          the Arnold Foundation briefly that you 

23          referenced earlier.  How do you ensure that 

24          sort of algorithm that goes into the 


 1          predictive score that the Arnold Foundation 

 2          throws out is sufficiently transparent?  

 3          Sure, it's showing preliminarily to do a 

 4          better job of having fewer people held on 

 5          bail and arguably or potentially lowering 

 6          violent crimes or violent actions among those 

 7          who are out in that period.  But for each 

 8          individual case, how do we know that there's 

 9          a relationship between what that individual 

10          has actually done in the past and the 

11          likelihood that they'll be given the capacity 

12          to get out on bail?  

13                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I guess 

14          two points I'd make.  

15                 First, I indicated that we believe 

16          that this should be given to judges as a 

17          tool.  I don't think you can ever replace the 

18          judgment of a judge with a tool.  But I think 

19          the more tools you can give a judge to help 

20          them exercise that discretion so -- you know, 

21          there may be a case where the risk instrument 

22          says one thing but a judge, you know, given 

23          his or her experience, says I can safely 

24          release this person regardless of what -- 


 1          because there's some factor that didn't get 

 2          put in here.

 3                 Secondly, as to the algorithm, we in 

 4          other settings have taken algorithms that 

 5          have been developed, used our research staff 

 6          and our DCJS data and improved on them to 

 7          make them New York-specific, to be as 

 8          tailored as they can to, you know, our 

 9          particular circumstances here in New York.  

10                 And I certainly would anticipate that 

11          we do that.  And I think it's got to be a 

12          very transparent process.  I think that in 

13          creating that, you know, we need to make sure 

14          everyone understands what we're doing.  

15                 And then the last thing I would say is 

16          I mentioned training.  You can't just put an 

17          instrument out, throw it out there and say, 

18          use it.  I think it's important, if you're 

19          going to do this and do it right and expect 

20          to get the results that we truly do lower 

21          jail populations and increase public safety, 

22          everyone needs to be trained.  So the judges, 

23          the lawyers on both sides using this know 

24          what the algorithm is, know how we came up 


 1          with it, know what it means, you know, know 

 2          how to use it.  

 3                 And I think if you do all those 

 4          things, the evidence shows that you do get to 

 5          a point where you can drive down the jail 

 6          population and at the same time make the 

 7          state safer.

 8                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  I would strongly 

 9          urge that anytime we're talking about these, 

10          whether as part of a change in the 

11          methodology as proposed by the Governor or 

12          not, that we are a lot more careful about 

13          telling the judges and requiring the judges 

14          consider what it really means, what the 

15          underlying factors are that go into that risk 

16          assessment, not just -- you know, it's very 

17          appealing to simplify everything and every 

18          human being to a score.  That actually is not 

19          how the criminal justice system works.  It's 

20          the reason we have the criminal justice 

21          system we have.  

22                 And to implement a score absent a 

23          whole lot of requirements for due diligence 

24          and understanding by the judge is likely to 


 1          cause constitutional among other problems.

 2                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I 

 3          couldn't agree with you more.

 4                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Briefly, I believe  

 5          just a final issue on transparency.  We did 

 6          talk about body cams before briefly.  Does 

 7          DCJS have an opinion or a willingness to be 

 8          part of the solution on how we make body cam 

 9          footage available to the public while still 

10          protecting individual privacy rights?  

11                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  We 

12          certainly have spent time with the issue of 

13          body cameras.  Specifically the issue was 

14          considered by the Municipal Police Training 

15          Council.  We're the staff arm for that 

16          council.  We did a lot of research over the 

17          period of about a year.  The council recently 

18          adopted a model policy with regard to the use 

19          of body cameras which does touch on some of 

20          those issues but certainly I don't think is 

21          the end of the discussion.  

22                 But yes, you know, I think body 

23          cameras clearly have a place.  And I think 

24          that there are a lot of issues that go along 


 1          with them that are very important issues that 

 2          need to be hashed out.  So we'd be happy to 

 3          be involved.

 4                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  They have the 

 5          potential to really help both law enforcement 

 6          and civilians who are in contact with law 

 7          enforcement.  Frankly, I would like to see 

 8          some funding in here to help us devise a 

 9          system and a storage capacity for how that 

10          becomes public and when it becomes public.  

11          Because absent that, the truth is that's 

12          going to hold up any kind of expansion of 

13          body cameras, which I think there's 

14          increasingly a consensus is something we need 

15          to do.  We're not going to be able to do it 

16          without funding sort of the back end data 

17          question.  That's not an additional question 

18          when it comes to this new technology, it's a 

19          core question about whether the technology 

20          can move forward.

21                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  No, 

22          that's the cost.  The cost of the cameras 

23          up-front is almost nonexistent compared to 

24          the data shortage and management cost.


 1                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  And "management" 

 2          being the key word there, even more than 

 3          storage, probably, if the curve continues on 

 4          storage.

 5                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Yeah, if 

 6          you never need it, it's easy to store it.

 7                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Finally, the 

 8          special counsel was proposed.  I asked a 

 9          question last year, there was a little 

10          ambiguity on it.  It's been a year, the 

11          special counsel proposal seems similar to 

12          last year's, so maybe there's more clarity 

13          this year.  

14                 The Governor appoints a special 

15          counsel to consider whether to recommend an 

16          independent prosecutor is appointed.  That 

17          special counsel has the capacity to access 

18          the grand jury findings and transcripts, all 

19          of the information related to the grand jury 

20          proceeding.  

21                 Is the special counsel able to share 

22          that information with the Executive or not?  

23          And if not, is the special counsel able to 

24          make a recommendation other than yea or nay 


 1          to justify or explain why the recommendation 

 2          is what it is?  

 3                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  The way 

 4          I read and understand the proposal, the 

 5          special counsel would have the ability to 

 6          share as much information as necessary in the 

 7          context of making a recommendation to the 

 8          Governor.  

 9                 I don't believe that a reasonable 

10          reading of this bill or a reasonable 

11          interpretation would say that the special 

12          counsel is limited to walking into the 

13          Governor's office and saying yes or no and I 

14          can't answer any other questions.

15                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  And would the 

16          Governor be allowed to share that information 

17          in announcing to the public his or her 

18          decision, or would the Governor be under the 

19          same limitations on sharing information that 

20          emanates from a grand jury proceeding as 

21          everyone else is?

22                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I don't 

23          read the bill in a way that would allow for 

24          additional disclosure of that information 


 1          beyond from the special counsel to the 

 2          Governor.

 3                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Doesn't that take 

 4          the black box of the grand jury room, extend 

 5          it into the Executive, and then stop it right 

 6          there, so that from the perspective of the 

 7          public and policymakers and law enforcement 

 8          in general, they're left with the same black 

 9          box, just one where a different branch of 

10          government has also the ability to come out 

11          and tell us no more than we've heard before, 

12          which is just yes or no?

13                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  If that 

14          were the end of the day, you know, you could 

15          make that argument, I think.  But first of 

16          all, you're balancing or trying to balance 

17          some very important policy considerations 

18          here, and grand jury secrecy is one.  

19                 And secondly, if the Governor, 

20          following a recommendation from the special 

21          counsel, appoints a special prosecutor, you 

22          know, I would argue that it's not the 

23          Governor's position at that point to be 

24          making public statements about the case 


 1          before the special prosecutor has a chance to 

 2          do his or her work.  I think that the 

 3          appropriate course of action at that time 

 4          would be not to disclose anything further 

 5          until the special prosecutor has had an 

 6          opportunity to do their job.

 7                 SENATOR SQUADRON:  Look, it's both -- 

 8          it's those two competing conclusions that 

 9          lead to such concerns about this.  You're 

10          probably right about that, but what does that 

11          say about the overall proposal?  I think 

12          that's something that we still need to really 

13          consider.  

14                 Thank you.

15                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Thank 

16          you.  

17                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.  

18          Assembly.

19                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.  

20                 Assemblyman O'Donnell.

21                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  Thank you very 

22          much.

23                 Once again, I agree with Mr. Graf.  

24          Okay?  So I will take some medication when I 


 1          get home --

 2                 (Laughter.)

 3                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  -- to make 

 4          sure I arrive tomorrow in the same state I 

 5          arrived yesterday.

 6                 But I believe in the secrecy of the 

 7          grand jury.  And I believe that it serves a 

 8          very important function.  And mostly what I 

 9          believe, that it's outrageous to suggest that 

10          because a defendant happens to be a member of 

11          law enforcement that her or his rights are 

12          less than all the other people who are 

13          defendants in a grand jury.

14                 So having said that, I don't believe 

15          we should be opening them up.  I don't 

16          believe we should be giving the names of 

17          witnesses.  And I don't believe we should be 

18          giving out what the nature of the testimony 

19          is.

20                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I guess 

21          that's --

22                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  However -- 

23          there's a however -- what a DA charges to the 

24          grand jury is different.  You and your 


 1          cohorts who are DAs are elected, they owe an 

 2          obligation to their citizenry.  

 3                 So to that end, I have a bill that 

 4          would allow any citizen to request from a DA 

 5          what did you charge that grand jury in this 

 6          case.  Because in the cases where we've had 

 7          these problems where there's been great 

 8          public outcry, I fear that the DA is not 

 9          charging the grand jury in a way that many of 

10          their constituents would have wanted them to 

11          do.

12                 And so just like my votes are public, 

13          just like my speech here will probably be put 

14          up by one of the people in this room a little 

15          while from now, the actions of DAs should be 

16          subject to the same scrutiny.

17                 So do you think it would be 

18          appropriate to require that DAs be required 

19          to release what charges they gave to a grand 

20          jury in cases where the public wants to know?

21                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  First of 

22          all, I think I differ with you in terms of 

23          your characterization of the proposal.  I 

24          don't think it subjects police to a different 


 1          standard.  Right now the Governor --

 2                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  No, sir, I 

 3          wasn't saying that was in the proposal, I was 

 4          saying that was my opinion.

 5                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I'd 

 6          appreciate the opportunity to respond.

 7                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  Okay.

 8                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Right 

 9          now the Governor has the power to appoint a 

10          special prosecutor.  I remember the death 

11          penalty case in the Bronx where Governor 

12          Pataki exercised that power, and frankly the 

13          ability to review that power is very limited.  

14          And right now the information that the 

15          Governor has at his or her disposal when 

16          making that very important decision is very 

17          limited.  

18                 What this proposal does is not give 

19          the Governor any additional powers in terms 

20          of appointing a special prosecutor in cases 

21          involving police, because frankly he can do 

22          that already.  What it does is give the 

23          Governor a mechanism to get information other 

24          than what's reported in the press, but real, 


 1          accurate information about the case so the 

 2          Governor can make an informed decision about 

 3          whether or not it furthers good public policy 

 4          to appoint a special prosecutor in that 

 5          particular case.  

 6                 In terms of your point about release 

 7          of the instructions to the grand jury, I 

 8          certainly think that that's an important 

 9          issue that should be discussed in the context 

10          of any legislation in this area.

11                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  Well, I wrote 

12          the bill, so I'd like to get, you know, my 

13          name on that.  That would be good.  Okay?  

14                 I'd like to now talk a little bit 

15          about photo arrays.  You had mentioned it in 

16          your testimony that most places use photo 

17          arrays.

18                 In my experience, one of the problems 

19          with photo arrays is the pictures that are in 

20          them.  So how does someone get to have their 

21          picture in a photo array?  Well, chances are 

22          that's because they've been arrested before, 

23          and that's the picture that's there.  

24                 Then you have the problem with what 


 1          the picture looks like.  Now what we know 

 2          from just reading the paper, when famous 

 3          celebrities who are really drop-dead 

 4          gorgeous, they get paid millions of dollars 

 5          because of how good-looking they are, when 

 6          they get arrested, they look like they went 

 7          to hell in a handbasket.  Right?  So even 

 8          among the most gorgeous creatures in America, 

 9          their arrest photos, they look guilty as can 

10          be.

11                 So isn't there some inherent risk in 

12          putting in front of a jury a picture of a 

13          criminal defendant in their worst possible 

14          moment, looking the worst they could possibly 

15          look, and creating a -- and trampling on the 

16          presumption of innocence by putting such an 

17          image in front of them?  

18                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I guess 

19          the first thing I'd say is that the Innocence 

20          Project has been strenuously advocating for 

21          this, to me and publicly, for some period of 

22          time.  And I can't believe that the Innocence 

23          Project would advocate for this if they felt 

24          that it was trampling on people's rights.


 1                 And secondly, you know, in this day 

 2          and age -- you know, there was a time where I 

 3          think it would be reasonable to say if you 

 4          have a photo, it must be an arrest photo.  If 

 5          I want a photo of someone in this day and 

 6          age, I go on the internet -- you know, and I 

 7          don't know how to do it as well as, you know, 

 8          so many -- 

 9                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  Your 

10          grandkids.  Yes, I understand.

11                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  -- other 

12          people could, but you pull up a Facebook 

13          photo, you pull up any other photo.  You 

14          know, so I think that the idea that the 

15          public perception that you have a photo, it 

16          must be an arrest photo may have been true 40 

17          years ago.  If I asked my kids today, I don't 

18          think their first instinct would be you got 

19          it from an arrest, I think their first 

20          instinct would be you got it off the 

21          internet.

22                 So, you know, I think things are 

23          changing.  And I think that all of those 

24          things are important considerations, but at 


 1          the end of the day, when the Innocence 

 2          Project is advocating for me saying this is 

 3          the best way to ensure against wrongful 

 4          identifications that lead to wrongful 

 5          convictions, and this is what you should 

 6          do -- and I think the last thing I'll say is 

 7          they do that with a caveat, that the photo 

 8          arrays have to be assembled and put together 

 9          properly and the procedure has to be 

10          conducted properly before it's a good idea to 

11          let a jury see it.  So it's not just that any 

12          photo array should go in and a jury should 

13          see it; we should have guidelines and 

14          standards about how the arrays have to be put 

15          together and about how the procedures have to 

16          be done.  And if and only if you meet those 

17          standards, then we should allow a jury to 

18          hear them.

19                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  I wouldn't 

20          dream of questioning Mr. Scheck or 

21          Mr. Neufeld and their commitment to 

22          innocence.  And in fact, Mr. Scheck once 

23          tracked me down and congratulated me on my 

24          skills at cross-examination during one of 


 1          these hearings, so I consider that a high 

 2          mark.  

 3                 But most of the defender organizations 

 4          in the state do oppose this idea.  And I 

 5          guess this is one of those cases where the 

 6          devil will always be in the details.  

 7                 The third point I'd like to raise has 

 8          to do with these verified instruments that 

 9          you want to talk about.  You know, we have 

10          some experience in putting verified 

11          instruments out there.  Where do we do that 

12          legislatively?  We did that before the Parole 

13          Board.  The Parole Board is currently 

14          required to use a verified instrument in 

15          determining release rates.  And you know what 

16          happens?  They ignore it.  They ignore it, 

17          sir.  We made them use them, they've used 

18          them, they look at them and say despite the 

19          fact that this instrument says X, I'm going 

20          to keep you in prison for two more years 

21          because I think that's the right thing to do.  

22                 So in the end, any instrument, no 

23          matter how good it is, is only as useful as 

24          the person who's using its ability to use it 


 1          correctly.  And so from my own personal -- 

 2          I'm not speaking for the panel -- from my own 

 3          personal perspective, I would be unwilling to 

 4          do that anywhere else in the state until you 

 5          can talk to the people who work in the Parole 

 6          Board to get them to do the job that we 

 7          mandated that they do, which is take into 

 8          account the information on that very 

 9          instrument.  

10                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I 

11          certainly can't speak for the Parole Board, 

12          but I agree with your point that the 

13          instruments are only as good as the use that 

14          the people who need to use them make of them.

15                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  Thank you very 

16          much.

17                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Thank 

18          you.

19                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, 

20          Assemblyman.  

21                 Our next speaker is Senator Ruth 

22          Hassell-Thompson.

23                 SENATOR HASSELL-THOMPSON:  Thank you, 

24          Madam Chair.


 1                 Good afternoon, Mr. Green.

 2                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Good 

 3          afternoon.

 4                 SENATOR HASSELL-THOMPSON:  I'd like to 

 5          explore some of the stuff we've been talking 

 6          about, but my time is going to be very 

 7          limited.  So let's flip the switch a little 

 8          and go to the GIVE initiative that you talk 

 9          about and certainly that's in the budget.  

10                 We understand that the GIVE initiative 

11          is a replacement for Operation Impact, for 

12          the most part.  But you don't discuss the 

13          specificity of what these outreach programs 

14          are.  Would you identify SNUG as perhaps 

15          being one of those, or that type of model?

16                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN: 

17          Absolutely.  

18                 GIVE did replace Impact, you're right.  

19          Whereas Impact allowed a wider focus, GIVE 

20          focuses on shootings and homicides, and GIVE 

21          identifies four strategies that law 

22          enforcement can receive training and 

23          technical assistance on and that we'll fund.  

24          That's focused deterrence, hotspot policing, 


 1          crime prevention through environmental 

 2          design, and street outreach work.

 3                 So street outreach work is 

 4          specifically one of those four strategies 

 5          that we will support, that we do support and 

 6          we provide training on.

 7                 SENATOR HASSELL-THOMPSON:  Okay, then 

 8          I may be confused, then.  You're saying that 

 9          the street outreach that's a part of GIVE is 

10          not SNUG.

11                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  No.  As 

12          part of GIVE, one of the requirements of GIVE 

13          is that all of the efforts that are funded by 

14          the state to get at shootings and homicides 

15          be aligned, so that we shouldn't have a GIVE 

16          initiative over here designed to reduce 

17          shootings and homicides and a SNUG initiative 

18          over here designed to do the same thing, but 

19          no coordination between the two.

20                 SENATOR HASSELL-THOMPSON:  Okay.  

21          Okay, good.

22                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  You 

23          know, and that's not to say we don't 

24          recognize that in a good street outreach 


 1          program, you know, there are pieces of it 

 2          that can't be aligned with the police. 

 3                 For example, when your outreach 

 4          workers are out on the street, it's very 

 5          important that people do not view them as an 

 6          arm of the police.  But by the same token, 

 7          they both have the exact same goals.  There's 

 8          information they both have at a higher level 

 9          that's very useful to both of them.  So there 

10          has to be at least some level of coordination 

11          between those efforts.

12                 SENATOR HASSELL-THOMPSON:  How 

13          successful do you believe that the 

14          outreach -- it's been a year.  And how 

15          successful do you think, number one, the 

16          outreach overall has been?  And number two, 

17          its coordination with SNUG in terms of 

18          reducing crime in your hotspots?

19                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  We're 

20          actually heading into our third year, I 

21          believe, with the street outreach work.  And 

22          I think that it is a huge asset.  I think 

23          it's something we all should be very proud 

24          of.  You know, certainly the Legislature for 


 1          providing the funding.  

 2                 We've provided a structure, we have a 

 3          statewide coordinator for the street outreach 

 4          programs across the state.  He visits every 

 5          program at least once a month.  He 

 6          communicates with them regularly.  In 

 7          addition, we have a training director now, so 

 8          we train every program manager, every 

 9          supervisor, every outreach worker.

10                 If you look at the jurisdictions 

11          across the state, you know, some are more 

12          advanced than others, they have different 

13          strengths.  But, you know, there are 

14          instances in one jurisdiction where the 

15          police were having a spike in homicides and 

16          they reached out to the street outreach 

17          program, who on at least two separate 

18          occasions helped them get a handle on what 

19          was going on and really quashed the violence.

20                 You know, there are stories from 

21          around the state where in different ways 

22          those street outreach programs have really 

23          helped control shootings, so -- and the other 

24          thing I'd say is I'm not aware of any other 


 1          state that has a statewide street outreach 

 2          network that's organized and coordinated the 

 3          way ours is.  

