Joint Legislative Public Hearing on 2018-2019 Executive Budget Proposal: Topic Public Protection - Testimonies

February 1, 2018

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Hearing Event and Video:



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


 4             In the Matter of the
          2018-2019 EXECUTIVE BUDGET ON
 5              PUBLIC PROTECTION 
 6  -----------------------------------------------------

 7                           Hearing Room B
                             Legislative Office Building
 8                           Albany, New York
 9                           January 30, 2018
                             9:38 a.m.

12           Senator Catharine M. Young
             Chair, Senate Finance Committee
             Assemblywoman Helene E. Weinstein
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 Diane Savino
             Vice Chair, Senate Finance Committee
20           Vice Chair, Senate Codes Committee
21           Senator John J. Bonacic
             Chair, Senate Committee on Judiciary
             Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz 
23           Chair, Assembly Committee on Judiciary
24           Assemblyman Anthony H. Palumbo


 1  2018-2019 Executive Budget
    Public Protection
 2  1-30-18
 3  PRESENT:  (Continued)
 4           Senator Patrick M. Gallivan
             Chair, Senate Committee on Crime Victims,
 5            Crime and Correction
 6           Assemblyman Joseph Lentol
             Chair, Assembly Committee on Codes
             Senator Thomas D. Croci
 8           Chair, Senate Committee on Veterans, 
              Homeland Security and Military Affairs
             Assemblyman David I. Weprin 
10           Chair, Assembly Committee on Correction
11           Assemblyman Phil Steck
12           Assemblyman Michael Montesano
13           Senator James N. Tedisco
14           Assemblyman Joseph M. Giglio
15           Senator Martin Golden
16           Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes
17           Senator Brad Hoylman
18           Assemblywoman Earlene Hooper
19           Senator Jamaal Bailey
20           Assemblyman Jeffrion L. Aubry 
21           Senator Elaine Phillips
22           Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis
23           Assemblyman Matthew J. Titone
24           Senator Marisol Alcantara


 1  2017-2018 Executive Budget
    Public Protection
 2  1-31-17
 3  PRESENT:  (Continued)
 4           Senator Gustavo Rivera 
 5           Assemblyman Philip A. Palmesano
 6           Senator Todd Kaminsky
 7           Assemblyman Billy Jones
 8           Senator Patty Ritchie
 9           Assemblyman Kenneth P. Zebrowski
10           Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas
11           Senator Joseph Robach
12           Senator Elizabeth O'C. Little
13           Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner
14           Senator James Sanders Jr.
15           Assemblyman Michael Blake
16           Senator Brian Benjamin
17           Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello







 1  2018-2019 Executive Budget
    Public Protection
 2  1-30-18
 3                   LIST OF SPEAKERS
 4                                     STATEMENT  QUESTIONS
 5  Honorable Lawrence K. Marks
    Chief Administrative Judge 
 6  NYS Office of Court
     Administration                         12        24                  
    Robert H. Tembeckjian
 8  Administrator and Counsel
    New York State Commission on 
 9   Judicial Conduct                      163       168            
10  Roger L. Parrino, Sr.
11  NYS Division of Homeland Security
     and Emergency Services                178       184
    Michael C. Green
13  Executive Deputy Commissioner
    NYS Division of Criminal 
14   Justice Services                      218       224
15  Anthony J. Annucci 
    Acting Commissioner 
16  NYS Department of Corrections
     and Community Supervision             284       290
    George P. Beach II
18  Superintendent
    NYS Division of State Police           402       404
    William J. Leahy
20  Director
    New York State Office of
21   Indigent Legal Services               453       463
22  Robert H. Samson
    Chief Information Officer
23  NYS Office of Information
     Technology Services                   466       474