 4                 So, you know, I think it's a huge tool 

 5          in the toolbox and would certainly advocate 

 6          that at a bare minimum we continue it.

 7                 SENATOR HASSELL-THOMPSON:  We've used 

 8          the Chicago Ceasefire model and some other 

 9          models.  Do you see us moving toward creating 

10          a New York model?

11                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Yes.

12                 You know, as with everything that I 

13          do, I like to look at everything that's out 

14          there, try and understand what the strong 

15          points are of all of the different 

16          approaches, and then take the strong points 

17          of all of them and put them into what I think 

18          is the best approach.

19                 And, you know, certainly there are a 

20          lot of really good ideas in the Ceasefire 

21          Chicago Cure Violence model.  But, for 

22          example, Teny Gross, out of the Institute for 

23          Nonviolence, has been doing this work since 

24          the mid-nineties and has a lot of good ideas 


 1          as well, and has done a lot of good work.  

 2          And his ideas aren't necessarily the same as 

 3          all of the Cure Violence ones out of Chicago.

 4                 So what we've tried to do is really 

 5          work with Teny and understand his program and 

 6          his thoughts, work with Cure Violence and 

 7          understand theirs.  And yes, at the end of 

 8          the day I do envision us taking all of those 

 9          ideas and putting them into what we think is 

10          the best model.

11                 SENATOR HASSELL-THOMPSON:  Thank you.

12                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator.  

13          Our next speaker -- well, I'm sorry.  Do we 

14          have anyone from the Assembly?

15                 Okay, our next speaker is Senator 

16          Velmanette Montgomery.

17                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Thank you, Madam 

18          Chairwoman.

19                 Good afternoon.  It's finally 

20          afternoon.

21                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Good 

22          afternoon.

23                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  I just wanted to 

24          ask you about the -- I guess two areas.  One 


 1          is the reentry issue, and the other one is 

 2          juvenile justice.

 3                 On reentry, I'm looking at the 

 4          proposed budget for this time which reflects 

 5          the Governor's -- some of the Governor's 

 6          primary concerns, one of them being the whole 

 7          question of reentry.  And I know that the 

 8          Governor has been working on that for some 

 9          time, and I really appreciate the fact that 

10          this has become a primary concern.

11                 I am, however -- I don't understand 

12          why it is that at the same time that we are 

13          concerned about reentry, there's 

14          $12.8 million in reductions or eliminations, 

15          proposed eliminations of programs that are 

16          basically community-based, many of them 

17          specifically related to providing support 

18          services to people reentering the community.

19                 And so I have a big question as to -- 

20          obviously, many of these are legislative 

21          adds.  However, I would like to hear from you 

22          how you, from your perspective, will be 

23          ensuring that we continue some of those very 

24          critical services.  Because when people 


 1          return to community, when they return home, 

 2          they look for people like me to find out 

 3          where they can get some help immediately.  

 4          They need housing, they are looking for 

 5          employment, they need services that help them 

 6          repair or access necessary papers that they 

 7          -- or other information that they would need.

 8                 So where will those services fit into 

 9          your budget as proposed?

10                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  And I 

11          can't speak to the legislative adds.  It's my 

12          understanding that those are things that will 

13          be discussed as you go forward with the 

14          budget negotiations.  

15                 But in terms of the Governor's budget, 

16          there is no reduction in the DCJS budget with 

17          regard to any of our reentry or Alternative 

18          to Incarceration funding streams.  And in 

19          fact, there's a $2 million increase.  

20                 There's a $1 million increase -- the 

21          prior budget was just over $3 million for 

22          19 reentry task forces around the state.  

23          This year in the Governor's proposed budget 

24          it gives us another million dollars.  That 


 1          will allow us to, assuming -- or if it is 

 2          approved, start a 20th reentry task force in 

 3          Queens, which obviously, given the volume of 

 4          cases, is in need of a task force, but also 

 5          strengthen all of the task forces across the 

 6          state.

 7                 And then, secondly, there's an 

 8          additional million-dollar add with regard to 

 9          the Alternative to Incarceration programs 

10          that would allow us to help develop screening 

11          and assessment programs to make sure that the 

12          people coming into the criminal justice 

13          system at a very early point in time are 

14          screened and assessed so that their needs are 

15          understood by those making decisions -- 

16          defense attorneys, judges, prosecutors -- and 

17          at the same time they understand what the 

18          needs are, they understand the inventory of 

19          programs available in that area so that 

20          people can get matched to the right programs 

21          and we have the best chance of breaking that 

22          cycle of recidivism.

23                 So as to the programs or as to the 

24          funding streams for DCJS in the Governor's 


 1          proposed budget, none of them were cut and in 

 2          fact they were increased by $2 million.

 3                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  All right.  I 

 4          just -- when I look at this list and I see 

 5          programs like Exodus Transitional Community 

 6          Center and Fortune Society and Community 

 7          Service Society and those programs -- so 

 8          obviously they will be coming to the 

 9          Legislature to say we need funding.  And 

10          these are, relatively speaking, small 

11          amounts -- $100,000, $200,000, and so forth.

12                 However, the fact of the matter is 

13          each of those programs -- and if you put all 

14          of that together, we then begin to have a 

15          real network of reentry organizations, and 

16          each one is important and related to our 

17          success.  The task forces, all due respect, I 

18          appreciate the work that they do, but they're 

19          not on the ground providing actual services.  

20          And so that's what I feel is missing, and I 

21          certainly hope that together we're going to 

22          ensure that the programs that need support 

23          will receive it.

24                 And I would like to, in order for me 


 1          to see where the programs -- some of them 

 2          certainly in my district, but in the city in 

 3          particular -- where they fit into your 

 4          framework, I would really appreciate having a 

 5          list of those, because I don't know exactly 

 6          where they all are at this point.

 7                 The second question -- and I'm out of 

 8          time, unfortunately -- but I have a real 

 9          interest in the juvenile justice work that 

10          you're doing and where you are with that, 

11          especially as it relates to Alternative to 

12          Incarceration programs.

13                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I 

14          just -- I know you're out of time.  I'll 

15          briefly say the Governor's budget does put 

16          $26.2 million through DCJS into those 

17          on-the-ground programs you're talking about.  

18          I don't have the list with me.  We'll 

19          certainly get it to you.

20                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Thank you.

21                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  But just 

22          for example, Fortune gets a sizable amount of 

23          money --

24                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Fortune Society?


 1                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Fortune 

 2          Society, for their employment-based work, 

 3          working with people who are reentering, on 

 4          employment services.

 5                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  And there are 

 6          several others that you will let me know 

 7          where they stand as well?

 8                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Yes.  

 9          We'll provide you a list of our funded 

10          programs.

11                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Thank you very 

12          much.

13                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Thank 

14          you.

15                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator.

16                 That closes our discussion.  So I want 

17          to thank you very much, Executive Deputy 

18          Commissioner Green.  It's good to see you 

19          again.  And thank you for your testimony 

20          today.

21                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Thank 

22          you, Senator.  Appreciate the time.

23                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Great.  Our next 

24          speaker is Acting Commissioner Anthony 


 1          Annucci, New York State Department of 

 2          Corrections and Community Supervision.

 3                 Thank you very much.  Could I have 

 4          some order, please.

 5                 Welcome, Acting Commissioner Annucci.  

 6          We're very glad to have you here today.  I'm 

 7          sure that the members, between the Senate and 

 8          the Assembly, will have a lot of questions, 

 9          and we look forward to your testimony.  And 

10          at this time, you may begin.  

11                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Thank 

12          you.  

13                 Good afternoon, Chairwoman Young, 

14          Chairman Farrell, and other distinguished 

15          chairs and members of the Legislature.  I am 

16          Anthony J. Annucci, acting commissioner of 

17          the Department of Corrections and Community 

18          Supervision.  It is my honor to discuss some 

19          of the highlights of Governor Cuomo's 

20          Executive Budget plan.  

21                 The Governor's policies are moving 

22          corrections in the right direction.  Last 

23          year New York State's inmate population 

24          continued to decline, and there are now over 


 1          20,000 fewer inmates than there were in 1999. 

 2          Still, New York State continues to be the 

 3          safest large state with the lowest 

 4          incarceration rate.  

 5                 To continue this trend of reduced 

 6          incarcerations coupled with increased public 

 7          safety, the department's proposed Executive 

 8          Budget contains a number of important new 

 9          initiatives.  These include groundbreaking 

10          special housing unit reforms; the increased 

11          use of technology and updated policies to 

12          better supervise and secure our facilities; 

13          and several reentry initiatives designed to 

14          further reduce recidivism by upgrading 

15          educational opportunities and vocational 

16          training. 

17                 Within our $310 million capital 

18          budget, we are also moving forward with plans 

19          to transform Hudson into a hybrid youth 

20          facility for 16-and-17-year-olds.  Despite 

21          the reduction in inmate population, the 

22          Executive Budget does not recommend any 

23          prison closures this year.  

24                 Prison discipline is vital to the 


 1          safety of correction officers and inmates 

 2          alike.  We will undertake historical reforms 

 3          in our approach to solitary confinement which 

 4          will modernize prison discipline.  These 

 5          reforms will improve conditions within our 

 6          segregation units and revise our disciplinary 

 7          guidelines, while preserving safety and 

 8          security.  As we did for the seriously 

 9          mentally ill, we will develop specialized 

10          programs to safely provide out-of-cell 

11          programming and treatment to inmates.  

12                 Inmate reentry programming, including 

13          education and vocational training, is a vital 

14          part of the reform process.  DOCCS will 

15          continue its expansion of college programming 

16          through $7.5 million in funding from the 

17          Manhattan district attorney's office.  This 

18          expansion will not cost taxpayer dollars. 

19                 College programming has been shown to 

20          significantly lower recidivism and increase 

21          the likelihood of a successful transition 

22          back into society.  It also creates positive 

23          role models for other inmates to follow, 

24          ultimately leading to safer prisons.  


 1                 Further, in an effort to increase the 

 2          issuance of high school diplomas, we will 

 3          hire psychologists to diagnose adult inmates 

 4          with learning disabilities, and update our 

 5          Thinking for a Change program with a new 

 6          version issued by the National Institute of 

 7          Corrections, or NIC.  In an effort to 

 8          modernize vocational training, we will also 

 9          upgrade several vocational print shops and 

10          expand our computer vocational shops to 

11          include computer coding.  

12                 The department is focused on creating 

13          the safest environment possible. In 

14          partnership with the unions, we will continue 

15          to develop strategies to reduce violence 

16          within prisons and to conduct security 

17          staffing reviews as outlined in the fiscal 

18          year 2014-2015 budget.  Last year we hired 

19          103 correction officers.  

20                 Also, we have either begun or will 

21          pursue technological enhancements, training 

22          improvements, and policy changes that will 

23          enhance overall safety and security within 

24          DOCCS facilities. These initiatives include 


 1          installation of fixed cameras, the deployment 

 2          of thermal imaging and heartbeat detection 

 3          devices, the installation of the rounds 

 4          tracker system, the procurement of portable 

 5          metal detectors, and the piloted use of body 

 6          cameras to be worn by staff.  The department 

 7          will also be refining training in the areas 

 8          of use of force and interpersonal 

 9          communications to provide our staff with 

10          additional avenues to deescalate situations, 

11          before force becomes necessary.  

12                 In the upcoming year, we will also be 

13          pursuing many policy changes such as a new 

14          rule designation for synthetic marijuana, the 

15          expanded use of K-9 units, the elimination of 

16          metal containers from our commissaries, the 

17          use of secure vendors for packages, the 

18          piloting of pepper spray, and enhancement of 

19          tool control practices.  

20                 Our internal investigations unit has 

21          been completely overhauled and is now called 

22          the Office of Special Investigations, or OSI. 

23          A new chief and a new director of operations 

24          have been appointed.  The chief now reports 


 1          directly to me, and we meet regularly.  The 

 2          new leaders are both attorneys with 

 3          significant law enforcement backgrounds. 

 4          Under their leadership, a number of new 

 5          initiatives have been implemented to foster 

 6          an atmosphere of ethical behavior and 

 7          thorough investigations.  

 8                 OSI has also bolstered its ranks with 

 9          highly qualified investigators and analysts 

10          with decades of experience from outside law 

11          enforcement agencies.  

12                 Most importantly, DOCCS will be 

13          working with our federal partners to 

14          establish best practices.  In 2015, the NIC 

15          conducted comprehensive security audits at 

16          several facilities, and in 2016 they will 

17          audit several more.  The NIC will also review 

18          our training academy, and train selected 

19          staff members on how to conduct security 

20          audits.  

21                 To build upon these best practices, 

22          DOCCS will be instituting a process for 

23          unannounced security audits and risk 

24          assessments in line with NIC's suggestions.  


 1                 DOCCS is also responsible for 

 2          approximately 36,000 parolees.  In 2014, we 

 3          issued a recidivism report showing that just 

 4          nine percent of ex-offenders released in 2010 

 5          were sent back to prison within three years, 

 6          based upon a new felony conviction.  This 

 7          figure was the lowest since 1985.  And for 

 8          those released in 2011, the figure has been 

 9          lowered further to 8.6 percent.  We are 

10          making an impact.  

11                 Despite this positive trend, we know 

12          there is still work to do. we have undertaken 

13          an enhanced supervision project in 

14          Monroe County that focuses on our 

15          highest-risk parolees with GPS monitors and a 

16          lower caseload ratio.  We also launched 

17          combined operations, involving Community 

18          Supervision and our Office of Special 

19          Investigations, to apprehend parole violators 

20          in careful coordination with our federal, 

21          state and local Law enforcement partners.  

22                 We also implemented last year's law 

23          ensuring next-day reporting, and we arranged 

24          for inmates to be released from facilities in 


 1          closer proximity to their home communities.  

 2                 Opioid abuse is a serious concern when 

 3          it comes to recently released inmates.  To 

 4          address this, DOCCS has started an opioid 

 5          overdose prevention program, in collaboration 

 6          with DOH and the Harm Reduction Coalition.  

 7          We now issue Naloxone kits -- the opioid 

 8          antidote -- to inmates scheduled for release, 

 9          and provide training on how to use it.  To 

10          help prevent relapse, DOCCS will also be 

11          using Vivitrol paired with traditional drug 

12          treatment counseling.  

13                 In conclusion, there again will be 

14          many challenges and expectations for DOCCS 

15          and the thousands of hardworking employees 

16          who perform their responsibilities in an 

17          exemplary manner, often under dangerous and 

18          difficult circumstances.  The Governor's 

19          proposed budget will place DOCCS in an 

20          advantageous position to fulfill these 

21          expectations.  

22                 Thank you, and I will be happy to 

23          answer any questions.

24                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you very 


 1          much.  

 2                 Our first speaker is Senator Mike 

 3          Nozzolio.

 4                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you, Madam 

 5          Chair.

 6                 Good afternoon, Acting Commissioner.  

 7                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Good 

 8          afternoon, Senator.

 9                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Another year of 

10          acting, Anthony.

11                 But you've had a hard year.  All 

12          kidding aside, it's been a very, very 

13          difficult year for the department, for the 

14          people who work in the department.  And I 

15          want to probe just a couple of things 

16          regarding what was so costly an effort last 

17          year.

18                 The cost of the prison break from 

19          Clinton, what does the department estimate 

20          those costs to be?

21                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  $12.7 

22          million for the escape.

23                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Now, are these 

24          exclusively personnel costs, or how do you 


 1          estimate those elements?

 2                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Mostly 

 3          those expenses were related to overtime for 

 4          staff involved in the pursuit.  Some 

 5          ancillary services like food and things of 

 6          that nature, lodging.  But mostly the 

 7          overtime.

 8                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  That those costs 

 9          are exclusively for the department --

10                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Yes.

11                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  -- not inclusive of 

12          costs that coordinating agencies, 

13          particularly the New York State Police, had 

14          to engage in; is that correct?

15                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Those 

16          were just DOCCS's expenses.

17                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Our estimates have 

18          the total cost on or about $23 million to 

19          $25 million.  Does that sound about right to 

20          you?

21                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  I really 

22          can't speculate on those other costs, 

23          Senator.

24                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Tell us what kinds 


 1          of things has the department had to 

 2          reevaluate since that prison break?

 3                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  There 

 4          are many steps that we have taken to bolster 

 5          security.  I've had conversations with 

 6          every one of my superintendents, in 

 7          particular my maximum security 

 8          superintendents.  We've issued a number of 

 9          memoranda to reinforce basic security 

10          protocols, basic frisk practices, ensuring 

11          that superintendents understand their 

12          responsibility to oversee all three shifts, 

13          to be there at unannounced times, to ensure 

14          that security supervisors are making rounds.

15                 We are also investing in a lot of new 

16          equipment to better enable our security staff 

17          to perform their responsibilities.  We have 

18          the thermal imaging devices, we have portable 

19          metal detectors.  We are enforcing a lot more 

20          frisking of staff periodically.  Going 

21          forward with our training, we have the Games 

22          Inmates Play video so that that will be shown 

23          to every employee, and they can understand 

24          the dangers involved with becoming too 


 1          familiar with inmates.

 2                 There are many, many things that we've 

 3          done, Senator.  I can provide you a full 

 4          list.  I don't want to take up too much time.

 5                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  I think that broad 

 6          outline is important, it's important that you 

 7          provide it to our members of the Public 

 8          Protection Budget Subcommittee, especially 

 9          Senator Gallivan, as chair of the Crime and 

10          Corrections Committee.

11                 And I'm not going to ask you any more 

12          questions about those issues; that's, I 

13          think, certainly a topic Senator Gallivan 

14          wants to pursue.  

15                 There is one area that I'd like to ask 

16          you about, and that's the employee Joyce 

17          Mitchell.  Obviously you're familiar with who 

18          that is, one of the linchpins in the ability 

19          for the prisoners to escape.  Do you know 

20          what her title was?

21                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  I think 

22          it was industrial training specialist, 

23          something along those lines.

24                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  It's my 


 1          understanding that it's something to that 

 2          effect, industrial training, in the prison 

 3          tailor shop, as a prison tailor shop 

 4          instructor.  Her salary, we looked it up, is 

 5          $57,697 a year.

 6                 Did Joyce Mitchell have any advisory 

 7          capacity to the Department of Corrections in 

 8          any way, any management or reporting beyond 

 9          management within the correctional facility?

10                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Senator, 

11          before I go further, I cannot comment on 

12          anything that is the subject of a pending 

13          investigation.

14                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  The inspector 

15          general -- I know Senator Gallivan has asked 

16          a number of these questions, and we've gotten 

17          the same answer so far, Commissioner.  Do you 

18          have any idea how long that investigation 

19          will take and when a report will be issued?

20                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  I cannot 

21          answer that.

22                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Here's my -- let me 

23          just ask you, then, not about Joyce Mitchell 

24          but about your other industrial training 


 1          supervisors across the correctional system.  

 2          Do any of your industrial training 

 3          supervisors have policymaking 

 4          responsibilities within the Department of 

 5          Corrections?

 6                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  I have 

 7          met with my industrial training 

 8          superintendents.  The Corcraft industry 

 9          aspect of our operations is very important.  

10          Inmates are meaningfully employed, they learn 

11          a skill, they provide an important service 

12          for our customers throughout the state.  And 

13          I am hopeful of continuing that and upgrading 

14          it in many ways.

15                 They can occasionally sit in on 

16          executive staff meetings at the facility 

17          level, because everybody is important.  And 

18          they certainly should listen to all the 

19          security concerns and other 

20          cross-disciplinary issues.  But I don't think 

21          they have formal policy roles as you define 

22          it, if I understand your question correctly.

23                 But they certainly -- every one of my 

24          staff -- and I hammer this to the 


 1          superintendents:  Your primary 

 2          responsibility, among other things, is you 

 3          have to know your jail.  You have to walk and 

 4          talk with everybody.  Every employee is 

 5          important in this agency.  Everyone might 

 6          have possible suggestions for you as to how 

 7          to better improve operations for everybody's 

 8          safety and security.  So that is fundamental 

 9          to me, that they have to make those kinds of 

10          rounds regularly.