 1  2018-2019 Executive Budget
    Public Protection
 2  1-30-18
 3                   LIST OF SPEAKERS, Cont. 
 4                                     STATEMENT  QUESTIONS
 5  Bing Markee 
    Legislative Director
 6  NYS Association of PBAs
 7  Chris McNerney
    Port Authority Police Dept.
 8      -for-
    Police Conference of NY               494       501
    Michelle Esquenazi
10  President
    NYS Bail Bondsman Association
11      -and-
    John Kase
12  Retired Supervising Judge
    Nassau County Criminal Courts
13      -and-
    Jeffrey Clayton, Esq.
14  Executive Director
    American Bail Coalition               509      527
    Thomas H. Mungeer
16  President
    New York State Troopers PBA           532
    Michael B. Powers 
18  President 
    NYS Correctional Officers &
19   Police Benevolent Assn.              535      542
20  Christopher M. Quick
21  NYS Police Investigators Assn.        563
22  David Soares
    Albany County District Attorney
23      -on behalf of-
    District Attorneys Association
24   of the State of New York             567      583


 1  2018-2019 Executive Budget
    Public Protection
 2  1-30-18
 3                   LIST OF SPEAKERS, Cont. 
 4                                     STATEMENT  QUESTIONS
 5  Glenn Damato
 6  NYS Court Clerks Association           607
 7  Patrick Cullen
 8  NYS Supreme Court Officers Assn.       612      623
 9  Billy Imandt
10  Court Officers Benevolent
     Assn. of Nassau County                627      634
    William Dobbins
12  President
    Suffolk County Court
13   Employees Association                 637
14  Dan De Federicis
    Executive Director & Counsel
15  Manuel M. Vilar
    Vice President
16  Troy Caupain
    Board Member
17  Police Benevolent Assn.  
     of New York State                     647
    Susan Bryant
19  Deputy Director
    NYS Defenders Association              662
    Grant Cowles
21  Senior Policy & Advocacy
     Associate for Youth Justice
22  Citizens' Committee for
     Children                              666      674


 1  2018-2019 Executive Budget
    Public Protection
 2  1-30-18
 3                   LIST OF SPEAKERS, Cont. 
 4                                     STATEMENT  QUESTIONS
 5  Melanie Blow
    Chief Operations Officer
 6  Stop Abuse Campaign                    675
 7  Karen L. Murtagh
    Executive Director
 8  Thomas Curran, Esq. 
    Board Member
 9  Prisoners' Legal Services
     of New York                           679      686
    Maha Syed
11  Executive Director 
    NY Legal Services Coalition            690      695
    Dipal Shah
13  Director of Strategic 
14  Center for Court Innovation            695
15  Dave George
    Associate Director
16  Release Aging People in
     Prison Campaign                       705      714
    Scott Paltrowitz
18  Associate Director of
     Advocacy and Community
19   Engagement
    Correction Association
20   of New York                           718
21  Sebastian Doggart
22  New York Families Civil
     Liberties Union                       730


 1  2018-2019 Executive Budget
    Public Protection
 2  1-30-18
 3                   LIST OF SPEAKERS, Cont. 
 4                                     STATEMENT  QUESTIONS
 5  Nancy Lorence
    Board Member
 6  Connie Altamirano
 7  Call to Action Metro NY               741
 8  Steve Powers
 9  Bridie Farrell
10  Upstate Call to Action
11  Mary Ellen O'Loughlin
    Board Member
12  Foundation for Survivors
     of Abuse                             752
    Gary Greenberg
14  Founder
    Protect New York Kids                 766
    Elena Sassower
16  Director
    Center for Judicial 
17   Accountability                       775







 1                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Good morning.  

 2                 I'm Senator Catharine Young, and I'm 

 3          chair of the Senate Standing Committee on 

 4          Finance.  I'd like to welcome everyone here 

 5          today, especially my esteemed colleague, the 

 6          chair of the Assembly Ways and Means 

 7          Committee, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein.  

 8                 We also are joined by several of our 

 9          colleagues in the Senate, and I'll announce 

10          the relevant chairs to the proceedings today.  

11          First we have Senator Pat Gallivan, who is 

12          chair of the Senate Standing Committee on 

13          Crime and Corrections.  We have Senator John 

14          Bonacic, who is chair of the Senate Standing 

15          Committee on the Judiciary.  We have Senator 

16          Tom Croci, who is chair of the Senate 

17          Standing Committee on Veterans, Homeland 

18          Security and Military Affairs.  

19                 We're also very pleased to be joined 

20          by Senator Diane Savino, who is vice chair of 

21          the Finance Committee.  Also Senator Marty 

22          Golden, Senator Jim Tedisco, Senator Elaine 

23          Phillips, Senator Brad Hoylman, Senator 

24          Gustavo Rivera, and Senator Jamaal Bailey, 


 1          who is right next to me in the seat.

 2                 So Assemblywoman, Chairwoman?

 3                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Yes, thank you, 

 4          Senator Young.  

 5                 We are joined by the chair of our 

 6          Judiciary Committee, Assemblyman Dinowitz, 

 7          Deputy Speaker Earlene Hooper, Assemblyman 

 8          Matt Titone, Assemblyman Jeff Aubry, and our 

 9          ranker on Ways and Means, Assemblyman Oaks, 

10          to introduce his colleagues.

11                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Yes, we've been 

12          joined by Assemblyman Joe Giglio, Assemblyman 

13          Tony Palumbo, Assemblyman Mike Montesano, and 

14          Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis.

15                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

16                 Pursuant to the State Constitution and 

17          Legislative Law, the fiscal committees of the 

18          State Legislature are authorized to hold 

19          hearings on the Executive Budget proposal.  

20          Today's hearing will be limited to a 

21          discussion of the Governor's recommendations 

22          as they relate to public protection.  

23          Following each presentation, there will be 

24          some time allowed for questions from the 


 1          chairs of the fiscal committees and other 

 2          legislators.  

 3                 First of all, I'd like to welcome the 

 4          Honorable Lawrence K. Marks, who is the chief 

 5          administrative judge of the Office of Court 

 6          Administration.  He will be followed by 

 7          Mr. Robert Tembeckjian, administrator and 

 8          counsel, Commission on Judicial Conduct.  

 9                 So good morning, Judge Marks.


11          Good morning.

12                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Look forward to 

13          your testimony.

14                 And I'd like to stress to everyone who 

15          will be testifying today that we are letting 

16          people know we want you to summarize your 

17          testimony.  As you know, we have a new rule 

18          this year where testimony is to be submitted 

19          24 hours in advance so the legislators have 

20          ample time to review it.  

21                 And therefore, we have looked at your 

22          testimony, Judge, but we really look forward 

23          to hearing from you and you summarizing what 

24          you submitted.  So thank you.  



 2          Okay, thank you.  And good morning 

 3          Chairpersons Young and Weinstein, Bonacic and 

 4          Dinowitz, and good morning to the other 

 5          committee members.  

 6                 I'm so pleased to be here this morning 

 7          to discuss the Unified Court System's 

 8          proposed budget.  And with your permission, 

 9          I'd like to speak to you for a few minutes 

10          about the major features of our budget 

11          request.  And then, of course, I'd be happy 

12          to answer any questions you may have.  

13                 As was true last year, this year's 

14          budget request is designed to support the 

15          Excellence Initiative, which is the top 

16          priority of Chief Judge Janet DiFiore.  The 

17          Excellence Initiative is our comprehensive 

18          statewide effort to improve the operations of 

19          the court system and ensure that everyone who 

20          comes to the courts of this state receives 

21          the highest level of assistance and service.  

22                 A primary goal of the Excellence 

23          Initiative has been an all-out effort in 

24          every jurisdiction of the state to provide 


 1          fair and expeditious justice in every one of 

 2          the millions of cases filed in our courts 

 3          every year.  In carrying out this effort, we 

 4          have worked closely with our administrative 

 5          judges and local court administrators, the 

 6          bar, prosecutors' offices, and other justice 

 7          system stakeholders to attack delays and 

 8          inefficiencies that all too often can 

 9          frustrate the administration of justice.  

10                 In undertaking this effort, we have 

11          developed individual plans in jurisdictions 

12          throughout the state, taking into account the 

13          distinct circumstances, problems and cultures 

14          that have caused bottlenecks and delays in 

15          adjudicating cases.  Some of the steps we've 

16          taken include restructuring how cases are 

17          processed more efficiently, deploying 

18          judicial and nonjudicial resources, and using 

19          technology to collect and analyze caseload 

20          data to identify where the problems exist.  