11                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  And that's 

12          exemplary.  I know you've always listened to 

13          us.  We're hopeful that you continue to 

14          listen to all the correctional employees with 

15          their suggestions and their input.  

16                 But I guess in the hypothetical, it's 

17          safe to say that normally the industrial 

18          training supervisor doesn't have policymaking 

19          responsibilities within the correctional 

20          system.  Is that safe to say?


22          believe that's safe to say, if I understand 

23          your question.

24                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  And yet 


 1          potentially, if an industrial training 

 2          supervisor was involved -- again, in the 

 3          hypothetical -- directly involved with 

 4          criminality regarding a prison escape which 

 5          cost the taxpayers of this state at least 

 6          $12 million from the Department of 

 7          Corrections, and our estimates are another 

 8          $11 million to $13 million for the Department 

 9          of State Police, as well as other federal 

10          costs to the FBI -- that one industrial 

11          training supervisor could have cost the 

12          taxpayers of this state at least $25 million.

13                 And that employee of the State of 

14          New York and the taxpayers of this state has 

15          had absolutely no policy implications, or 

16          extremely limited policy implications within 

17          her -- within their position of 

18          responsibility.  I think that's the point 

19          that glares to me, Commissioner, that the 

20          impact of wrongdoing within state employment, 

21          entrusted to the taxpayers through state 

22          employment, can have enormous financial 

23          implications.  Not to mention the havoc that 

24          it created within your department in trying 


 1          to deal with these issues, and that you're 

 2          going to continue to deal with these issues.  

 3                 I know Senator Gallivan is awaiting 

 4          the inspector general's report, certainly 

 5          other members of the Corrections Committee as 

 6          well as the Codes Committee are waiting for 

 7          that report, and we hope that we'll have the 

 8          opportunity to sit down with you as you 

 9          continue to make improvements in the 

10          correctional system on a day-to-day basis.

11                 So thank you for your dialogue, and I 

12          appreciate the important responsibilities 

13          that you have.

14                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Thank 

15          you, Senator, especially for all your years 

16          of service to our agency.  We will miss you.

17                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you, 

18          Commissioner.

19                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Assembly?  

20                 ASSEMBLYMAN McDONALD:  Thank you.  Our 

21          next speaker is Assemblymember O'Donnell.

22                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  Good 

23          afternoon.  It's very nice to see you again.

24                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Good 


 1          afternoon.

 2                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  I was watching 

 3          TV last night; I got to watch Mr. Sweat's 

 4          sentencing time, and he was sentenced to 

 5          $80,000 of restitution.  Which I thought was 

 6          an odd number, given the number you just gave 

 7          us, $12 million.  And of course when you pay 

 8          your inmates $1.25 an hour, I don't think 

 9          you're going to get back that $80,000 anytime 

10          soon.

11                 But I also assume you don't have a 

12          budget line for escapes, right?  So where did 

13          the $12 million come from?

14                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  The 

15          Division of the Budget provided the money for 

16          us.

17                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  So did you 

18          call somebody up and say "We need $12 million 

19          for overtime?"  Is that what -- like that?

20                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  They 

21          found a funding source for us.

22                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  They're very 

23          good like that.  Funny how that is.

24                 Let me talk about this new Office of 


 1          Special Investigations, which used to be the 

 2          inspector general's office, is that correct?

 3                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Yes.

 4                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  You know, the 

 5          other day I went out and bought some new 

 6          jeans and they were called skinny jeans.  But 

 7          that doesn't mean I'm skinny.  You know what 

 8          I mean?

 9                 So I wonder if by changing the name 

10          from one entity to another is enough to 

11          effectuate real change.  I just heard you 

12          answering some of the Senator's questions.  I 

13          don't want you to divulge anything you know 

14          about the inspector general and when and if 

15          her report will be coming out, nor about what 

16          it says.  But internally, your own inspector 

17          general's office had a report against 

18          Ms. Mitchell that they found lacking in 

19          veracity or whatever you want to say, and 

20          dismissed that.

21                 Isn't that of great concern to you, 

22          that the entity that is in charge, 

23          investigating internally, ignored the fact 

24          that this inappropriate relationship was 


 1          going on?  I mean, I'm not suggesting that 

 2          you would have guessed that would have led to 

 3          a $12 million overtime charge for an escape.  

 4          But doesn't that give you concern?

 5                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  I cannot 

 6          comment on something that's the subject of a 

 7          pending investigation.

 8                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  Well, then 

 9          let's talk about the budget.  You have 125 

10          investigators.  Can you tell me what is the 

11          budget of the Office of Special 

12          Investigation?

13                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  I can 

14          get that information for you.  I don't know 

15          the exact amount.

16                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  We did a 

17          hearing last year, the end of last year, 

18          where you unfortunately couldn't come -- we 

19          missed you, Tony -- to look at the question 

20          of how do other places in the country and in 

21          the world deal with this problem.  Right?  So 

22          we have this very high-profile escape that 

23          cost us possibly up to $25 million, people's 

24          lives were upended.  And seemingly, the 


 1          mechanisms that you had to provide oversight 

 2          within your system failed.

 3                 And what we learned was that in 

 4          something like 42 other states, they have a 

 5          separate office of an ombudsman.  In Canada, 

 6          in England and in Wales, they all have their 

 7          own outside agency specifically for the 

 8          purpose of conducting investigations inside 

 9          the prison system.  What do you think of 

10          that?

11                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Well, 

12          Assemblyman, we have a lot of outside 

13          entities that have access to our prisons 

14          right now.  The State Commission of 

15          Correction can visit at will, any member of 

16          the Legislature can visit at will, together 

17          with any number of their aides.  We've 

18          entertained requests where aides can come by 

19          themselves.  Any district attorney can visit.  

20          We have outside entities like PAMI that come 

21          and do investigations with respect to their 

22          clients.  We have the Justice Center that 

23          comes in.  The Justice Department can come 

24          in, and U.S. Attorneys in connection with any 


 1          pending investigation.  

 2                 We know the Correctional Association 

 3          comes in, they do their site visits, they 

 4          come in with as many as eight to 12 people.  

 5          We accord them privileged correspondence 

 6          rights so that any inmate that writes to 

 7          them, it goes out sealed, it comes in sealed, 

 8          it's not read by staff.

 9                 So there are a lot of entities now 

10          that presently have access.

11                 I'd like to for a moment talk briefly 

12          about how we have reformulated significantly 

13          our OSI office.  First, there's an attorney 

14          at the top now.  That wasn't the case.  He 

15          has an extensive law enforcement background.  

16          He brought in another attorney with an 

17          extensive law enforcement background.  They 

18          have since made significant efforts to link 

19          with the U.S. Attorneys, with the FBI, with 

20          all local district attorneys.  They bring 

21          cases to them.  They've also brought in many 

22          other outside investigators.  

23                 So we have new energy from the outside 

24          mixing in with experienced people.  You have 


 1          to understand how jails operate in order to 

 2          conduct a proper investigation.  They have 

 3          changed how they process cases, they have a 

 4          new initiative where they're going to do an 

 5          analysis of an entire facility and they're 

 6          going to speak to every employee and get 

 7          feedback from inmates so that we can get 

 8          better results on our investigations.

 9                 There's a lot of things that they are 

10          doing that I am very hopeful about, including 

11          now they directly report to me, and I meet 

12          with them regularly to go over where they've 

13          gone.  So I think we are moving in the right 

14          direction in this area.

15                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  Well, I 

16          appreciate your point of view.  I just want 

17          to share with you that we are the outlier 

18          here in New York in how we do this.  Those 

19          left-wing places like Indiana do it 

20          differently, and we had great information and 

21          testimony that was provided all day, both 

22          from those ombudspersons and what they do.

23                 And then we also had family members 

24          who were not here -- family members of 


 1          inmates do not complain about the treatment 

 2          by the corrections officers.  In fact, most 

 3          of them were complaining about their 

 4          treatment by other inmates -- but by their 

 5          inability to get information from somebody 

 6          until they found me.

 7                 And so I think the time has come for 

 8          New York to say is this the right way to do 

 9          this, is there another way to run this 

10          railroad, and we'll be taking that up under 

11          consideration.

12                 In this year's budget you have 

13          requested $3.1 billion, which was up from 

14          last year's $2.9 billion, an increase of 

15          8.02 percent -- despite the fact that the 

16          prison population went from 53,000 to 51,000.

17                 Can you address that?

18                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Well, 

19          there are increased costs related to health 

20          services, $120 million alone just for 

21          medications.  We are spending more money to 

22          implement the new SHU settlement, which is 

23          groundbreaking.  There's a lot of rehab that 

24          has to be done, there will be new staff added 


 1          for that.

 2                 There are other initiatives related to 

 3          reentry that are important for the Governor, 

 4          and they make a lot of sense, related to 

 5          upgrading our vocational programming, our 

 6          Thinking for a Change.  So there's a lot of 

 7          initiatives there, as well as for the youth 

 8          initiative with respect to the Hudson 

 9          Correctional Facility.  There are additional 

10          staff added there.  And a lot for the capital 

11          projects that we have to undertake to make 

12          that happen.

13                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  Thank you for 

14          bringing that up.  I'd like to address that 

15          issue.  I, as you well know, have been to 27 

16          prison visits in my capacity as chair of the 

17          Corrections Committee, and I have been to 

18          Hudson and Coxsackie twice.

19                 And so my first question for you is 

20          given the small number of prisoners that you 

21          have who are 16 and 17, why are you not 

22          putting them all together?  So why are you 

23          keeping a small cadre of them at Coxsackie 

24          and still yet also building a second -- not 


 1          building, renovating, whatever you call that, 

 2          the Hudson?  So are you removing all the 

 3          adults from the Hudson?


 5          Eventually, yes.  Right now what we 

 6          implemented was a housing arrangement where 

 7          16- and 17-year-olds are either placed at 

 8          Woodbourne, at Greene, or at Coxsackie if 

 9          they require maximum security placement.

10                 Going forward, the plan is for all 16- 

11          and 17-year-olds to be removed to Hudson, 

12          with the exception of those that still 

13          require maximum security placement.

14                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  I was at 

15          Greene when they began the process of the 

16          renovation of Greene to allow for 16- and 

17          17-year-olds.  That was to be in PREA 

18          compliance.  So why the change?  Like why did 

19          you originally come up with the idea we're 

20          going to put the medium security 

21          PREA-compliant units in different places?  

22          And then why did you decide now, no, they all 

23          have to be in the same place?

24                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  This is 


 1          the next logical step.  The Governor is 

 2          really committed to removing 16- and 

 3          17-year-olds from adult prisons globally, the 

 4          Raise the Age initiative.  We're tied with 

 5          North Carolina in last place, so to speak.  

 6          It would be a lot easier for us as a system 

 7          if every person walking through our door was 

 8          at least 18 or over.  

 9                 The PREA requirements require us to 

10          separate, by sight and sound, all 16- or 

11          17-year-olds.  And to do that effectively, we 

12          looked at the existing services at the time.  

13          And it made sense to use Woodbourne because 

14          it had some cells, it made sense to use 

15          Greene, and it made sense to use Coxsackie 

16          for those that would require maximum security 

17          placement.

18                 Now this initiative is the next step, 

19          because it's going to completely remove them 

20          from the adult prisons.  But Hudson will 

21          still remain as a correctional facility.  

22                 So it is our hope that you do raise 

23          the age, because the other thing is this.  

24          With any 17-year-old right now on our system, 


 1          if they come in just two months shy of their 

 2          birthday, they have to go into one of these 

 3          facilities where we currently cohort them, 

 4          either Woodbourne, Coxsackie, and, in future, 

 5          Hudson.  But once they turn 18, we have to 

 6          immediately uplift them and move them to a 

 7          general confinement facility.  

 8                 So the Raise the Age initiative will 

 9          allow the Office of Children and Family 

10          Services to hold on to them, to continue in 

11          their program, to decide when the appropriate 

12          time is to transfer them to us as adults, 

13          either at 21 or possibly later.  That, I 

14          think, is the best possible solution going 

15          forward for everyone.

16                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  But back to 

17          the problem at hand with segregating out the 

18          maximum security prisoners into Coxsackie.  

19          As I spoke to you beforehand, when I went 

20          there relatively recently, they were one 

21          unhappy group of people who -- not because 

22          they were in prison, but they felt that they 

23          were almost in solitary, that they were being 

24          punished.  And they kept on saying to me and 


 1          the other people there, Why did you do this 

 2          to us?

 3                 So what do you intend to do at Hudson 

 4          to prevent that from being repeated for the 

 5          medium-security 16- and 17-year-olds that 

 6          you're putting into that facility?

 7                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Well, 

 8          the numbers will be much more significant.  

 9          And they'll be out and they'll be 

10          participating in the general-confinement 

11          program, they'll have free rein of the 

12          facility because we don't have to worry about 

13          any separation by sight or sound.  There will 

14          be no one 18 or over at that facility.

15                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  Well, one last 

16          question, thank you.

17                 When I originally toured Hudson you 

18          were a little upset with me because I went to 

19          the crappy dorm, or I went to the one place 

20          that was really like crumbling down.  It was 

21          really decrepit.  

22                 Are you intending to put those 16- and 

23          17-year-olds into that crappy dorm?  I don't 

24          know what the word would be.  But you know 


 1          what I'm talking about, right?  So like 

 2          literally there were rooms that eight inmates 

 3          slept, you know, in beds next to one another 

 4          in a room that was probably built for four.

 5                 Is that where you're putting these 

 6          kids?

 7                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  We are 

 8          upgrading.  We're spending a lot of money to 

 9          upgrade the place to make it suitable for 

10          children.

11                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  And there will 

12          still be adults on the work release side of 

13          the prison?

14                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Yes.  

15          That is outside the secure perimeter.  So the 

16          temporary release, industrial training 

17          program, will still continue to operate in 

18          that building.

19                 ASSEMBLYMAN O'DONNELL:  Okay.  I just 

20          want to take an opportunity to thank you for 

21          how responsive you have been to me and my 

22          staff and for answering all the letters that 

23          I take the time to write.  Thank you very 

24          much.


 1                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Thank 

 2          you, Assemblyman.

 3                 ASSEMBLYMAN McDONALD:  Thank you.

 4                 Senate?

 5                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you very 

 6          much.  Our next speaker is Senator Patrick 

 7          Gallivan, chair of Crime and Corrections.

 8                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you, Madam 

 9          Chair.

10                 Commissioner, good afternoon.  

11                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Good 

12          afternoon, Senator.

13                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  I can't help but 

14          add to the comments of Senator Nozzolio.  You 

15          have had a very challenging year, and we 

16          understand that.  

17                 I also understand that the inspector 

18          general report is still pending, there's 

19          pending investigations related to the escape 

20          and looking into it.  And I think -- I'd like 

21          you to understand how frustrating it is for 

22          us.  We've got a responsibility, an oversight 

23          responsibility, starting with the 

24          Constitution, the various laws, the rules of 


 1          the Senate.  And I'll get into some of the 

 2          safety and security issues.  

 3                 But when we see overdoses, when we see 

 4          assaults on staff, when we see assaults on 

 5          inmates, when we see drugs in facilities and 

 6          so on -- I mean, there's a very real 

 7          frustration when, as chair of the Crime and 

 8          Corrections Committee, people say:  What are 

 9          you doing about it?  And how are you trying 

10          to address it?  

11                 And I've tried to be very respectful 

12          of the investigations that are going on, to 

13          not impede on any of them.  But there will 

14          have to come a time when they're out that 

15          we'll have to have a more extensive public 

16          airing of the events leading up to that.  

17                 But nonetheless, I hope you understand 

18          that handicaps us right at this point, 

19          especially when we're considering a package 

20          that's spending $3 billion, 3 billion 

21          taxpayer dollars.

22                 So safety and security.  That is -- 

23          it's evident throughout your testimony, very 

24          appropriately so.  And since my time in this 


 1          chair and yours in that chair, I know that 

 2          that is something that you've talked about 

 3          each time that you're before us, and pretty 

 4          much every time you and I have a 

 5          conversation.

 6                 And I want to point to just a couple 

 7          of different things.  I have a letter that 

 8          you wrote to all the inmates back in April of 

 9          2015 -- which I commend you for taking a very 

10          responsible action while at the same time 

11          admitting failures of the system and warning 

12          them about the dangers of synthetic 

13          marijuana.  And we really should rightly be 

14          concerned about that.

15                 I've got some data regarding 

16          contraband in facilities that has continued 

17          to increase each of the last four years, last 

18          year being the highest total ever.  

19          Inmate-on-staff assaults, same thing, have 

20          continued to increase each of the last three 

21          or four years, highest total ever.  

22          Inmate-on-inmate assaults, same thing.  

23                 So no matter how we look at it, we've 

24          got problems and concerns.  And it doesn't 


 1          matter if you are there defending the 

 2          correction officer or some family member very 

 3          concerned about their brother, sister, 

 4          whomever it might be in a correctional 

 5          facility.  Your foremost obligation is to 

 6          provide for the safety, security, humane 

 7          constitutional treatment inside those 

 8          facilities.  

 9                 So of course it begs the question, 

10          what are we doing about all this?  We're 

11          going in the wrong direction each of the last 

12          three or four years.  

13                 But having said that, I know your 

14          testimony started to address that.  So the 

15          security staffing reviews that we took on two 

16          years ago, can you tell me where they -- and 

17          I know you briefly mentioned them.  But can 

18          you tell me where you are along that process?  

19                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  We've 

20          completed the next -- I think it's 18 audits.  

21          We've shared that information with the two 

22          unions -- NYSCOPBA, Council 82.  We're 

23          awaiting their feedback.  And then we'll send 

24          the final set of recommendations to the 


 1          Division of the Budget.

 2                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  When did you 

 3          anticipate the review of the entire system 

 4          will be completed, of all the facilities?

 5                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  The 

 6          third year will be next year.

 7                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  And partly in 

 8          response, I'm assuming, to some of the things 

 9          that have taken place as you're doing your 

10          internal review of the escape at Clinton, as 

11          well as the security staffing reviews, your 

12          testimony talked about the technological 

13          enhancements, training improvements, policy 

14          changes -- begun some things, are going to 

15          begin some others.

16                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Mm-hmm.

17                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  It can't come soon 

18          enough.  I think you agree with that.  But 

19          how far along are we with these things, and 

20          how can we accelerate it so these -- which 

21          you can't see, but obviously the chart that 

22          goes up --

23                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Yes.

24                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  -- starts going in 


 1          the other direction?  

 2                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Right.  

 3                 The first thing is that we have made 

 4          arrangements to change our rules, our 

 5          disciplinary rules, so that K2, or synthetic 

 6          marijuana, is defined as a drug for purposes 

 7          of our disciplinary system.  

 8                 That required a formal change in a 

 9          rule and then serving it on every inmate.  So 

10          I think the date where it officially will 

11          take effect is the next couple of weeks or 

12          few weeks.  So that will enhance our ability 

13          to discipline appropriately the individuals 

14          that engage in that.

15                 The next thing that we've done is 

16          we've sent out notices to advise the vendors 

17          that supply products to our commissaries that 

18          we will no longer be able to accept canned 

19          goods.  There are too many instances where 

20          can lids are being used for weaponry.  And 

21          we've talked to other systems, we're one of 

22          the few states that's in this area that still 

23          does that sort of thing.  

24                 So we're confident that we can supply 


 1          other products that are packaged in ways so 

 2          that ultimately we will be removing can lids 

 3          from our commissaries.  