21                 In conjunction with Chief Judge 

22          DiFiore's State of the Judiciary address, 

23          which is next Tuesday, a week from today, we 

24          will be issuing a detailed report documenting 


 1          the progress of the Excellence Initiative 

 2          during the past year.  But I can tell you now 

 3          that this program is succeeding, that gains 

 4          have been made in every jurisdiction in the 

 5          state, and that in a large number of 

 6          jurisdictions the gains have been dramatic.  

 7                 And I don't want to belabor the point, 

 8          but I would just note for you that, for 

 9          example, in the Eighth Judicial District, 

10          which includes counties that encompass 

11          Senator Young's district, older pending 

12          foreclosure cases have declined by more than 

13          a third.  In Brooklyn, Assemblywoman 

14          Weinstein's home county, older pending civil 

15          cases in Supreme Court have declined by 

16          36 percent.  In Orange County, Senator 

17          Bonacic's home county, older pending Family 

18          Court cases are down by more than half.  And 

19          in the Bronx, Assemblyman Dinowitz's home 

20          county, older pending felony cases are down 

21          by nearly a third and older pending 

22          misdemeanor cases are down by more than 

23          70 percent.  

24                 And I could give you many more success 


 1          stories if time allowed.  And I will see to 

 2          it that all of you receive a copy of our 

 3          report when it is released next week.  

 4                 But I do want to emphasize that our 

 5          work is not finished, not by any means.  A 

 6          lot more work needs to be done.  And 

 7          although, as I've mentioned, the Excellence 

 8          Initiative has achieved success in every 

 9          jurisdiction, in general the successes have 

10          come more easily in lower-case-volume 

11          jurisdictions.  Not surprisingly, eliminating 

12          backlogs and delays has proved more 

13          challenging in courts with higher-volume 

14          caseloads.  

15                 That is why approval of our budget 

16          request is critical.  The money it would 

17          provide will allow us to continue to replace 

18          employees who leave the court system, which 

19          thanks to the Legislature's support of our 

20          recent budget requests, we have been able to 

21          do over the past several years.  The money 

22          will also allow us to maintain and bolster 

23          our technology infrastructure and, in doing 

24          so, we would be able to continue and build 


 1          upon the progress we have made over the past 

 2          year.  

 3                 Similar to last year, this proposed 

 4          budget is fairly straightforward.  It seeks a 

 5          2 percent increase over the current spending 

 6          level in our operating budget, which would be 

 7          a $44.4 million increase.  We believe this is 

 8          not only a modest increase which is 

 9          consistent with Governor Cuomo's benchmark 

10          for the overall State Budget, but it is a 

11          necessary increase.  

12                 And by the way, you may have heard 

13          when the Governor gave his budget 

14          presentation two weeks ago, he described the 

15          increase in the Judiciary Budget as 

16          2.5 percent.  We believe it's 2 percent.  And 

17          I don't want to go into the details of that 

18          in my prepared remarks, but I'd be happy to 

19          answer any questions that you may have about 

20          that discrepancy.  

21                 So although the responsibility of fair 

22          and prompt adjudication of cases falls 

23          primarily on judges, judges cannot do that 

24          alone.  Without an adequate number of court 


 1          officers, court clerks, court reporters, 

 2          court interpreters and back-office staff, 

 3          achievement of the goals of the Excellence 

 4          Initiative will be problematic.  

 5                 Although we are at lower staffing 

 6          levels than we were a number of years ago 

 7          before the budget cuts of 2011 and the 

 8          ensuing several years of flat-line budgets, 

 9          we have nevertheless made real progress in 

10          attacking case backlogs and delays over the 

11          past two years.  That would not have been 

12          possible if we had been unable to replace 

13          employees when they left.  This proposed 

14          budget will allow us to continue to do so.  

15                 The proposed budget will also continue 

16          the trend of restoring support for a number 

17          of valuable programs that were reduced during 

18          the period of budget cuts.  Following through 

19          on the phased-in restoration of funding in 

20          the current year budget, we will again 

21          increase funding across the state for the 

22          Community Dispute Resolution Centers, the 

23          CASA program, and the Justice Court 

24          Assistance Program.  


 1                 Importantly -- very importantly -- the 

 2          proposed budget also continues to include 

 3          $100 million for civil legal services, the 

 4          budgetary goal that was set a number of years 

 5          ago.  As you know, this money supports grants 

 6          we award to legal services offices throughout 

 7          the state, providing legal representation for 

 8          hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers with 

 9          legal matters who are unable to afford a 

10          lawyer.  

11                 Similar to a year ago, in addition to 

12          the 2 percent increase in our operating 

13          budget, we are again seeking a modest capital 

14          appropriation.  This year's capital 

15          appropriation request is $18 million.  This 

16          money would be used to build and support the 

17          court system's infrastructure, particularly 

18          our technology and public safety 

19          infrastructure.  It would allow us to proceed 

20          with the second year of modernizing our 

21          statewide computer network by maintaining and 

22          updating our computer servers, switches, and 

23          high-speed cable fiber, as well as the second 

24          year of modernizing our public safety 


 1          infrastructure by replacing outdated 

 2          magnetometers and x-ray machines and 

 3          installing additional security cameras.  And 

 4          it would support our efforts to continue to 

 5          digitize paper court records, a necessary 

 6          complement to our e-filing program.  

 7                 Briefly addressing a number of other 

 8          topics that have been drawing our attention 

 9          in the court system in recent months, I 

10          should point out that we are hard at work 

11          preparing for the October 1 effective date of 

12          the new Raise the Age legislation.  Planning 

13          is well underway, and we will be ready to 

14          accommodate the influx of additional cases in 

15          Family Court that will begin on that date in 

16          the first phase of the new law's 

17          implementation.  

18                 Planning is also underway for the 

19          expansion of centralized off-hours 

20          arraignment parts throughout the state, 

21          pursuant to state legislation enacted in 

22          2016.  The first four centralized parts began 

23          operating last fall, and they are off to a 

24          successful start.  Additional off-hours 


 1          arraignment parts will be established 

 2          throughout this calendar year.  

 3                 We are also taking some important 

 4          steps in the court system to address the 

 5          opioid crisis that has plaguing communities 

 6          across our state.  Our ground-breaking Opioid 

 7          Intervention Court in Buffalo, the first of 

 8          its kind in the nation, may already have 

 9          saved several hundred lives by combining 

10          intensive treatment regimens for opioid users 

11          followed by intensive court monitoring.  

12                 A variation of the Buffalo court has 

13          been established in Bronx County, with a plan 

14          underway to expand the Bronx approach 

15          throughout New York City.  

16                 We are also working with the State 

17          District Attorneys Association and other 

18          stakeholders to develop a statewide action 

19          plan to ensure that the court system, along 

20          with the entire criminal justice community, 

21          is doing everything it can to address this 

22          crisis on a statewide basis.  

23                 There's one other thing I'd like to 

24          just briefly discuss with you.  And 


 1          technically it doesn't involve next year's 

 2          budget, the next fiscal year budget, it 

 3          involves this year's budget.  But because it 

 4          concerns a significant amount of money, I 

 5          just want to briefly mention it to you.  

 6                 We have 12 labor unions in the court 

 7          system.  And as an independent separate 

 8          branch of government, we negotiate contracts 

 9          directly with our 12 labor unions.  And we -- 

10          a number of years ago, after the budget 

11          crisis of 2011, in -- several years after 

12          that we were able to reach agreement with the 

13          majority of our unions, nine of our 12 

14          unions.  But three unions, for a variety of 

15          reasons -- we did not reach agreement with 

16          three of our unions until fairly late in the 

17          game -- that is, last year, in 2017.  

18                 And we're absorbing the -- with all of 

19          our union contracts, we're absorbing the 

20          prospective salary increases within the 

21          2 percent increases that we've received in 

22          recent years.  But with these three unions, 

23          because agreement was reached with them not 

24          until last year, there's a significant amount 


 1          of retroactive money that's resulted from 

 2          that.  And frankly -- and, you know, we made 

 3          this clear in the collective bargaining 

 4          negotiations with those three unions, that we 

 5          simply don't have the money in our budget 

 6          this year to pay retroactive increases to 

 7          those three unions.  