 4                 And we will make similar steps, you 

 5          know, when you buy from secure vendors.  So 

 6          that's the next change.  We're going to allow 

 7          inmates to buy only from secure vendors that 

 8          we've identified.  Because this would 

 9          prevent -- assuming no one is compromised by 

10          the secure vendors we select, and they will 

11          have to prove to us their track record -- 

12          that purchasing goods from the outside and 

13          coming into the facilities, A, will not have 

14          can lids and, B, hopefully will no longer 

15          have drugs secreted --

16                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  If I can just stay 

17          right along the commissaries, I had -- I know 

18          this has been talked about for years.  I had 

19          a meeting with the deputy secretary for 

20          public safety several months ago, and he 

21          talked about an RFP either being prepared or 

22          going out for -- for a central commissary, I 

23          think?

24                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Yes.


 1                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Is that still a 

 2          plan?  

 3                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  The 

 4          commissary RFP is still out there.  But 

 5          meanwhile, for the existing vendors, we want 

 6          to implement this now.  That will also be 

 7          part of the long-range RFP for the winning 

 8          bidder there, but right now we want to make 

 9          this change.

10                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  All right, let's -- 

11          there will be much more to follow, I mean, 

12          with all the specific items, about trying to 

13          prevent contraband from coming into 

14          facilities, trying to stop the various 

15          assaults on staff or inmates.  So I know 

16          we'll have many more discussions.

17                 If I may just talk very briefly -- you 

18          talked briefly about it as well in your 

19          testimony -- inmate discipline, the whole 

20          process.  I know you had the settlement, you 

21          had the SHU lawsuit.  Some things were 

22          prompted by that.  And you've talked about 

23          the revamping of an inmate discipline system 

24          in your testimony.  


 1                 Some of the concerns that people have 

 2          come to me with from various facilities 

 3          across the state is that inmate discipline 

 4          has gone in the wrong direction and there's a 

 5          feeling that that has contributed to the 

 6          increase in assaults, be it on inmates or 

 7          staff.  Can you comment on that? 

 8                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  We 

 9          continue to study and meet with our unions to 

10          get feedback.  

11                 Certainly, as we know -- we spoke 

12          about this maybe a year ago or two years 

13          ago -- the demographics of our population 

14          have changed.  Many years ago we had 24,000 

15          drug offenders, mostly low-level drug 

16          offenders.  And now, disproportionately, we 

17          have more violent felony offenders in our 

18          system, I think maybe 64 percent.  We have 

19          9,500, 9,600 inmates that are serving 

20          sentences with maximums of life terms.

21                 So those are changing demographics.  

22          That may be one of the reasons that we're 

23          seeing the uptick in assaults.

24                 No assault is good.  The majority of 


 1          assaults that do happen -- and as I 

 2          explained, our definition of what constitutes 

 3          an assault is much lower than what's in the 

 4          Penal Law.  It does not require physical 

 5          injury.  I throw this cup of water, I don't 

 6          cause you injury, but it's an assault, it's 

 7          a --

 8                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  No, I understand 

 9          that.  And just if I may -- sorry to 

10          interrupt -- we can call it anything, but 

11          there should never be a time that an inmate 

12          puts his hands on another inmate or an inmate 

13          puts his hands on a correction officer.

14                 So I appreciate the semantics of it, 

15          but I think we're on the same page with that.  

16          I mean it's the order within a facility 

17          that's of concern.

18                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Mm-hmm.  

19          And I think, moving to the reforms that we've 

20          implemented or are planning to implement with 

21          the changes, we see that as very analogous to 

22          what we've done with the seriously mentally 

23          ill.  And we planned that out, we spent the 

24          right amount of money, we developed programs 


 1          like the RMHU at Marcy, the one at Five 

 2          Points, where we can safely bring inmates who 

 3          were otherwise very problematic out of their 

 4          cells to receive programming and treatment 

 5          using secure "Re-Start" chairs.  

 6                 So we envision that this will help 

 7          safety, because we're going to do the 

 8          step-down program at one of our facilities, a 

 9          couple of other step-down to the communities.  

10          We're going to change -- we have this 

11          elaborate CCP program that we're planning.  

12          We have a whole array of options, similar to 

13          what we did with the seriously mentally ill.

14                 And I think staff for the most part, 

15          unless I'm wrong, will tell you that they see 

16          what we've done with the seriously mentally 

17          ill in those programs at Marcy as working.  

18          And we're effectively changing behavior, 

19          which is our ultimate goal.  We want to 

20          change behavior by difficult inmates.  

21                 We see that going the same way 

22          ultimately -- it will take some time, we have 

23          to be patient.  When we bring everything 

24          online, we think we'll have a safer system 


 1          for everybody.

 2                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Commissioner, thank 

 3          you.  I would love to go on, but the chair is 

 4          going to turn my microphone off because my 

 5          time's up.  Thank you very much.  

 6                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator.

 7                 ASSEMBLYMAN McDONALD:  Thank you.  

 8                 Our next speaker is Assemblymember 

 9          Duprey.

10                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN DUPREY:  Good afternoon, 

11          Commissioner.

12                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Good 

13          afternoon, Assemblywoman.

14                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN DUPREY:  Before I start, 

15          I would really be remiss -- several people 

16          have already spoken about the event that 

17          happened in my district in June, and I want 

18          to extend my thanks to you personally, 

19          Commissioner, to your administrative staff 

20          for your tremendous cooperation during the 

21          most difficult 23 days that I think probably 

22          the Department of Corrections, certainly 

23          anyone in my district, has ever had to 

24          endure.


 1                 We're glad it didn't go on any longer.  

 2          I might have asked all of you to register to 

 3          vote, so -- but I know you were all there, 

 4          and you were there a lot and for a long time, 

 5          and your support was greatly appreciated.

 6                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Thank 

 7          you, Assemblywoman.

 8                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN DUPREY:  And continues 

 9          to be.

10                 A couple of the Senators mentioned the 

11          IG report, and I can tell you that there's no 

12          one waiting for it more than I am in the 

13          State Legislature, as well as several hundred 

14          of my constituents.  And I know, 

15          Commissioner, that we share our concern on 

16          safety issues.  Certainly there are -- and 

17          again, there's been some talk about the 

18          assaults.  The media seems to want to 

19          certainly talk a lot about the inmates, the 

20          assaults on inmates.  And none of us condone 

21          those.  I've also seen way too many assaults 

22          on our correction officers.  

23                 And could you just again -- and I hate 

24          to ask you to repeat, but so that I'm clear 


 1          on what your recent initiatives are to 

 2          enhance the safety of our correction officers 

 3          in these facilities.

 4                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Well, 

 5          among the other things that we're spending 

 6          some money on for new equipment are these 

 7          portable medical detectors that we are 

 8          issuing in maximum security facilities to 

 9          start with.  They are much better than the 

10          fixed areas, because the inmates know where 

11          the metal detector equipment is now.  These 

12          we can put and move about and therefore 

13          effectively conduct metal detection searches 

14          on inmates, which is one of the things that 

15          we think will help significantly.  

16                 I mentioned the intention to get rid 

17          of the cans, the intention to get secure 

18          vendors.  Because being the only way that 

19          goods can come in, this will mean changes in 

20          our package rooms, because we're one of the 

21          few states that continues to allow packages 

22          from anyone.  And with new technology, people 

23          can disguise, in seemingly a can of 

24          vegetables from the store, anything.  


 1                 We have great security staff that 

 2          review these, and they're terrific sometimes 

 3          at finding them.  But no matter how diligent 

 4          they are, things get in.  Scalpel blades get 

 5          in.  All those things present a safety threat 

 6          to our staff and to other inmates.  

 7                 And we continue to regularly meet with 

 8          our partners in the unions to hear what their 

 9          suggestions are.  And we're looking at things 

10          also to deescalate situations.  We want to 

11          introduce pepper spray into the department to 

12          see how that works.  That may be a way of 

13          safely defusing a situation.  A lot of other 

14          jurisdictions use that.  

15                 We have deescalation training.  We're 

16          sharing that with the unions now, we're 

17          rewriting our policies, we're going to get 

18          their feedback before putting anything out.  

19          But we recognize that everybody's in this 

20          together.  Nobody has the single answer to 

21          every problem.  The only answer is that 

22          everything requires either hard work or a lot 

23          of hard work.  But we're willing to do it 

24          together and get the job done.


 1                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN DUPREY:  Thank you.  

 2                 And I also want to address something 

 3          that is, I think, difficult.  I'm sure it's 

 4          difficult for the department, difficult for 

 5          me.  But we recently had a very well 

 6          respected sergeant in one of my correctional 

 7          facilities who committed suicide.  He left 

 8          behind a loving family and certainly 

 9          coworkers in shock.  It's one more example of 

10          the incredible stress that our correctional 

11          officers face every day.  

12                 About six years ago a retired 

13          corrections lieutenant who's a personal 

14          friend of mine came to my office in 

15          Plattsburgh, and he actually broke down, 

16          talking about the flashbacks, the depression 

17          that he went through soon after his 

18          retirement.  Coincidentally, that same day I 

19          was having lunch with a couple of 

20          psychologists who started talking to me about 

21          their wanting to work more with veterans.  

22          And I asked them to start working with our 

23          correction officers.  

24                 They've done that.  I introduced the 


 1          two of them.  They've had great success with 

 2          PTSD programs.  I think we need to be very 

 3          open that our correction officers -- 

 4          certainly some who are currently working, but 

 5          those who retire -- are facing PTSD the same 

 6          as our veterans are.  We have now in the 

 7          North Country, in the Plattsburgh area, 

 8          trained local licensed mental health 

 9          counselors.  They recently held a seminar.  

10                 Commissioner, I know you're trying to 

11          reach out to those in need in my district, 

12          but I'm also concerned -- and I believe we've 

13          done that pretty well -- I'm concerned about 

14          correction officers across the state.  And 

15          can you just tell us about what the 

16          department is doing to address the stress 

17          that these officers are facing?  And I worry 

18          about their stress, the stress of their 

19          families.

20                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Sure.  

21          And I commend the gentleman that started that 

22          program.  I read the article on it, I think 

23          it was very impressive.  I think people don't 

24          realize the nature of the job -- mostly for 


 1          correction officers with stress, but for all 

 2          staff working inside correctional facility, 

 3          what they face every day.  And they 

 4          internalize it a lot, and that can build up 

 5          over time.

 6                 Two years ago I was concerned about 

 7          the uptick in suicides among our staff, so I 

 8          put out a notice to all staff.  We had worked 

 9          to give out some materials to our EAP 

10          coordinators, resources to refer people to.  

11          The notice I created was with help from my 

12          assistant commissioner in charge of mental 

13          health services, where we basically explained 

14          depression is something that can affect 

15          anybody.  And when you reach that state where 

16          you think the only solution to your problem, 

17          you're so depressed you think the only 

18          solution to your problem is to take your 

19          life, it's a very unfortunate circumstance.

20                 There are countless individuals alive 

21          today who were at that stage but got help in 

22          time, and now they're leading healthy and 

23          productive lives.  

24                 So in my notice two years ago I urged 


 1          that, you know, if you see a fellow worker 

 2          that's at risk, take advantage of these 

 3          materials.  They have resources in the 

 4          community.

 5                 Now, more recently, we are working 

 6          with our partners in NYSCOPBA and the 

 7          Governor's Office of Employee Relations.  We 

 8          are using joint labor-management funding.  

 9          They've selected a vendor who's going to roll 

10          out a training program to our union stewards 

11          and EAP coordinators on how to prevent 

12          suicide.

13                 Suicide is a terrible tragedy, and we 

14          owe it to the hardworking men and women, both 

15          inside our institutions and in the 

16          communities, to do everything possible to get 

17          them help before these tragedies reach 

18          fruition.

19                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN DUPREY:  Thank you.  I 

20          know my time is up, but thank you for that 

21          answer.  It's certainly something that none 

22          of us want to continue to deal with.

23                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Thank 

24          you.


 1                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN DUPREY:  Thank you, sir.

 2                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you very 

 3          much.  Our next speaker is Senator Funke.

 4                 SENATOR FUNKE:  Thank you, Madam 

 5          Chairwoman.  

 6                 Commissioner, thank you for the 

 7          challenging work that you do.

 8                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Thank 

 9          you.  Good afternoon.

10                 SENATOR FUNKE:  I'd like to talk to 

11          you about parole today and what's going on in 

12          my particular district, Monroe and Ontario 

13          counties.  Thomas Johnson, III, was a parolee 

14          who murdered Rochester police officer Daryl 

15          Pierson.  Johnny Blackshell Jr., another 

16          parolee accused of killing three people 

17          outside the Boys & Girls Club in Rochester.  

18          David Alligood, another parolee accused of 

19          shooting up a bar in Gates and killing one, 

20          injuring six others.  Michael Carruthers, 

21          released on parole and only hours later raped 

22          a 14-year-old girl.  The list goes on.  

23                 People in my community believe that if 

24          the parole system is not broken, it is 


 1          severely cracked.  We have 30 program 

 2          officers in Rochester responsible for 1200 

 3          parolees in Rochester metro, with three cars.  

 4          They tell me the cars have about 150,000 

 5          miles on them, too.  

 6                 Have parole issues become lost in 

 7          DOCCS since the two have been merged 

 8          together?  Because it sure seems like it to 

 9          me.  How can we better ensure the public 

10          safety, the safety of our community, the 

11          safety of these parole officers as well?  How 

12          can we better have parolees reporting when 

13          they're supposed to report?  And what's being 

14          done to address those issues, please?  

15                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Senator, 

16          your points are very well taken.  And the 

17          community supervision aspect of this agency 

18          is extremely important.  

19                 When the Governor merged these two 

20          agencies, his vision was that there should be 

21          a seamless transition between when a person 

22          enters the front door of a correctional 

23          facility, throughout their incarceration, and 

24          then released into the community to continue 


 1          with the services.  And at that time, even 

 2          though I had many, many years of experience 

 3          and work with the Division of Parole, I 

 4          really learned firsthand the tough job that 

 5          parole officers do.

 6                 It's tough enough dealing with some of 

 7          the convicted felons behind the walls, where 

 8          you know they don't have access to guns.  But 

 9          in the community when you're doing a home 

10          visit and you don't know if he's on drugs, 

11          you don't know if there's a gun in the room.  

12          And our parole officers are very 

13          professional, very well trained.

14                 What is going on in Rochester has 

15          caused us great concern.  And we've rolled 

16          out several important initiatives that we 

17          think are making difference.

18                 First and foremost, before someone is 

19          released to the Rochester area, we have a 

20          screening process so that if they are 

21          identified as what we call a high-risk 

22          parolee, through our risk and needs 

23          assessment, we first arrange for that person 

24          to get closer to a facility so that they're 


 1          not traveling a long distance.  We then put 

 2          GPS bracelets on them at the correctional 

 3          facility.  We then transport them to the 

 4          field office for their official report, so 

 5          that there's no break in the release, so that 

 6          they're not in the community before they 

 7          officially understand, yes, I'm a parolee, 

 8          I'm still serving the sentence, I'm subject 

 9          to jurisdiction.

10                 We make sure that we have the right 

11          individuals on the right supervision level.  

12          And we work with our local law enforcement 

13          partners.  Recently we joined forces with our 

14          BSS unit, our OSI unit, to conduct an 

15          initiative whereby we would round up 

16          absconders in the Rochester area.  I forget 

17          the raw number that we ended up with, but by 

18          all accounts it was successful.  Local law 

19          enforcement welcomed the cooperative 

20          initiative.  

21                 We just recently did one in New York 

22          City that went over very, very well, and the 

23          police commissioner acknowledged us in that 

24          effort.  So we envision continuing to do 


 1          things along those lines.

 2                 The vehicle issue you mentioned has me 

 3          greatly concerned.  We've been working on a 

 4          business plan, which I was informed today has 

 5          been approved by OGS.  So instead of the 

 6          existing ratio -- and I can get the exact 

 7          ratio.  I have it in my notes somewhere that 

 8          we'll be moving to.  But over a three-year 

 9          period we are going to acquire a lot more 

10          vehicles that are going to be going to 

11          community supervision.  The first year has 

12          been approved, so we will be, I think, 

13          spending about $800,000.  I think the number 

14          is like 37 or 38 more vehicles for use by 

15          parole officers so they can do their 

16          responsibilities.

17                 SENATOR FUNKE:  One quick question.  

18          Assemblyman Peter Lawrence and the police 

19          chiefs in Monroe County have suggested 

20          expanding the database within police agencies 

21          on parolees, so that if it should happen that 

22          a parolee is stopped, a police officer could 

23          make an arrest right then and there.  Is that 

24          something that you would support?


 1                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Well, 

 2          right now if we have already lodged an 

 3          absconding warrant, that's on a system that 

 4          anybody can acknowledge and any police 

 5          officer in the state can take someone into 

 6          custody based upon the fact that they're a 

 7          parole absconder.

 8                 SENATOR FUNKE:  Thank you, sir.

 9                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

10                 ASSEMBLYMAN McDONALD:  Our next 

11          speaker is Assemblymember Lentol.

12                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Hello, 

13          Commissioner.

14                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Hi, 

15          Assemblyman.

16                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  First of all, I 

17          don't want to give you too much praise, but I 

18          have a great deal of affection as well as 

19          respect for your knowledge, not only of 

20          corrections but also of the sentencing law 

21          which we studied together -- which I studied 

22          and you knew.  And I learned a great deal 

23          from you when we served on the Sentencing 

24          Commission together.


 1                 But I too want to talk about parole, 

 2          but a different aspect of parole, which is 

 3          the Parole Board.  And I looked at some of 

 4          the proposals that the Governor has 

 5          propounded in order to open up parole to the 

 6          public regarding having people come into 

 7          watch parole or video of the live interview, 

 8          of the interaction between the Parole Board 

 9          and the inmates.  

10                 And my question is when I looked at 

11          this proposal, it looks like a Sunshine Law.  

12          But then after reading it or understanding 

13          it, it sounds likes it's designed to keep 

14          people in prison.  Because I don't know how 

15          an inmate in the prison would be forthcoming 

16          or the Parole Board folks would be able to 

17          ask appropriate questions given the fact that 

18          they know they're on tape.

19                 And furthermore, if the public heard 

20          the details of the crime, the Parole Board 

21          may be unwilling to release anybody, because 

22          they'd be afraid to.

23                 So I'm just wondering how and why we 

24          have this proposal in the budget.


 1                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Well, I 

 2          think what the Governor was responding to was 

 3          the concern by a lot of individuals in the 

 4          community who get frustrated at repeated 

 5          denials of parole.  And they want to make 

 6          sure that the Parole Board is weighing all of 

 7          the appropriate factors that they're 

 8          obligated to weigh under the law.  

 9                 She's not here today, but I have the 

10          utmost respect for Chairwoman Stanford.  

11          She's a terrific individual, she's provided 

12          great leadership to the board.  In my 

13          conversations with all the individual parole 

14          commissioners, they want to do the right 

15          thing.  They really do.  They want to weigh 

16          the entire record that an inmate has done.  

17          No inmate can go back in time and change the 

18          original crime.  That's fixed as is.  But 

19          they want to be judged on what they've done 

20          over the course of their incarceration.  

21                 So we certainly -- my job, and this 

22          was part of the merger, is to make sure they 

23          have all the resources they need to do their 

24          job.  But their decision making still has to 


 1          be independent from me.  The decisions of the 

 2          ALJs have to be independent.  

 3                 One of the things that we're exploring 

 4          is potentially using outside lawyers in some 

 5          role to assist the inmate with the 

 6          preparation of his packet.  The Governor 

 7          reached out, and there are a number of 

 8          lawyers who are willing to come forward as 

 9          the Pardon Initiative and the Clemency 

10          Initiative.  And I had several staff members 

11          participate in a webinar to train them so 

12          that they could understand all of the 

13          different documents that are part of our 

14          documentation -- what the commitment means, 

15          what program participation means, what a 

16          disciplinary record means.  

17                 Some of these lawyers who might be 

18          taking on inmates for clemency applications 

19          might also be tapped for responsibilities 

20          along this line, to potentially help an 

21          inmate prepare his package and appear before 

22          the Parole Board.  