 8                 So what we agreed with those unions, 

 9          and this was part of the collective 

10          bargaining agreements that we reached with 

11          them, is that we -- the court system would 

12          put legislation in this session seeking a 

13          supplemental appropriation to this year's 

14          budget to pay for the retroactive salary 

15          increases for the members of those three 

16          unions.  And it's essentially the period from 

17          when their agreements were ratified with 

18          their members in 2017, going back to 

19          October 1st of 2014.  

20                 And there are three unions affected by 

21          this:  Our two stand-alone court officer 

22          unions, as well as our court clerks union, 

23          which represents court clerks in the New York 

24          City courts.  


 1                 The amount of the retroactive money is 

 2          $65 million.  And the understanding is if the 

 3          Legislature approves that supplemental 

 4          appropriation to pay for the retroactive 

 5          salary increases, and the Governor signs the 

 6          bill, that the court system will be bound and 

 7          obviously would pay the retroactive money.  

 8          But if the bill does not pass the Legislature 

 9          and/or the Governor doesn't sign the bill, 

10          then we would not be bound to make the 

11          retroactive salary increases.  

12                 So I just mention that to you.  The 

13          bills have been submitted, and I'll be 

14          talking about that with individual members of 

15          the Legislature in the coming weeks.  

16                 So those are my prepared remarks.  And 

17          I'd be happy to answer any questions that you 

18          may have.  

19                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Judge 

20          Marks.  

21                 First of all, I want to let everyone 

22          know we've been joined by Senator Liz 

23          Krueger, who's ranking member on the Finance 

24          Committee.


 1                 But our first speaker will be Senator 

 2          John Bonacic, who is chair of the Judiciary 

 3          Committee.  Senator Bonacic.

 4                 SENATOR BONACIC:  Thank you.  

 5                 Judge Marks, it's good to see you.  

 6          Good morning.


 8          Good morning.

 9                 SENATOR BONACIC:  I'd like to thank 

10          you and the Chief Judge, both of you.  I 

11          think you're doing both a good job, both on 

12          the Court of Appeals and the Office of Court 

13          Administration.  Okay?  


15          Thank you.

16                 SENATOR BONACIC:  Let me get to the 

17          controversial question first.  The Executive 

18          Budget provided that all state-paid judges 

19          and justices assigned to a trial court must 

20          certify that they have performed eight hours 

21          of judicial duties a day at an assigned court 

22          location.  Does the Judiciary have any qualms 

23          with certifying these hours and implementing 

24          the Governor's request?



 2          Well, let me answer that question -- it's an 

 3          unusual proposal, certainly.  We -- let me 

 4          just say this.  Judges in the state court 

 5          system have a very difficult job, a far more 

 6          difficult job than a lot of people realize.  

 7          When I became a judge, I understood full well 

 8          how difficult a job it is to be a judge.  And 

 9          judges in the court system also work very 

10          hard.  

11                 But the state court system is a very 

12          large operation, far-flung.  We're in 

13          62 counties.  We have approximately 

14          1300 state-paid judges across the state.  And 

15          as in any large organization, there are going 

16          to be exceptions.  But we -- the Excellence 

17          Initiative is really, at its core, is all 

18          about getting the lawyers to work harder, 

19          court employees to work harder, and in 

20          particular getting judges to work harder.

21                 So to the extent that this is a 

22          problem in any part of the state, in any 

23          court of the state, it's a problem that we 

24          have been addressing over the last two years, 


 1          and we are on top of this problem.  So our 

 2          position on this bill is that it's 

 3          unnecessary, that we are dealing with this 

 4          problem.  As I said, it goes to the core of 

 5          the goals of what the Excellence Initiative 

 6          is all about.  And in the end, we believe 

 7          it's a proposal that's not necessary.