23                 So there's a lot to be discussed, 

24          there's a lot to be considered.  It's not a 


 1          black-and-white issue, it's not easy to get 

 2          people into our correctional facilities.  A 

 3          lot of the Parole Board hearings are done by 

 4          televideo, so it could be possible that 

 5          somebody could be at a remote site and listen 

 6          to what's going on.  

 7                 We certainly support transparency, but 

 8          we also want to be fair to everybody.

 9                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  And isn't it also 

10          true that in parole hearings there are 

11          certain facts that never come to light, 

12          either in video or at the Parole Board, 

13          because there are confidential communications 

14          between the district attorney and the judge, 

15          as well as others who may have their thoughts 

16          not ever brought up at any of these hearings?  

17          So the public would be denied knowledge of 

18          why somebody was denied because of those 

19          confidential communications.  

20                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  I am 

21          reluctant to give you a hard and fast answer.  

22          I know the crime victim's statement is 

23          absolutely confidential.  The inmate never 

24          gets it.  And we take extraordinary means to 


 1          make sure that that gets delivered to the 

 2          parole commissioners at the time of the 

 3          hearing; they take that into consideration.  

 4                 I'm not sure what the practice is if a 

 5          district attorney writes a letter.  I'm 

 6          tending to think that it's part of the record 

 7          that should be made available --

 8                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  I don't think it 

 9          is.

10                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  -- but I 

11          don't want to give you a definite answer.  

12          I'd have to check with the Board of Parole.

13                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Thank you, sir.

14                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Senator Ruth 

15          Hassell-Thompson.

16                 SENATOR HASSELL-THOMPSON:  Thank you, 

17          Madam Chair.  

18                 Good afternoon, Commissioner.

19                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Good 

20          afternoon, Senator.

21                 SENATOR HASSELL-THOMPSON:  I know 

22          there was mention made of both Hudson and 

23          Coxsackie's correctional facilities, but just 

24          a couple of quick follow-up questions, 


 1          really.  

 2                 What would be the impact -- you talked 

 3          in your presentation about $300 million in 

 4          the capital budget.  And some of that is 

 5          going to be for the renovation and the 

 6          reengineering of Hudson.  What impact is that 

 7          going to have on services provided to inmates 

 8          that are currently at Hudson?

 9                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Well, 

10          eventually the inmates that are currently at 

11          Hudson are going to be moved to other 

12          facilities.

13                 The first phase of the construction 

14          project is slated to be completed so that we 

15          can start to move 16- and 17-year-olds there 

16          by August.  We want to move as quickly as 

17          possible.

18                 The existing inmates that are there 

19          will continue to get services while we're 

20          still doing the rehabilitation.  Gradually 

21          they will attrit out and eventually, for 

22          those that remain behind, we can transfer 

23          them.  We have enough vacancies throughout 

24          our system.  So we do not envision that as 


 1          being a challenge to us.

 2                 SENATOR HASSELL-THOMPSON:  And you 

 3          know I want to ask you how is that going to 

 4          impact Close to Home, but I'll leave that for 

 5          another day.

 6                 Tell me about Coxsackie.  You know, 

 7          will those housing units be modified to reach 

 8          the goals that are in our age-appropriate 

 9          behavioral modification protocols?

10                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  We don't 

11          have any further construction changes planned 

12          for Coxsackie.  These changes were already 

13          made as part of the first initial settlement 

14          we made with NYCLU.

15                 So Coxsackie has a general confinement 

16          unit, I forget the number of beds -- it's 

17          either 15 or 30 -- and then a comparable 

18          number if we have to segregate an inmate for 

19          disciplinary reasons at Coxsackie.  Coxsackie 

20          will be used for 16- and 17-year-olds going 

21          forward who require maximum security 

22          placement.

23                 SENATOR HASSELL-THOMPSON:  No, that 

24          I'm aware of.  But how does -- looking at 


 1          Coxsackie as it current exists, is it part of 

 2          the developmental plan to meets the goals of 

 3          this new population?

 4                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Yes.

 5                 SENATOR HASSELL-THOMPSON:  That's the 

 6          question.

 7                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  It is 

 8          part of the goal.

 9                 SENATOR HASSELL-THOMPSON:  Okay.  Tell 

10          me a little bit about the hepatitis C crisis 

11          that's in the prison population and what's 

12          being done to address the rising costs and 

13          the proliferation of this disease within the 

14          populations?

15                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Well, 

16          rising costs are something we really can't 

17          control.  If you need treatment, we have to 

18          provide it.

19                 Several years ago it was triple 

20          therapy, it was pegylated-interferon and 

21          ribavirin and a protease inhibitor that 

22          combined for the treatment.  Now there are 

23          new treatments.  The cost could be $84,000 

24          for a treatment round.  It depends upon the 


 1          extent of the disease.  And we have to 

 2          provide it.  We have to offer it and we have 

 3          to provide it.  

 4                 I think there's a new law that says 

 5          that you have to offer the test to everybody 

 6          between the ages of 45 and 55.  So we are 

 7          doing that.  And those that want the 

 8          treatment, we have to provide it to them.  

 9                 And we also have arrangements to 

10          continue the treatment in the community as 

11          well, so that we hook that up -- them up as 

12          well.  But it is very expensive.  It could 

13          rise as much as up to $24 million for that 

14          this year.

15                 SENATOR HASSELL-THOMPSON:  That rolls 

16          over into my last question, because my clock 

17          just seems to be ticking faster than anybody 

18          else's.  But the aging and the medical cost 

19          for older patients, what is being done to do 

20          consideration of release for this population?  

21          Looking at the $16 billion additional for 

22          this population, is nobody cognizant of that?

23                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Good 

24          point, Senator.  We're very cognizant of it.


 1                 SENATOR HASSELL-THOMPSON:  No, no, no.  

 2          I don't mean you, but I mean people outside.  

 3          Because we keep talking about the rising 

 4          costs of everything, but these are people who 

 5          pose absolutely no threat to public safety, 

 6          and yet we are keeping them in a facility 

 7          that exacerbates an already bad condition, 

 8          and it's costing us an extra $16 billion.  

 9          You know, everybody wants to be a cost-saver, 

10          but that's not a consideration that we're 

11          making.  

12                 Plus it's inhumane.  Let's not leave 

13          that out of the equation either.

14                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Senator, 

15          medical parole is an avenue that I personally 

16          would like to use more.  We've changed the 

17          law last year to try and short-circuit the 

18          cases where certain nonviolent inmates who 

19          are terminally ill can avoid the Parole Board 

20          appearance and instead I can make that 

21          decision.  

22                 But the list of crimes that make you 

23          eligible are very narrow.  Typically like a 

24          drug offense.  Drug offense sentences now are 


 1          very small compared to what they used to be.  

 2          So typically you have to be inside for a 

 3          while for a terminal condition to make itself 

 4          known.

 5                 There have only been two cases so -- 

 6          well, there's actually been three cases so 

 7          far.  And what I have done is turn them 

 8          around very quickly, but unfortunately the 

 9          individuals died before the requisite time 

10          frame within which I had to get feedback, 

11          because the law requires me to do that.  I 

12          have to write to the judge, I write to the 

13          sentencing court, the district attorney and 

14          the defense lawyer, and I have to allow them 

15          a period of time before I can make it 

16          official.

17                 But the list of crimes is very narrow.  

18          I have instructed my chief medical officer -- 

19          because he is the one that forwards the case 

20          on to me.  He sends it to me by an email.  I 

21          try and answer him the same day.  I look up 

22          the case, I look up his description.  If I 

23          have any questions, I will ask him.  But -- 

24          and I get a million emails, but I've told him 


 1          if he doesn't get an answer from me that day, 

 2          the next day, get back to me.  Because I 

 3          don't want any delays.  

 4                 I'm very sensitive to the humanitarian 

 5          aspects of this.  If we can at all, if at all 

 6          possible, these individuals deserve to die 

 7          with dignity in a setting other than a 

 8          correctional facility.

 9                 But for those that do stay in our 

10          facilities, we do have hospice programs 

11          within our regional medical units.  We've 

12          trained inmates how to be hospice aides, how 

13          to be the companion.  Because we don't want 

14          anybody to ever die alone in our system.  

15                 And we are looking at ways to try and 

16          expedite the process.  I know there's a lot 

17          of frustration.  People want to see a lot 

18          more medical paroles.  We get it.  We're 

19          going to be taking steps to look, how can we 

20          improve things?  My initial inclination is we 

21          probably have to start backing up the 

22          decision a little earlier so that the normal 

23          process that has to be followed -- the 

24          letters that have to go to the district 


 1          attorneys, et cetera, can go out earlier.

 2                 The challenge is the standard you have 

 3          to apply is that you have to be convinced 

 4          that the person is too sick to present a risk 

 5          of harm.  What does that mean?  If you can 

 6          fire a gun, are you potentially a risk?  

 7                 So we're trying to weigh and balance 

 8          all those factors and accelerate the process.  

 9          It's not easy, but we definitely want to make 

10          a lot more progress in that area.

11                 SENATOR HASSELL-THOMPSON:  Thank you, 

12          Commissioner.

13                 ASSEMBLYMAN McDONALD:  Thank you.  

14          We've been joined by Assemblymember 

15          Richardson, and we will now hear from 

16          Assemblymember Graf.

17                 ASSEMBLYMAN GRAF:  Hi, how you doing, 

18          Commissioner?  I'm going to be kind of short 

19          here because it's been a long day.

20                 Can you tell me the percentage of your 

21          inmates that are coming into this system that 

22          are opiate-addicted or have a heroin 

23          addiction?  Do you have a percentage number?  

24                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  I can't 


 1          tell you a percentage that are coming in 

 2          opioid-addicted.  I might be able to; I know 

 3          that the inmates coming in with a substance 

 4          abuse need is very high, so at some point we 

 5          have to put them into some type of drug 

 6          treatment program.  

 7                 But heroin is a serious concern.  I 

 8          have had inmates die of overdoses inside the 

 9          institutions.  We've had parolees die of 

10          overdoses.  So the two initiatives I 

11          described we think will be helpful.  

12                 We have a program whereby inmates who 

13          will shortly be released -- it's a program we 

14          developed in partnership with the Harm 

15          Reduction Coalition and the Department of 

16          Health.  We train them on Naloxone kits, and 

17          then we offer it to them as they're leaving, 

18          free of charge.  And we know that there have 

19          been a couple of instances where a parolee 

20          has used his Naloxone kit to bring someone 

21          back to life who is an apparent overdose from 

22          heroin.

23                 We're also the first state agency 

24          that's approved by the Department of Health 


 1          for our nurses to give the injectable 

 2          Naloxone to any inmate or visitor, volunteer, 

 3          whomever, that apparently is suffering from 

 4          an opioid overdose.  

 5                 So this is part of the Governor's 

 6          initiative.  We're trying to take all 

 7          reasonable steps.  But it is a rising 

 8          concern, there's no question about it, in our 

 9          communities.

10                 ASSEMBLYMAN GRAF:  It's becoming a big 

11          problem.  Would you say in your population, 

12          when you're getting new inmates, this is 

13          becoming a big problem with the heroin or 

14          some type of addiction?

15                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  If I 

16          heard your question correctly, you're asking 

17          if I have a problem --

18                 ASSEMBLYMAN GRAF:  No, has this been 

19          an increasing problem as far as --

20                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Yes, in 

21          general I would say it's been an increasing 

22          problem.

23                 ASSEMBLYMAN GRAF:  All right.  Now, 

24          the Vivitrol that you said you're giving some 


 1          inmates, Vivitrol, once they're released, are 

 2          they released into a program or are they just 

 3          released?

 4                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Yeah, 

 5          this is a pilot program that we've started at 

 6          Edgecombe in conjunction with Odyssey House 

 7          and of course our partners at OASAS.  And the 

 8          program is for parolees actually who have 

 9          relapsed on heroin.  And we have this parole 

10          diversion program where we can put them in 

11          for 45 days at Edgecombe.  

12                 So while they're there, recognizing 

13          that they have this problem, this addiction, 

14          this drug, if they voluntarily will take it, 

15          coupled with all of the counseling that we're 

16          going to give them in the community, will 

17          block the effects of opioid as well as the 

18          euphoria from drinking alcohol.

19                 So we've just started this, we've 

20          mapped it all out, there's a lot of things 

21          that to be lined up -- the physician that's 

22          going to give the injection at Edgecombe, the 

23          follow-up injection in the community if they 

24          follow up accordingly, the identification 


 1          that they have to wear.  We've just lined 

 2          this all up; we haven't yet had a test case.  

 3          But it is something that we are hoping, if it 

 4          produces positive results there, we also have 

 5          PD programs at Hudson and at Orleans for the 

 6          parole violators who have this opioid 

 7          relapse, come into our system, and then we 

 8          offer that as a means of trying to block the 

 9          effects and deal with their addiction.

10                 ASSEMBLYMAN GRAF:  Now, the Vivitrol, 

11          are you able to buy that in bulk when you 

12          bring it?  Because I know it's like a 

13          thousand dollars a shot.

14                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Yeah, I 

15          think that's being supplied by Odyssey House.  

16          This is not a department expense for that.

17                 ASSEMBLYMAN GRAF:  Okay.  Thank you 

18          very much.

19                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  

20                 Our next speaker is Senator Krueger.

21                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Good afternoon.

22                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Good 

23          afternoon, Senator.

24                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  You talked about the 


 1          mental health issues in the prisons in your 

 2          testimony.  What's your estimate of what 

 3          percentage of the prisoners in DOCCS are 

 4          suffering from mental illness?

 5                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  That 

 6          number keeps growing.  We've crossed the 

 7          10,000 number.  We have over 10,000 on the 

 8          caseload.  I think it's 19 percent of our 

 9          population now that are on the OMH caseload.

10                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  And as we are 

11          releasing people from DOCCS back into their 

12          communities, how is the system of ensuring 

13          they are processed for Medicaid before they 

14          leave prison going?

15                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Yeah, 

16          that's a big initiative on our part to enroll 

17          as many inmates as possible into the Medicaid 

18          program.  

19                 We've prioritized which inmates we 

20          should put to the front of the list, so to 

21          speak -- the ones that might get an illness, 

22          the elderly inmates, et cetera.  I think 

23          we're averaging something like 500-and-some- 

24          odd registrations per month.  


 1                 And another big initiative that we 

 2          have that came out of the Reentry Council, 

 3          the Governor's Reentry Council, their 

 4          suggestion -- and we were able to coordinate 

 5          this with our Department of Health 

 6          partners -- is that we will be able, some 

 7          time this year, in the not too distant 

 8          future, to activate the Medicaid card prior 

 9          to release.  I think it's 30 days prior to 

10          release.  

11                 That will help us greatly with 

12          placements.  It will help us with the elderly 

13          inmates that we're trying to place into 

14          nursing homes, where some of them want the 

15          inmate on Medicaid with his card prior to 

16          leaving.  It will help us hook up with 

17          certain services in the community.  So we're 

18          very hopeful about that as well.

19                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  I represent the East 

20          Side of Manhattan, where the intake for the 

21          New York City homeless shelter system for men 

22          is located.  And we were provided an estimate 

23          recently that there are 2,000 people who come 

24          out of DOCCS and their discharge plan sends 


 1          them to the Bellevue Men's Shelter entry 

 2          system.  

 3                 Do you believe that's an appropriate 

 4          discharge plan from the New York State 

 5          prisons?

 6                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Well, we 

 7          can't legally hold someone past their release 

 8          date if they are homeless.  The law requires 

 9          us to notify the local DSS if someone is 

10          coming out of prison and requires homeless 

11          shelter services.  So we do that throughout 

12          the 62 counties of the state.

13                 We try very hard to work with the 

14          parolee to know in advance his release date, 

15          to ascertain if he has any relative, any 

16          friend, anyone who might be willing to offer 

17          them a place to stay.  The reality is there 

18          are significant numbers of individuals who 

19          leave the prison system without a home to go 

20          to.

21                 We have contract beds that we use, we 

22          have various programs for employment that 

23          hopefully get them the money that they can 

24          then secure private residences.  The numbers 


 1          in New York City I think were significantly 

 2          affected by the loss of three-quarter 

 3          housing.  So that amplified the numbers.  

 4                 But the number of undomiciled 

 5          individuals is significant, and the 

 6          subpopulation of that is the number of sex 

 7          offenders who are covered by the Sexual 

 8          Assault Reform Act, which requires that any 

 9          residence that they get can't be within a 

10          thousand feet of a school.  So we will not 

11          release someone to a homeless shelter who's 

12          covered by that law unless the city or the 

13          county tells us:  We have a bed for that 

14          person that's SARA-compliant.

15                 What we've been doing instead is 

16          relying on our authority to put these people 

17          into what are called residential treatment 

18          facilities.  They're usually located near the 

19          community.  We have one, I believe it's 

20          Lincoln, and we give them transitional 

21          services, we pay them $10 a day to work on an 

22          outside crew, and they come back and they 

23          sleep at the facility until such time as we 

24          do find a SARA-compliant residence.  But it 


 1          is a huge, complicating problem.

 2                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  I am familiar with 

 3          the sex offender issue, and in fact I think 

 4          the City of New York is working very hard to 

 5          make sure that released sex offenders are 

 6          going into appropriate locations.  That has 

 7          also been an issue in my community.  

 8                 But I will say that there seems to be 

 9          a pattern of release of mentally ill people 

10          from prison without Medicaid kicking in 

11          before they get to the city, ending up at the 

12          front door of the shelter system.  And I 

13          propose to you that's a guarantee that those 

14          people will end up right back in the prison 

15          system or having some terrible trauma happen 

16          in the community.

17                 So I'm hoping that DOCCS can take a 

18          more active review of whether a discharge 

19          plan ought to be "there's no other option, so 

20          we'll just drop them off at the Bellevue 

21          Men's Shelter."

22                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  We try 

23          very hard to avoid that.  We work very 

24          closely now with OMH on discharge planning.  


 1          We have identified seriously mentally ill who 

 2          also might be violent well in advance, when 

 3          they come into the system, as part of our 

 4          reception centers, to put them into special 

 5          programs.  We know that ultimately they're 

 6          going to be released.  We want to make sure 

 7          we give them the best opportunities to 

 8          succeed.  

 9                 We're establishing new special 

10          discharge ICPs for this population.  One is 

11          going to be at Auburn, one is at Sing Sing, 

12          where we already have the core program.  We 

13          release them with medication, I think it's 

14          either two or three weeks' worth of 

15          medication that they have, with scrips to 

16          refill.  

17                 And your point is well taken, to the 

18          extent there may be some that may not have 

19          been registered on Medicaid, if they've 

20          fallen through the cracks, I will make sure 

21          that we prioritize getting them Medicaid 

22          cards as well before release, Senator.  

23                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.

24                 ASSEMBLYMAN McDONALD:  Thank you.  


 1                 Our next speaker will be 

 2          Assemblymember Giglio.

 3                 ASSEMBLYMAN GIGLIO:  Good afternoon.

 4                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Good 

 5          afternoon, Assemblyman.

 6                 ASSEMBLYMAN GIGLIO:  I only have two 

 7          quick questions for you, Commissioner.  And I 

 8          wouldn't wish the last year you've spent on 

 9          my worst enemy.  

10                 But besides that, my first question is 

11          you said there are 103 new correction 

12          officers.  How many retired?

13                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  How many 

14          of those 103 retired?

15                 ASSEMBLYMAN GIGLIO:  No, no.  You 

16          hired a new 103.  How many have you lost in 

17          the same period of time?  

18                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  I should 

19          know that off the top of my head because we 

20          lose a lot every two weeks.  It's something 

21          like 54 retire.  But we keep -- the 103 are 

22          added over our BFL.  So we keep doing 

23          training classes to try and replace the 

24          attrition.


 1                 ASSEMBLYMAN GIGLIO:  When you lose 

 2          that kind of institutional knowledge, how do 

 3          you make it up?  

 4                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  You 

 5          can't replace experience, there's no question 

 6          about that, Assemblyman.  I wish our staff 

 7          would stay longer.  It's a tough job, they're 

 8          eligible to retire after 25 years, that's the 

 9          retirement law.  But they're very valuable, 

10          especially because a lot of them have learned 

11          how to deal with a violent situation by using 

12          their wits as opposed to the normal uses of 

13          force.  

14                 So we value very much our experienced 

15          correction officers.  I can't prevent anybody 

16          from retiring who wants to retire.  But we 

17          keep replacing them with classes from the 

18          training academy as quickly as we can.

19                 ASSEMBLYMAN GIGLIO:  In our limited 

20          conversations, you've always been concerned 

21          with staffing ratios and those kind of 

22          things, to keep it safe and secure.  And you 

23          talked about that in your testimony.  

24                 The only other question I have now is 


 1          this Office of Special Investigations.  In 

 2          that, you said that you hired two attorneys 

 3          to run it.  My question is very simple.  

 4          There was no one within the Department of 

 5          Corrections that had moved up to the ranks 

 6          that could have filled those two roles?

 7                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  There 

 8          was nobody within that unit that was an 

 9          attorney.

10                 ASSEMBLYMAN GIGLIO:  But you think 

11          it's necessary to have an attorney then go 

12          talk to the men and women on the line to tell 

13          the attorneys what's wrong with the facility?  

14                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  I lost 

15          the question.

16                 ASSEMBLYMAN GIGLIO:  My point is this.  

17          You said during your testimony that these two 

18          new hires would then, as part of their 

19          duties, go talk to individual correction 

20          officers about what's going on in the 

21          facility.  My question to you is, would we be 

22          better off bringing people up through the 

23          ranks and through your command staff that you 

24          already have to fill these positions, instead 


 1          of asking outside lawyers to come in and ask 

 2          the very people you're supposed to work with 

 3          what's wrong with the facility?  


 5          Assemblyman, I think the answer is that we 

 6          have the combination, the best of both 

 7          worlds.  There are still people that have 

 8          risen through the ranks, and they're still 

 9          directors, or at least they occupy 

10          supervisory roles.  Those are very 

11          experienced individuals.  They started out as 

12          correction officers.  

13                 But we definitely needed to bring in 

14          an outside perspective, individuals that had 

15          extensive experience dealing with law 

16          enforcement, prior experience with district 

17          attorney's offices, prior experience working 

18          with the Attorney General.  And they can 

19          bring in the linkages they have to work with 

20          the U.S. Attorney's office, to work with the 

21          federal Civil Rights Bureau, with the 

22          Department of Justice, to work with the 

23          marshals and bring all of that to bear so 

24          that we can be a much stronger office.  


 1                 ASSEMBLYMAN GIGLIO:  Do you think 

 2          that's what's going to help you when you 

 3          charge inmates and/or correction officers 

 4          with any crimes behind the walls?

 5                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  I think 

 6          it will.

 7                 ASSEMBLYMAN GIGLIO:  Thank you very 

 8          much.

 9                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, 

10          Assemblyman.

11                 Acting Commissioner, I had a couple of 

12          questions.  And it's related to an issue that 

13          you just discussed with Senator Krueger.  And 

14          I know you remember the notorious case of 

15          Daniel St. Hubert, who was a paranoid 

16          schizophrenic, violent in prison, was 

17          released and ended up stabbing to death 

18          little 6-year-old P.J. Avitto in Brooklyn; 

19          his 7-year-old playmate Mikayla Capers was 

20          stabbed, did survive.  He was a suspect in 

21          some other murders.  And he had been released 

22          from the state prison system.

23                 As a result of that, Assemblyman 

24          O'Donnell and I did a chapter together to try 


 1          to address some of the issues.  And last year 

 2          the Legislature included in the final budget, 

 3          along with the Governor, a $20 million 

 4          expenditure I believe that you were 

 5          referencing when you talked about discharge 

 6          planning and that sort of thing.

 7                 And I did discuss the issue with the 

 8          OMH commissioner yesterday.  And just as 

 9          background, there was $20 million in last 

10          year's budget for enhanced services to reduce 

11          recidivism and potential violence in the 

12          community.  This includes additional 

13          supportive housing, assertive community 

14          treatment, team services for at-risk 

15          individuals discharged from prisons and 

16          psychiatric centers, increased mental health 

17          assessments in prison, treatment for 

18          high-risk inmates, enhanced discharge 

19          planning, staff training, and placement of 

20          individuals in OMH facilities.  

21                 So I'm happy to hear you say that you 

22          believe things are going better.  One of the 

23          issues I'd like to raise with you, however, 

24          is that when I questioned the OMH 


 1          commissioner yesterday about how much of that 

 2          money had been utilized so far, she did say 

 3          $18 million out of the $20 million line item.  

 4          I would assume that you would think that 

 5          these sorts of initiatives have been 

 6          beneficial -- at least that's what I'm 

 7          gathering from your testimony today -- and 

 8          you would recommend that that program 

 9          continues.  Because if there's only 

10          $2 million left,  I don't see anything in the 

11          budget, unless I'm missing something or 

12          you're aware of something, to replenish those 

13          funds.  

14                 Could you comment on that, please?  

15                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  I really 

16          can't comment on these specific 

17          appropriations and how they're being spent 

18          from OMH's side of the ledger.  But I can 

19          reaffirm that we are very excited about the 

20          discharge planning units that are going to be 

21          launched at Auburn and at Sing Sing, the 

22          continued work with the core program, and the 

23          continued collaboration that we do with our 

24          community supervision and OMH staff, 


 1          including making sure that when someone has 

 2          to get to a program, we arrange many times 

 3          for direct transport.  

 4                 I'm also excited about the early 

 5          identification of inmates when they come into 

 6          the system who are both seriously mentally 

 7          ill and could have these violent 

 8          proclivities.  

 9                 So I think ultimately we will make a 

10          big difference in this area.

11                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So you would 

12          obviously be supportive of such programming 

13          to continue in the same format?  You're 

14          saying to us as a Legislature that this has 

15          been beneficial in the correctional system?  

16                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  It's 

17          been beneficial, yes.

18                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Very beneficial in 

19          reducing violence, okay.  Thank you.

20                 ASSEMBLYMAN McDONALD:  Thank you, 

21          Senator.  

22                 Our next speaker will be 

23          Assemblymember Oaks.

24                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Hi, Commissioner.  


 1          Thank you.

 2                 I just wanted to follow up a little 

 3          bit.  Senator Funke had talked about parole 

 4          issues, and he listed off a number of 

 5          different situations of individuals who had 

 6          recommitted while on parole.  And I had, you 

 7          know, myself one of those types of situations 

 8          in my district, a recent parolee who broke 

 9          into a home, the people were away, but he 

10          happened on a mother and her daughter who 

11          were there to feed the cat, and they ended up 

12          losing their lives in that incident and 

13          whatever.

14                 So all of us, I think, have some of 

15          those things.  And the issue of parolees 

16          obviously it's an opportunity for individuals 

17          to find their way back into society, but it 

18          doesn't always work.

19                 And I think back to Assemblyman 

20          Funke's question about Assemblyman Lawrence's 

21          legislation, the one thing of making 

22          information -- right now police officers stop 

23          individuals for whatever, to check.  They can 

24          tell that a person is on parole, but they 


 1          have no information about the conditions of 

 2          the parole.  And so if the individual by 

 3          their activity at that moment is violating 

 4          the parole, they would have no way of knowing 

 5          that.  And so then it goes through a process 

 6          of letting the parole officer know that 

 7          that's happened, and then through a process 

 8          of trying to figure out what happens.  

 9                 Certainly for those who might offend 

10          quickly after they've been released but may 

11          have violated in some way before, his 

12          proposal would try to make that information 

13          available to police and also give police the 

14          opportunity, empower them to do something 

15          then, as opposed to having to take several 

16          days or time down the down the road of 

17          dealing with this.

18                 And so I think the question -- I know 

19          you said if the person has been an absconder 

20          or had a problem, obviously they can tell, 

21          they can be a help.  This would be a way of 

22          strengthening that.  And I just go back to 

23          that, of saying I welcome a comment on it 

24          and/or just a willingness to work with us in 


 1          looking at it.  If we can strengthen parole 

 2          in this way, I think it makes communities 

 3          safer, makes parole work better for those who 

 4          are going to follow the conditions of it.

 5                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Well, we 

 6          value all of the working relationships we 

 7          have with local law enforcement, so we're 

 8          always willing to share as much information 

 9          as possible.

10                 With respect to the specific 

11          legislative proposal or concept, we follow a 

12          protocol where we submit any feedback, 

13          thoughts, to our Governor's counsel's office.  

14          But we don't independently provide comments 

15          or suggestions on the substance or 

16          well-thought-outness of a particular 

17          proposal.

18                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Understood.  I just 

19          think it could end up making your job better 

20          and easier, and have us working better 

21          together.  Thank you.

22                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, 

23          Assemblyman.

24                 Senator Savino.


 1                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you, Senator 

 2          Young.  

 3                 I'll be very brief because many of the 

 4          questions that I had have already been 

 5          answered.  

 6                 But you'll recall, Commissioner, that 

 7          in the past we've been somewhat critical of 

 8          your agency's level of overtime.  So backing 

 9          out the extra overtime that was related to 

10          the prison break, can you give me a sense of 

11          the level of overtime in the past year?  

12                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  I can 

13          tell you that if we back out the overtime 

14          related to Clinton -- and there was also a 

15          significant expenditure related to an 

16          individual that was lost in the North Country 

17          for a number of days, and we were 

18          participating in the search -- that our 

19          process shows we were only a little over 

20          where we were last year.  Which is not good.

21                 SENATOR SAVINO:  No.

22                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  But the 

23          good news is that we have started a process 

24          whereby, A, I've communicated to all my 


 1          superintendents the need to justify every 

 2          expenditure of overtime.  We've broken it 

 3          down by program areas, so that Facility A, 

 4          this is what you spent on program in this 

 5          quarter and this is what you spent on admin, 

 6          this is what you spent on security.  And then 

 7          we have phone calls to discuss and show to 

 8          them whether they made progress or whether 

 9          they went in the wrong direction.  And then 

10          it's incumbent upon them to explain to us the 

11          reasons why.

12                 There are a lot of reasons why we have 

13          overtime --

14                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Not to interrupt, but 

15          I can predict one of them.  And I don't 

16          dispute for a moment that the overtime is 

17          justified.  I understand how hard it is to 

18          run a prison system.  But the problems you 

19          have now are the same problems you had five 

20          years ago, and your predecessors had -- it's 

21          a shortage of staff.  And we know that.  

22          Whether it's in the civilian titles or in the 

23          correction titles.  

24                 I know you've taken steps, though, to 


 1          increase hiring in the correctional officers 

 2          titles.  But I'm concerned about the other 

 3          professional titles -- the nurses.  You know, 

 4          thank God that one poor nurse finally 

 5          retired, because every year she would wind up 

 6          as the highest overtime earner in the state, 

 7          as if she was doing something wrong.  As if 

 8          she had a choice about whether she was going 

 9          to stay.

10                 So my concern continues to be about 

11          the level of hiring so that we can 

12          sufficiently staff the facilities so you 

13          don't have overworked correction officers or 

14          nurses or psychiatrists or social workers or 

15          anybody else that's there because of the 

16          level of, you know, security that is so 

17          important in maintaining a prison like that.  

18                 So I just want to keep it on your 

19          radar, we're going to continue to watch this.  

20          You know, it's something that is of concern 

21          to us, the level of overtime -- not because 

22          you're spending money, but because you're 

23          spending it because you don't have sufficient 

24          staff to meet the needs of the institution.


 1                 Thank you.

 2                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Okay, 

 3          Senator.

 4                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  I don't 

 5          believe there are any other Assembly 

 6          speakers.  So Senator Montgomery.

 7                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Good afternoon, 

 8          Commissioner.

 9                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Good 

10          afternoon, Senator.

11                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  I will start by 

12          offering thanks to you for a couple of 

13          things, and then I'll make my complaints, 

14          I'll register my complaints.

15                 (Laughter.)

16                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  So first of all I 

17          want to say my last visit to Sullivan, my 

18          staff and I were up there and we were -- it 

19          was a very, very interesting and -- it was a 

20          good experience.  And I want to thank the 

21          superintendent and her staff because she 

22          really made it what I thought to be a very 

23          worthwhile experience.  So I appreciate that.  

24                 And I also want to thank you for the 


 1          fact that you agreed to do the advisory 

 2          council for the parole facility that's also 

 3          in my district.  And that has really 

 4          contributed to a lot of reduction in the 

 5          tension that was around that facility when it 

 6          first opened.  So I thank you for that.

 7                 And I will just ask a couple of 

 8          questions, raise a couple of issues with you.  

 9          And in the interests of my time not running 

10          out, I'll do it all together and you can 

11          answer accordingly.

12                 I am very pleased to see how much 

13          emphasis you are placing on the whole issue 

14          of offering college and looking at training 

15          programs and those programs that really 

16          prepare people for a successful reentry back 

17          into the communities.  I appreciate that.  

18                 The question about that -- two things.  

19          One is, have we ever thought about the 

20          possibility of creating sort of an 

21          educational training facility where one of 

22          your buildings, one of your facilities could 

23          become sort of a hub, if you will, for this 

24          kind of activity?  I'm so impressed -- I've 


 1          been to Sullivan, obviously, there's really 

 2          such a great group up there -- Sing Sing, 

 3          eastern and the others that I have not 

 4          visited but I've heard of them.  And I'm 

 5          always so impressed with the degree of 

 6          excitement of the men in there.  And people 

 7          who have expressed very serious intentions of 

 8          coming back to their communities and giving 

 9          back and becoming productive citizens again.

10                 So you will play a very major role in 

11          that, and I certainly would like to know how 

12          you're moving with that and what can we do to 

13          enhance that.  

14                 And the second part of that is, how do 

15          we align what you do inside, the kind of 

16          training and the experiences that people have 

17          inside, creating some sort of a certification 

18          so that when they do return to the community, 

19          they have something that says I have these 

20          skills, and that that can be acknowledged and 

21          accepted as a legitimate representation of 

22          that person's experience?  

23                 So those are the two things that I'm 

24          asking.  Thank you.  


 1                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Okay, 

 2          Senator.  First let me thank you for all the 

 3          efforts you expended to help with the opening 

 4          of the new parole office in Brooklyn.  There 

 5          was originally a lot of controversy.  I know 

 6          you helped us out.  I know it's very well 

 7          accepted now.

 8                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Yes, it sure is.

 9                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  In fact 

10          I think we've actually proven that the crime 

11          rates in that precinct have gone down --

12                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  That's right.

13                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  -- since 

14          we've been there.  But it couldn't have 

15          worked without your assistance, and we're 

16          very grateful for that.

17                 I'll take your second question first.  

18          We've already started to work with the 

19          Department of Labor to create 

20          preapprenticeship programs.  We're going to 

21          have our first meeting, and we're looking at 

22          different voc programs that we have and we're 

23          look at what's available in the community so 

24          that we can start a preapprenticeship program 


 1          and then continue it in the community, 

 2          wherever it's selected.  So we're going to 

 3          depend upon the DOL to give us some good 

 4          advice in that area.  

 5                 And thank you for acknowledging the 

 6          college programming.  That's another big 

 7          initiative.  Courtesy of the Manhattan 

 8          district attorney's office, $7.5 million of 

 9          asset forfeiture money.  College is very, 

10          very useful, not just in terms of lowering 

11          recidivism, but also as a positive role model 

12          in the institutions.  

13                 I saw the three gentlemen that were 

14          graduates of Bard with the Governor at the 

15          announcement.  I went over, I congratulated 

16          them, and I just said "Make sure you succeed, 

17          because you're carrying the torch for a lot 

18          of other individuals coming after you."

19                 And we know how excited the whole 

20          country was when the three individuals in the 

21          debate team went up and beat Harvard, which 

22          was an amazing story, and they were from 

23          Eastern.

24                 So we're very excited about that.  And 


 1          I can tell you that you've asked me have I 

 2          given thought to a building possibly being an 

 3          educational institutional.

 4                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Fantastic.

 5                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  The 

 6          answer is I've given it thought.

 7                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Great.

 8                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  But it's 

 9          too early to talk about, you know, what the 

10          possibilities are.  We have to do some 

11          outreach with various individuals.  

12                 But the whole idea of an educational 

13          institution, so to speak, is something that's 

14          at least worthwhile pursuing and exploring to 

15          see if that can be done.

16                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Great.  Thank 

17          you.

18                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  

19                 Senator Nozzolio to close.

20                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Thank you again.  

21                 Senator Montgomery, it's not unusual 

22          that we disagree on subjects and that she and 

23          I have had wonderful debates in the past, and 

24          I'm sure we're going to have a few more this 


 1          session, that we're going to be scrutinizing 

 2          whether or not taxpayers' dollars are in fact 

 3          utilized for this purpose.  I know that there 

 4          are -- it's the purpose of providing free 

 5          tuition for inmates.  

 6                 However, Senator Montgomery and I do 

 7          agree on issues regarding training for 

 8          skilled opportunities to provide inmates in 

 9          their exit from prison, entry into the 

10          community, to have skill sets that are 

11          marketable for jobs.  And that's something 

12          that I don't need you to get in the middle 

13          of, but it's something that we are going to 

14          be scrutinizing.  

15                 What I do need you to focus on -- 

16          Senator Funke mentioned this -- it's 

17          something that is outside the prison walls, 

18          but relative to parole.  And we talked about 

19          the ratios, we talked about Western New York.  

20          I think your three-point program regarding 

21          analysis of high risk, moving inmates closer 

22          to the facility they exited from, GPS 

23          bracelets, and transferring to official 

24          reporting, makes a lot of sense.  


 1                 But if our parole officers don't have 

 2          the appropriate tools, don't have the 

 3          vehicles -- you said 38 more vehicles.  Since 

 4          you made that statement, I've been trying to 

 5          find in the State Budget where that is.

 6                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  It's not 

 7          in the budget.  It was just approved today, 

 8          Senator.

 9                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Just approved 

10          today.  

11                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  The plan 

12          by OGS.

13                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Is this a -- Danny 

14          O'Donnell's -- assemblyman O'Donnell's 

15          comment, it's nice that we have these kinds 

16          of appropriations available from time to 

17          time.  It would be nice if the Legislature 

18          knew about it.  But the fact is if you were 

19          able to take those out of last fiscal year, 

20          monies from the current fiscal year as 

21          opposed to next fiscal year, that this was  

22          approved and these are going to be 

23          forthcoming by the end of March?  

24                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  I don't 


 1          know the schedule.  I just got the news that 

 2          our plan, it's a three-year plan to increase 

 3          the vehicle totals.  I think the total we 

 4          have now is 248.  So it's 30-something -- 

 5          don't hold me to 38, if it's 38 or 35 -- that 

 6          we will be able to get this year.

 7                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  And why we're 

 8          discussing this is because we live in areas 

 9          in upstate New York in particular that are 

10          vast in terms of geography, and that for the 

11          parole officers, as it is they have 

12          significantly higher ratios than ever before.  

13          That we have sheets on the types of offenders 

14          and the types of cases and the caseload, and 

15          the ratios are anywhere from 25 to 1 to 160 

16          to 1, 200 to 1, in terms of the types of 

17          caseloads that individual parole officers are 

18          asked to absorb.  

19                 And I think that in spite of your very 

20          good attention to this criteria, without you 

21          having more staff in the field, I just think 

22          this is not going to work.  You're getting 

23          infrastructure, cars -- that's a good thing.  

24          Thank you for that.  Thank you for addressing 


 1          the issues.  But the question of more 

 2          officers -- not just taking those with only 

 3          Department of Correctional Services training, 

 4          CO training, and moving them into -- I mean, 

 5          we have many great COs who became parole 

 6          officers.  But the fact is to have them now 

 7          from the prison into parole officer capacity 

 8          without adequate training is very, very 

 9          concerning.  

10                 (Applause from audience.)

11                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Please address, 

12          Commissioner, the issues going beyond the 

13          foundation you set up.  And again, I'm here 

14          to thank you for that.  But let's -- what are 

15          your plans to move forward with the 

16          deployment of additional personnel?

17                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Well, 

18          right now I know we have at least two 

19          additional classes scheduled for this year 

20          for parole officers, Senator.

21                 We've also gotten other equipment.  

22          We've gotten radios, we've gotten replacement 

23          vests, we're replacing -- I believe we may 

24          have already completed it -- the weaponry, 


 1          the Glock that they use.  There's no question 

 2          that they need the appropriate equipment.  

 3                 The ratios are driven by the risk 

 4          management plan that tells us whether someone 

 5          is a high risk or a low risk, et cetera.  We 

 6          haven't changed that.  But what I can tell 

 7          you is that there is the ability by the 

 8          parole officer to make changes, to identify 

 9          someone as, Listen, this guy needs to be 

10          supervised at a higher level than what he 

11          currently is.  And so that's been recognized 

12          and adopted.

13                 But I can't speak to you exactly what 

14          the ratios are in various parts of the state.  

15          But I'll certainly go back, we'll look at it 

16          and, you know, make recommendations for 

17          adjustments as warranted.

18                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  Your attention to 

19          this is most welcome.  I guess you're taking 

20          an absconder as a low security risk or lower 

21          security risk, because the ratios there -- 

22          our numbers show a 200-to-1 ratio, 200 

23          parolees to one parole officer.  That sex 

24          offenders, 25 to 1.  Now, that's not -- I 


 1          think most of the parole officers, if they 

 2          only had that to deal with, they would feel 

 3          more comfortable in their job in terms of 

 4          being able to manage the system.

 5                 But what Senator Funke mentioned, 

 6          those disastrous criminality that occurred in 

 7          Rochester by parolees, it's symptomatic of 

 8          the structure.  And I'm not blaming you for 

 9          the structure, you're a career correctional 

10          personnel.  You came up through the ranks.  I 

11          appreciate the fact that you know corrections 

12          and you've gotten a good job with 

13          corrections.  

14                 But I think in terms of parole, 

15          something that was thrust upon you a few 

16          years ago -- we discussed it very briefly at 

17          this table, if you recall, when the proposal 

18          first came through, a proposal that ended up 

19          being accepted.  But it's a proposal that 

20          still needs ironing out some important 

21          wrinkles.  

22                 And if the public knew about these 

23          ratios, I believe they would be extremely 

24          concerned with public safety.  And I think 


 1          that you -- if you would --  

 2                 (Applause from audience.)

 3                 SENATOR NOZZOLIO:  -- if you would 

 4          continue the work to address, let us know 

 5          what more resources you need to make this 

 6          happen.  You have partners here, and I know 

 7          you're well-intentioned.  Let's try to 

 8          understand that we've got to solve this 

 9          problem.  

10                 Thank you, Commissioner.  


12          Certainly, Senator.  Thank you.

13                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you very 

14          much.  I think that concludes our speakers.  

15          So again, we appreciate you being here today 

16          and all of the answers that you gave.  

17                 Our next speaker is Superintendent 

18          Joseph D'Amico, New York State Division of 

19          State Police.  

20                 (Pause.)

21                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Good afternoon, 

22          Superintendent.  

23                 Could I have some order, please.  

24          Could we please have some order.  Thank you 


 1          very much.

 2                 We welcome you today.  I know it's 

 3          been a lengthy day so far, but it's always 

 4          difficult under Public Protection because we 

 5          have so many commissioners and leaders of the 

 6          different state agencies.  And we certainly 

 7          are very happy to have the State Police and 

 8          you here today.

 9                 So if you'd like, we would love to 

10          hear your testimony.

11                 SUPERINTENDENT D'AMICO:  Good 

12          afternoon.  Thank you.

13                 Thank you, Chairwoman Young, Chairman 

14          Farrell, and distinguished members of the 

15          committees for this opportunity to discuss 

16          with you Governor Cuomo's budget for the 

17          Division of State Police.  

18                 I'd like to take this opportunity to 

19          thank the Legislature for its past support of 

20          the State Police.  Because of your support, 

21          the New York State Police continues to enjoy 

22          its --

23                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Can we have some 

24          order, please, at the top of the room.  Thank 


 1          you.  

 2                 Sorry, Superintendent.

 3                 SUPERINTENDENT D'AMICO:  That's okay.  

 4                 Because of your support, the New York 

 5          State Police continues to enjoy its well- 

 6          deserved reputation as one of the leading law 

 7          enforcement agencies in the nation.  

 8                 On April 11, 1917, Governor Whitman 

 9          signed the Wells-Mills Bill into law, 

10          establishing the State Police.  As we 

11          approach the agency's 100th anniversary next 

12          year, our role in New York is essentially 

13          unchanged to this day.  The bill stated:  "It 

14          shall be the duty of the State Police to 

15          prevent and detect crime and apprehend 

16          criminals.  They shall also be subject to the 

17          call of the Governor and empowered to 

18          cooperate with any other department of the 

19          State or with local authorities." 

20                 And the importance of this original 

21          charter is as significant now as it was back 

22          then.  

23                 Since its inception, the State Police 

24          has consistently provided public service 


 1          through its core missions, adapting mission 

 2          priorities constantly to societal changes, 

 3          and we have continually improved these 

 4          services.  Our current mission priorities 

 5          include reducing the number of deaths, 

 6          injuries and property damage caused by motor 

 7          vehicle accidents through vehicle and traffic 

 8          enforcement and motorist education, providing 

 9          professional police services to communities 

10          and investigative support to departments 

11          around the state, engaging in emergency 

12          preparedness, planning and response 

13          activities and serving a crucial role in the 

14          Stateís counterterrorism efforts through our 

15          collaborative work with federal, local and 

16          other state agencies.  Our mission and goals 

17          all focus on ensuring the continued safety of 

18          the people of New York State.  

19                 The Governor continues to dedicate 

20          funding to Joint Task Force Empire Shield to 

21          enhance efforts to detect and deter terrorism 

22          in a time when such acts are constantly a 

23          threat to the safety of New Yorkers. As a 

24          result, New York remains one of the safest 


 1          large states in the nation.  Using 

 2          intelligence-based investigative techniques 

 3          and targeted enforcement, state troopers have 

 4          been assigned to potential target locations 

 5          and, with local partners, provide greater 

 6          protection for the public through asset 

 7          integration strategies.  This effort is being 

 8          permanently implemented in New York City with 

 9          the new assignment of 55 State Police 

10          personnel dedicated solely to this mission.  

11                 The State Police is unique as the only 

12          law enforcement agency in New York State with 

13          the ability to deploy large numbers of 

14          professionally trained police officers 

15          anywhere in the state on short notice in 

16          response to an emergency or natural disaster. 

17                 The State Police is also available for 

18          large-scale deployments to meet an immediate 

19          need for law enforcement services in any 

20          community.  This was clearly demonstrated 

21          over 23 days this past summer, during the 

22          Clinton Correctional escape in Dannemora, 

23          where we deployed as many as 532 troopers and 

24          200 investigators from around the state to 


 1          assist with that investigation.  At its peak, 

 2          State Police directed 1560 personnel from 16 

 3          different agencies in the investigation.  

 4                 In addition, we continue our 

 5          partnerships with the Office of Emergency 

 6          Management and the Division of Homeland 

 7          Security and Emergency Services, with a focus 

 8          on disaster preparedness and response 

 9          readiness.  

10                 Our first and foremost priority 

11          continues to be the safety of the public and 

12          our troopers who protect them.  Toward that 

13          goal, we will continue to provide our 

14          troopers with the necessary equipment and 

15          other resources to ensure safety as they 

16          perform their duties.  The Governor 

17          recognizes this need after observing the 

18          level of sophistication and tactics employed 

19          at criminal events in the United States and 

20          abroad, and has committed to new funding for 

21          additional patrol rifles, rifle-resistant 

22          body armor plates and ballistic helmets for 

23          State Police patrols statewide.  

24                 Illegal drug use and its impact 


 1          continues to dominate headlines in our 

 2          country.  Heroin availability and abuse 

 3          continues.  State Police will continue to 

 4          aggressively work in partnership with local 

 5          police agencies to investigate drug-related 

 6          crimes and to arrest offenders.  

 7                 Our troopers, as first responders, 

 8          continue to patrol with Naloxone, the opioid 

 9          reversal drug which we have administered 

10          132 times in medical emergencies involving 

11          overdoses.  One hundred fourteen of those 

12          administered Naloxone survived as a result of 

13          troopers' efforts.  

14                 The use of social media to foster the 

15          relationship between the agency and the 

16          citizens we serve has been successful in 

17          improving cooperation with law enforcement 

18          efforts in the communities we serve.  By 

19          posting safety-related and crime alert 

20          information on Twitter and Facebook, the 

21          State Police has generated enhanced 

22          investigative capabilities that have led to 

23          successful case resolutions and shared 

24          important public safety information.  


 1                 This year will be the first full year 

 2          for the Sexual Assault Victims Unit that 

 3          arose from passage of the "Enough is Enough" 

 4          legislation and the Governorís commitment to 

 5          combating sexual assault on college and 

 6          university campuses.  Fifteen State Police 

 7          personnel will work statewide to ensure 

 8          uniformity in the handling of campus sexual 

 9          assault investigations, provide investigative 

10          assistance and training to campus or local 

11          police investigating these cases, and to 

12          educate individuals and campus communities 

13          regarding victims' rights and their available 

14          resources.  

15                 Agency staffing remains an area of 

16          constant executive-level discussion within 

17          the State Police.  We continue to request and 

18          conduct academy classes so that adequate 

19          staffing levels are maintained to perform our 

20          core mission priorities without sacrificing 

21          the response time or the safety of our 

22          troopers.  We will continue to look for 

23          additional efficiencies through our 

24          partnerships with other law enforcement 


 1          agencies throughout the state and through 

 2          consolidation of state government services 

 3          where practical and possible.  

 4                 And as you're aware, 85 percent of the 

 5          appropriations made for State Police 

 6          operations are in support of personnel 

 7          service obligations, of which approximately 

 8          93 percent supports the salaries and overtime 

 9          expenses of our sworn members.  The vast 

10          majority of the non-personal service 

11          appropriations are best characterized as 

12          non-discretionary expenditures.  Expenditures 

13          for vehicles, equipment, facilities and 

14          communications are all essential to providing 

15          the tools necessary for the men and women of 

16          the State Police to fulfill their law 

17          enforcement missions.  

18                 New Yorkers have come to expect public 

19          service from a stable, well-deployed and 

20          adequately resourced State Police.  I am 

21          proud to say that New Yorkers can be 

22          confident their expectations are being met. 

23          It is the integrity, knowledge, dedication 

24          and quality of our men and women that 


 1          distinguishes the New York State Police.  I 

 2          am honored and privileged to be a part of 

 3          such a professional police agency and its 

 4          great traditions and to serve alongside our 

 5          members.  

 6                 I thank you for your support of the 

 7          State Police and for this opportunity today 

 8          to address you.

 9                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, 

10          Superintendent.

11                 Our first speaker is Senator Tom 

12          Croci.

13                 SENATOR CROCI:  Thank you, 

14          Superintendent, for your appearance here 

15          today.  I know it's been a difficult year in 

16          the United States for law enforcement.  And 

17          for me, who grew up in a small town, we grew 

18          up thinking, you know, police were good and 

19          drugs were bad.  There's a lot of mixed 

20          messages out there for young people today.

21                 But at a time when we have incidents 

22          like San Bernardino, California, and the 

23          heroin epidemic that you raised, it's nice to 

24          know that we have the troopers out there 


 1          watching out for us.  And I commend you on 

 2          your leadership of that organization.

 3                 SUPERINTENDENT D'AMICO:  Thank you.

 4                 SENATOR CROCI:  We have previously 

 5          questioned the commissioner of DHSES, 

 6          Commissioner Melville, who just recently 

 7          appeared today to talk about the Article VII 

 8          language in Part D of the ELFA, which seeks 

 9          to transfer some of the counterterrorism 

10          responsibilities from that organization to 

11          the State Police.

12                 With respect to that specific Article 

13          VII language, who in your knowledge, in your 

14          mind, would be responsible for 

15          counterterrorism in the state should that 

16          occur?

17                 SUPERINTENDENT D'AMICO:  The 

18          counterterrorism initiatives and 

19          responsibility is really a partnership of the 

20          State Police and the Division of Homeland 

21          Security and Emergency Services.  We've 

22          shared that since that agency was formed 

23          after 9/11.

24                 I heard Commissioner Melville's 


 1          testimony this morning and if I could just 

 2          build on the answer that he gave.  You know, 

 3          currently the 10 analysts who are assigned 

 4          and employed in the Intelligence and Analysis 

 5          section of OCT in DHSES, the Office of 

 6          Counterterrorism, work at the New York State 

 7          Intelligence Center, in the Terrorism Center 

 8          and the CTC, and basically report up and are 

 9          managed by State Police personnel, as it's 

10          happening right now.

11                 So what happens is information comes, 

12          whether it's by phone, email, phone app or 

13          suspicious activity reporting by law 

14          enforcement.  The information is worked on 

15          and analyzed and built and vetted by those 

16          analysts, and the whole goal here is to 

17          develop actionable intelligence that we could 

18          then hand off to people who could react to 

19          it -- whether it's State Police or Joint 

20          Terrorism Task Force partners, or just alerts 

21          or information that has to go out.

22                 Currently the information travels up 

23          almost simultaneously through DHS management, 

24          DHSES management and State Police management.  


 1          So by making the change from having people 

 2          employed by DHSES over to the State Police 

 3          side functionally changes nothing.  And all 

 4          it will allow us to do, we'll be more 

 5          efficient in use of those people, backing up 

 6          those people when people are out -- because 

 7          there's a criminal side and a terrorism side, 

 8          and they complement each other.  A lot of the 

 9          people are interchangeable.  

10                 I mean, my goal -- the information 

11          that travels upward for us has to be 

12          operational.  For DHSES it has to be to 

13          develop policy, to react, to brief the 

14          Executive.  Both important.  That's not going 

15          to change.

16                 SENATOR CROCI:  So on initial glance, 

17          that's the appearance of what's occurring 

18          here.  I just want to ask you a series of 

19          questions, because this is what the proposed 

20          language would get rid of and not replace 

21          either with the State Police or DHSES.

22                 So would you agree that the following 

23          in 2016 is an important function for the 

24          State of New York to be engaged in:  To 


 1          coordinate state resources for the collection 

 2          and analysis of information with relation to 

 3          terrorist threats and terrorist activities?

 4                 SUPERINTENDENT D'AMICO:  Yes.

 5                 SENATOR CROCI:  Okay.  The 

 6          responsibility to coordinate, facilitate 

 7          information-sharing among state, federal 

 8          agencies to ensure appropriate intelligence 

 9          to assist in the early identification and 

10          response to potential terrorist activities?

11                 SUPERINTENDENT D'AMICO:  Yes, of 

12          course.

13                 SENATOR CROCI:  The responsibility of 

14          the Office of Counterterrorism to collect, 

15          analyze and share information relating to 

16          terrorist threats and terrorist activities 

17          throughout the State of New York?

18                 SUPERINTENDENT D'AMICO:  Yes.

19                 SENATOR CROCI:  So part of the reason 

20          that I have some concern, listening to 

21          Commissioner Melville, whose understanding 

22          was we're simply transferring resources, 

23          we're shedding the counterterrorism language 

24          in the statute so DHSES no longer has 


 1          statutory responsibility.  I can't find 

 2          anywhere in the State Police authority for 

 3          direct counterterrorism responsibilities.  

 4          And those functions that are being 

 5          transferred to you don't include the three 

 6          sections that I just read to you, which I 

 7          think the genesis of these statutes post-9/11 

 8          were to ensure that the kind of information 

 9          sharing, the kind of fusion that should 

10          occur, and the kind of relationships that 

11          need to be built up and down echelon existed.

12                 So to the members of the committee and 

13          to the chairperson, I just want to emphasize 

14          the fact that it appears that in transferring 

15          these bodies, you're also eliminating the 

16          term "counterterrorism" at the statutory 

17          level in the executive branch.  And then to 

18          an agency which is now going to have the 

19          responsibility, presumably, of doing the 

20          work, you don't have the statutory 

21          responsibility in writing, you don't have the 

22          language "counterterrorism," and you also 

23          don't have a reporting requirement up and 

24          down chain.


 1                 So do you see that you're going to be 

 2          able to perform these functions in a time of 

 3          crisis, understanding that you're not going 

 4          to have the statutory authority to do the 

 5          mission and that DHSES will no longer have 

 6          the statutory authority?  So the question is, 

 7          who has the responsibility if there's no 

 8          authority?

 9                 SUPERINTENDENT D'AMICO:  So even 

10          though the language may not be there, you 

11          know, in the function of NYSIC, New York 

12          State Intelligence Center, as the state's 

13          recognized fusion center, those are the roles 

14          of NYSIC.  

15                 You know, when DHS put out the 

16          guidelines back in 2008 in a document called 

17          "Baseline Capabilities for State and Major 

18          Urban Area Fusion Centers," they talk about 

19          information sharing, they talk about 

20          briefings.  And three of the things that come 

21          along with intelligence and information 

22          dissemination is to develop a dissemination 

23          plan, to develop a plan for high-level 

24          discussions up and down the chain, be able to 


 1          brief the state, local, tribal agencies on 

 2          occurring incidents.  It requires sharing of 

 3          information with other fusion centers in 

 4          surrounding states.  It requires reporting of 

 5          information to the federal government, 

 6          whether it's DHS or DOJ or the FBI.

 7                 Now, while that's not required for 

 8          funding, it's the way we operate.  It's the 

 9          way the center operates.  It's the function 

10          of the fusion center.  A number of years ago 

11          we were actually acknowledged by DHS for the 

12          excellent way that we do carry out activities 

13          there.  It's an integral part of the 

14          counterterrorism program for New York State.

15                 So whether the language is there or 

16          the language isn't there, that's the way we 

17          function.  That's the way the guidelines from 

18          DHS are dictated, and we follow them.  And I 

19          think that's what would fill the gap without 

20          the statutory language.

21                 SENATOR CROCI:  So many of the 

22          recommendations that I'm told are being 

23          proposed in the Governor's budget come from a 

24          review that former Commissioner Ray Kelly 


 1          did, and I think we all acknowledge that he 

 2          was a pioneer in some of the most innovative 

 3          and effective counterterrorism policies for a 

 4          police force that we've ever seen, which is 

 5          being duplicated worldwide.

 6                 Have you had the opportunity to read 

 7          this report?

 8                 SUPERINTENDENT D'AMICO:  I don't 

 9          believe that Commissioner Kelly or former 

10          Commissioner Kelly has issued a report.  

11                 I had met with him and his staff a 

12          number of months ago when they were going 

13          through just a review of the state's 

14          procedures.  And since that time, you know, 

15          I've heard it verbally, I heard it at the 

16          State of the State, but I don't know that 

17          there's a written report actually presented.

18                 SENATOR CROCI:  Because it would be 

19          very interesting to know if this was fleshed 

20          out in that analysis, to know whether or not 

21          those three areas, which will disappear from 

22          the role of New York State government -- some 

23          sound pretty important.  Collection and 

24          analysis of information related to terrorist 


 1          threats; sharing among state and appropriate 

 2          intelligence partners.  

 3                 I think that you would agree that in 

 4          law enforcement and the military that there 

 5          are those relationships, those sharing 

 6          relationships.  But in the weeks, months and 

 7          years before September 11, 2001, those 

 8          relationships existed, yet information at the 

 9          FBI was stovepiped to CIA, the military 

10          intelligence community, the Department of 

11          State.  

12                 And the post-9/11 Commission made 

13          recommendations that we have the kind of 

14          executive focus on these issues to ensure 

15          that all departments and agencies within the 

16          state -- to my colleagues and to you, I don't 

17          see, without explicit statutory 

18          responsibility by either the State Police or 

19          by DHSES -- I see seams created again.  And 

20          if those relationships as you currently have 

21          aren't there -- new superintendent, new 

22          commissioner, new governor; law enforcement 

23          personnel, as you know, rotate all the 

24          time -- I'm afraid we're recreating seams 


 1          that the 9/11 commission said we specifically 

 2          should avoid.

 3                 SUPERINTENDENT D'AMICO:  Well, I mean, 

 4          just to go back to the report by former 

 5          Commissioner Kelly, I'm not aware of a 

 6          report.  I don't believe a report was issued.  

 7          I mean, I don't know if he has intentions on 

 8          addressing those issues in his report.  

 9                 You know, I can only tell you, as kind 

10          of the custodian of NYSIC and a very large 

11          counterterrorism function, not only at the 

12          troop level but with the federal partners, 

13          you know, I'm fairly confident that the 

14          information will flow.  Especially between us 

15          and DHSES.  You know, we've always had that 

16          partnership, the DHSES commissioner still 

17          retains the ownership as chairman of the 

18          state's Executive Committee on 

19          Counterterrorism, still coordinates the 

20          activity of the 16 counterterrorism zones.  

21          That really hasn't changed.  He's still the 

22          arbiter of Homeland Security funding, and a 

23          lot of that funding funds the New York State 

24          Intelligence Center.


 1                 So I mean, you know, I would think 

 2          that if he wasn't satisfied with the 

 3          information that was flowing, you know, he 

 4          controls the funding purse strings, and there 

 5          would be an issue there.

 6                 I would just like to say, you know, 

 7          the law enforcement committee pre-9/11 and 

 8          post-9/11 are two different worlds.

 9                 SENATOR CROCI:  Absolutely.

10                 SUPERINTENDENT D'AMICO:  You know, no 

11          doubt about it.  The same with the military 

12          and the intelligence communities.  

13                 You know, we shared before 9/11, but 

14          since 9/11, it's so much more seamless.  

15          We're open, we work together.  You know, it's 

16          about collaboration and cooperation.  It's 

17          just a whole different world in law 

18          enforcement.

19                 SENATOR CROCI:  Well, as I -- and I 

20          know I'm out of time, Madam Chair.  I would 

21          just close with under this construct, as I 

22          read it -- and I've had a lot of very smart 

23          minds look at it as well -- if you were to 

24          have a liaison meeting with the JTTF and they 


 1          were to provide you information about a 

 2          pending attack on New York, in this construct 

 3          you don't have to share it with the 

 4          commissioner at DHSES.  You would have no 

 5          statutory responsibility to do so.  You may, 

 6          of course, and I know you would.  But that's 

 7          my concern, and I think my colleagues and I 

 8          will have to continue to address it.

 9                 But I appreciate your testimony today, 

10          and I'll turn it over to the chair.  Thank 

11          you.

12                 SUPERINTENDENT D'AMICO:  Thank you, 

13          Senator.

14                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

15                 ASSEMBLYMAN McDONALD:  Thank you, 

16          Senator.  Our next speaker is Assemblymember 

17          Duprey.

18                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN DUPREY:  Good afternoon, 

19          Superintendent.

20                 SUPERINTENDENT D'AMICO:  Good 

21          afternoon, ma'am.

22                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN DUPREY:  The last time 

23          that you and I saw each other was at a very 

24          emotional day in my district, just hours 


 1          after the capture of Sweat.  I guess more 

 2          than questions, I first want to extend my 

 3          heartfelt thanks to you as the 

 4          superintendent; to certainly Major Chuck 

 5          Guess, Troop B commander; our hometown hero, 

 6          Sergeant Jay Cook; and all of law 

 7          enforcement.  Certainly our SORT teams who 

 8          put unbelievable hours tromping through the 

 9          mud and the mess of some of our North Country 

10          territory, to have a successful conclusion to 

11          the escape, which none of us will soon 

12          forget.

13                 And I want to take a moment to extend 

14          personal thanks to you because I -- you know, 

15          I was -- my body was down here, my heart and 

16          my mind were in my district for those 

17          23 days.  But I was surrounded every day by 

18          some of my colleagues and friends who 

19          continued to say to me:  Matt and Sweat are 

20          long gone, we're wasting tax dollars, we 

21          shouldn't have 1500 law enforcement in such a 

22          small area.

23                 And I thank you, on behalf of my 

24          thousands of constituents who were incredibly 


 1          frightened, that you stood behind Major Guess 

 2          in your belief and his belief that those two 

 3          were still there.  And certainly you were 

 4          proven right.  And for that, I thank you, 

 5          because I can't imagine what my district 

 6          would have gone through had you pulled those 

 7          troops out.  So thank you, sir.

 8                 SUPERINTENDENT D'AMICO:  Thank you.

 9                 And I really need to thank your 

10          constituents, your communities, who were 

11          tremendously supportive of law enforcement, 

12          who were out there 24 hours.  They helped 

13          with shelter and drink, refreshments and food 

14          and everything else.  They were tremendously 

15          supportive, they were helpful in information, 

16          and it was really a good partnership between 

17          law enforcement and community.

18                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN DUPREY:  I've never been 

19          more proud to represent folks than I was 

20          during that time.  So thank you for that too.

21                 SUPERINTENDENT D'AMICO:  Thank you.

22                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN DUPREY:  I do want to 

23          mention the one -- and I don't want to really 

24          call it a glitch, but I think it's something 


 1          that all of us up there have been advocating 

 2          for so long, for better cell towers.  I think 

 3          that that certainly was an issue during the 

 4          escape, the lack of -- what we lacked in 

 5          communication through cell towers was 

 6          certainly made up for in the communication 

 7          that took place between our federal, state 

 8          and local law enforcement agencies.  

 9                 But in the future, we will be looking 

10          to you and others to reinforce with us, as we 

11          go through the process of Adirondack Park 

12          Agency approval, the need to have sufficient 

13          cell tower coverage throughout that district.  

14          because when they're out there, and I know 

15          the SORT teams were out there all by 

16          themselves with no way to communicate to 

17          anybody.

18                 SUPERINTENDENT D'AMICO:  That's true, 

19          Assemblywoman.  The lack of infrastructure 

20          was a tremendous detriment -- not being able 

21          to communicate, not being able to track our 

22          people on the ground, whether it's through 

23          cell service or through radio communications.  

24                 And, you know, I would say, without 


 1          naming any companies, but the cell carriers 

 2          were excellent in coming in with, as best as 

 3          they could support us, with trailered 

 4          equipment.  But there's a tremendous void up 

 5          in that part of New York State.

 6                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN DUPREY:  Yeah, now 

 7          they're gone, so -- we need them all the 

 8          time.

 9                 And my only other question to you, 

10          sir, is -- and I hear it not all the time, 

11          but fairly often, that the need to have newer 

12          vehicles that so many of the troop cars -- 

13          you know, the vastness of that region, of 

14          Troop B, is huge.  That so many of the troop 

15          cars are way over 100,000 miles on their 

16          odometers, that they're breaking down.  And, 

17          you know, certainly a nightmare of mine is 

18          that we will have a trooper out there alone 

19          some night without cell service and with a 

20          car broken down.

21                 And so are you addressing that in this 

22          budget and going forward?

23                 SUPERINTENDENT D'AMICO:  Yes, we are.  

24          I mean, we've been working that for at least 


 1          a couple of years now.  It is a major 

 2          concern.  It's one of our biggest needs in 

 3          the State Police, are vehicles.  You know, 

 4          followed by people.  And probably half of our 

 5          fleet is at 100,000 miles on the odometer.

 6                 So, you know, we need a tremendous 

 7          infusion in this year's budget to kind of 

 8          make a leap so that at the end of the year we 

 9          could -- our goal is 125,000 miles on the 

10          cars.  You know, I think through our 

11          maintenance program, inspection program, the 

12          vehicles can certainly have that kind of 

13          life.  There may be a year life span also, 

14          like seven years, that might be appropriate 

15          for a fleet.

16                 But in this year's budget we do have 

17          sufficient money that I expect at the end of 

18          the fiscal year all of our patrol vehicles, 

19          all of our investigator vehicles, and all of 

20          our officer vehicles with -- that are 

21          currently at 100,000 miles now will be 

22          replaced.  So I think we'll be in a much 

23          healthier place at the end of the fiscal 

24          year.  We'll come back next year and look to 


 1          find the right amount to kind of maintain 

 2          that number so we don't fall back into that.

 3                 You know, for us it was a couple of 

 4          years of insufficient vehicle purchases, 

 5          problems with procurement contracts, and 

 6          obviously just not enough funding in the 

 7          budget to do adequate vehicle purchases.

 8                 So I think that this year we should 

 9          get a good place, and then we just have to 

10          figure out what's the right maintenance 

11          number to keep us at a good mileage.

12                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN DUPREY:  Thank you.  

13          Thank you for your service.

14                 SUPERINTENDENT D'AMICO:  Thank you.

15                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, 

16          Assemblywoman.

17                 Senator Gallivan.

18                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you, Madam 

19          Chair.  

20                 Good afternoon, Superintendent.  And 

21          as always, thank you for your service and 

22          that of the thousands of professional men and 

23          women who make the State Police one of the 

24          finest agencies in the country.


 1                 SUPERINTENDENT D'AMICO:  Thank you.

 2                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  And I'm very proud 

 3          to have come from the State Police, as you 

 4          well know.  And perhaps because of that, I 

 5          have a special interest in the things that 

 6          take place and the maintenance of the 

 7          professionalism, and that the State Police 

 8          maintains that high level of service.

 9                 The Governor's budget, you talked 

10          about it just a little bit.  The Governor's 

11          budget provided $40 million, some of it for 

12          additional State Police personnel for 

13          New York City, some National Guard for 

14          permanent staffing down there as well.  And 

15          the reference I think in the Governor's 

16          presentation had to do with homeland security 

17          issues.  My question has to do with, are you 

18          sufficiently staffed to meet the needs of the 

19          citizens of the rest of the state?

20                 SUPERINTENDENT D'AMICO:  Yeah, I think 

21          right now the staffing levels, we're at -- 

22          we're about 4750 on the sworn side, is a good 

23          number.  You know, a couple of dozen more, 

24          I'd be much happier.  I think that, you know, 


 1          we'll get back to that.  We had dropped down 

 2          very low a couple of years ago; we've been 

 3          putting in consistent academy classes, and 

 4          we've been able to build back that number.  

 5          And obviously we don't want to lose it.

 6                 As far as the $40 million, I believe 

 7          that's for counterterrorism.  It's to extend 

 8          the counterterrorism surge, if you want to 

 9          call it that, throughout the state -- you 

10          know, beyond New York City.  Last year we put 

11          troopers down supporting MTA and other 

12          agencies in the counterterrorism effort, 

13          especially in the transportation 

14          infrastructure.  And this year's budget is -- 

15          since we now permanently assign troopers to 

16          do that in New York City, it's to take that 

17          money and spend it elsewhere in the state. 

18                 And we've done some of that already 

19          after some of the terrorist attacks we've 

20          seen around the world.  But I would 

21          anticipate you'll see additional troopers at, 

22          you know, high-profile public events, whether 

23          they be sporting events or parades or 

24          concerts or school events, college campuses, 


 1          things like that.

 2                 And, you know, I think we're all aware 

 3          that whether it's crime, traditional crime, 

 4          or terrorism, increased uniform presence has 

 5          a profound impact on that.

 6                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  What is your 

 7          current plan for future classes?  In this -- 

 8          in the current fiscal year or the year 

 9          beginning April 1st.

10                 SUPERINTENDENT D'AMICO:  Well, in this 

11          fiscal year we plan on putting in a class in 

12          March, which is the end of the fiscal year.  

13          We're anticipating somewhere around 200.  

14          We're anticipating a second academy class in 

15          next fiscal year, which will follow.  

16                 And as far as the numbers, you know, 

17          we'll look at attrition between now and then, 

18          we'll look at the people who don't make it 

19          through the academy.  We'll look at new 

20          needs, such as Enough is Enough and casino 

21          gaming, and we'll work with Budget to come up 

22          with the right number when we're ready to put 

23          the class in.

24                 But two classes in the next 12 months, 


 1          in 12 months, the first one being probably 

 2          200, somewhere around there.

 3                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  I'd like to 

 4          continue on a couple of the topics the 

 5          Assemblywoman had talked about.  First, 

 6          vehicles.  Last year's budget, we know -- you 

 7          testified about the critical needs for -- the 

 8          critical state of your fleet last year, as 

 9          did the Troopers PBA, State Police 

10          Investigators Association.  And your 

11          testimony convinced us; we provided a 

12          significant amount of money in the budget 

13          for, among other things, State Police 

14          vehicles and various equipment needs.

15                 I am pleased to see that the Governor 

16          has included some of that in this year's 

17          budget that you testified to, a significantly 

18          smaller amount of dollars spent on it than 

19          what we allocated last year.  

20                 Nonetheless, though, the Governor's 

21          spokesman, within the past month or so, said 

22          that that $60 million that was provided last 

23          year is going to be reallocated to different 

24          things in this upcoming fiscal year.  


 1          Because, they said, it was contingent on 

 2          policy proposal acceptance of the 

 3          Legislature, the Governor's proposals last 

 4          year.

 5                 Many of us were at that table, as we 

 6          talked about that.  It wasn't contingent on 

 7          anything.  We provided the funding for it.  

 8                 So I guess -- my question has to do 

 9          with your fleet, and I just want to make sure 

10          that I'm hearing you okay, that you have 

11          plans to address the fleet, however you came 

12          up with the money in last year's budget that 

13          wasn't part of the $60 million, combined with 

14          monies planned for this fiscal year.  So 

15          you're -- do you need more funding from us 

16          for your fleet?

17                 SUPERINTENDENT D'AMICO:  No, I --

18                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Other than what was 

19          proposed.

20                 SUPERINTENDENT D'AMICO:  No, I don't 

21          believe so.  I mean, I've been working with 

22          Budget on this.  

23                 The last couple of years we've spent 

24          about $15 million consistently each year on 


 1          fleet.  You know, we thought that probably 

 2          this year if we spend $20 million, we'll be 

 3          able to bring our mileage down and get it to 

 4          a healthy place.  And as we get closer to 

 5          budget, we do our analysis and realized 

 6          $20 million is not going to do it.  We're 

 7          currently looking at $30 million from Budget 

 8          to put into fleet purchase, which as I said 

 9          will have a tremendous impact and help us to 

10          get almost completely healthy by the end of 

11          the fiscal year, and then we just need to 

12          kind of figure out the maintenance going 

13          forward on how do we keep it at that level.

14                 You know, as far as what you're 

15          speaking about, the $60 million or what 

16          conditions or terms, I --

17                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Not your area.

18                 SUPERINTENDENT D'AMICO:  I wasn't part 

19          of any of that discussion, so --

20                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  The point that I 

21          wanted to make is that we had provided money 

22          that was not allocated for that purpose, and 

23          I want to make sure that your fleet is being 

24          taken care of.


 1                 SUPERINTENDENT D'AMICO:  Yes, it is.

 2                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  All right, thanks.

 3                 The next area is communications.  Very 

 4          interesting, nearly 20 years ago during my 

 5          time with the State Police and then as Erie 

 6          County sheriff, I was involved in a number of 

 7          different committees regarding statewide 

 8          communication system interoperability.  

 9                 Almost 10 years ago, the Bucky 

10          Phillips escape, and the after-action report 

11          identified communications problems as the 

12          biggest problem, the most critical issue 

13          facing us.

14                 While I don't know if you've completed 

15          your own internal after-action on the escape, 

16          the Assemblywoman alluded to the problem.  

17          There was some testimony before, we hear it 

18          time and time again.  Once again, if not the 

19          biggest problem issue up there, one of the 

20          most significant.  I don't expect you 

21          necessarily to have an answer or be able to 

22          write the check to fix it, but my question 

23          is, how do we solve this?  I mean, money has 

24          gotten thrown at it, at least as far as I 


 1          know, for over 20 years, and we continue to 

 2          have the same problem.  

 3                 And we look at the geography of the 

 4          state, North Country is difficult, Southern 

 5          Tier is difficult, Western New York is 

 6          difficult.  We have these dead spots across 

 7          the state.  We have local agencies that can't 

 8          communicate with others, the interoperability 

 9          issues.  How do we fix it?

10                 SUPERINTENDENT D'AMICO:  I mean, 

11          communications obviously is a big issue.  You 

12          know, if you were to come back to the State 

13          Police today, Senator, you could pick up a 

14          radio and -- right where you left off, 

15          because the technology and the way we do it 

16          is old.  The equipment is new, you know, and 

17          it works, but it's -- you know, time has 

18          changed and we haven't caught up to it.

19                 Over a year ago I charged our 

20          communications people with looking at the 

21          State Police system, the communications 

22          system, with a view on upgrading.  Now 

23          obviously for a lot of years we sat back 

24          waiting for the SWN to come on board, which 


 1          didn't happen.  So there were a lot of years 

 2          lost.  And then there was narrowbanding from 

 3          the FCC, which caused us to have to regroup 

 4          to make deadlines.

 5                 But, I mean, at this time we're 

 6          looking probably to go forward with a 

 7          multiyear plan to upgrade our own 

 8          infrastructure to a much more modern system.  

 9          Whether it's digital or repeated or -- still 

10          has yet to be told.  We've met with vendors, 

11          including Motorola, who made proposals to us 

12          just to give us some ideas on where we might 

13          be able to go.  But, you know, at this time 

14          it's still premature to say that their 

15          solution is the one we like or anything like 

16          that.

17                 So we're still looking at it.  It's 

18          one of my goals that I would like to 

19          accomplish in the near future.

20                 As far as the communications and 

21          interoperability issue, you know, I read the 

22          Bucky Phillips after-action as well, and it 

23          struck me that we identified it back then and 

24          we had the same type of issues this time.  


 1          But the issues weren't exact.  So back in 

 2          Bucky Phillips, we had unencrypted analog 

 3          transmissions that everybody listened to and 

 4          knew where our police were and what they were 

 5          doing.  And in some cases they were helped, 

 6          and in some cases they were hindered.

 7                 So since that time, you know, we've 

 8          moved ahead, we've gone to digital and 

 9          encryption on some of our tactical 

10          frequencies, and we get up to the northern -- 

11          the Adirondack region, where, you know, you 

12          couldn't have been in a more difficult 

13          terrain to try to support communications up 

14          there.  And then add to that, we bring in, 

15          you know, ten partner agencies who all have 

16          different radio systems and everything else.  

17          And even when you were both on VHF and said, 

18          Wow, this should be easy -- well, this 

19          agency's encryption doesn't comport with this 

20          agency's encryption.  

21                 So in the end, you know, we ended up 

22          with unencrypted analog VHF like we did in 

23          the Bucky Phillips days.  And because of 

24          that, less so that the community was 


 1          monitoring, but the news media was 

 2          monitoring.  And in the case of our escapees, 

 3          they had a radio -- you know, a 

 4          transistorized radio -- and they were 

 5          listening to the news reports of what the 

 6          police were doing.

 7                 So it certainly is in the draft 

 8          after-action that we're working on right now.  

 9          It's something that if we could solve it in 

10          the Adirondack region, we could take that 

11          anywhere and just -- because as I said, you 

12          know, we sent communications trucks up there, 

13          but there's no infrastructure.  There's no