 8                 SENATOR BONACIC:  Okay, thank you.

 9                 My second question, I just want 

10          clarity on the cap of 2 percent of your 

11          budget.  The Governor says 2.5 percent.  I 

12          think in your preliminary remarks you said 

13          the Judiciary Budget is really 2 percent.  

14          Would I be correct in that?  


16          Yes.

17                 SENATOR BONACIC:  Okay.  Now, you also 

18          talk about two collective bargaining 

19          agreements.  And if they were to be approved 

20          by the Legislature and the Governor as 

21          proposed, that would take you above the 

22          2 percent cap.  And my calculation --


24          this year -- for this year's budget.


 1                 SENATOR BONACIC:  For this year's 

 2          budget.


 4          Yeah.

 5                 SENATOR BONACIC:  My calculation would 

 6          be that you would be somewhere between 2.2 to 

 7          2.3 percent.  Would that be fairly accurate?  


 9          think it would.  It's -- the price tag of two 

10          bills that would cover the retroactive salary 

11          payments for those three unions is 

12          $65 million.  So it would add at least 

13          another percentage point to our increase, 

14          correct.

15                 SENATOR BONACIC:  And if for some 

16          reason you were told that you have to resolve 

17          those labor contracts within the 2 percent 

18          cap, I think you indicated that you could do 

19          it, but the retroactive portion of those 

20          agreements which you've agreed to with the 

21          unions would then be eliminated.  Would that 

22          be a fair statement?  


24          Well, we're saying -- and this is what we 


 1          agreed to with the unions.  There was a 

 2          recognition on both sides, certainly our side 

 3          and on the side of the unions, that it's 

 4          really impossible for us to pay the 

 5          retroactive increases out of our existing 

 6          budget allocation.  

 7                 The prospective raises -- going 

 8          forward, we have absorbed the prospective 

 9          raises for all our unions.  And we'll be able 

10          to do so with these three additional unions 

11          as well.  It's the retroactive money that we 

12          simply don't have the money in our budget to 

13          pay for that and can't afford to pay for that 

14          in our budget.

15                 And if I could just make one more 

16          point about that, because some people -- not 

17          legislators, but some have asked didn't we 

18          see this problem coming, you know, on the 

19          horizon.  You know, were we surprised by 

20          this.  And the answer is with the delays in 

21          reaching agreement with these three unions, 

22          we did know that there would be retroactive 

23          salary increases that would be growing, you 

24          know, with each passing month and passing 


 1          year that we didn't reach agreement with 

 2          these unions.

 3                 So in response to the question, well, 

 4          why didn't we save for that, you know, over 

 5          the course of those years, put money away and 

 6          do a reserve fund, do a rainy day fund so 

 7          we'd have the money available at the point 

 8          when we did reach agreement with these 

 9          unions -- and the simple answer to that is we 

10          have no legal authority to squirrel away 

11          money in our budget.  Whatever we don't spend 

12          by the end of the fiscal year of the money 

13          that's appropriated and allocated to us goes 

14          back to the General Fund.  

15                 So there's -- and I think our unions 

16          recognize that as well, that number one, we 

17          simply don't have the money in our current 

18          budget to pay for these retroactive 

19          increases.  And number two, there was no 

20          vehicle or opportunity for us to save money 

21          over the course of two or three years to 

22          establish a reserve fund or a rainy day fund, 

23          if you will, to be able to pay the 

24          retroactive increases once the contracts were 


 1          agreed upon.

 2                 SENATOR BONACIC:  Okay.  My last 

 3          question, we had a roundtable, Senator Hannon 

 4          and I, on Section 81 of the Mental Hygiene 

 5          Law, the issue of guardians, and data 

 6          collection in order to tackle the demand in 

 7          this area for the ability to pay guardians.  

 8          That they're not having as many, yet the 

 9          problem of the necessity of guardians is 

10          growing quite a bit.  Judge Diamond is 

11          leading the charge down there on the Island 

12          on this issue.

13                 Would you be able to do some data 

14          collection when it comes to guardianships, 

15          how many there are throughout the state and 

16          where the concentration is?  


18          Yeah, absolutely.  And we've talked about 

19          this.  When you raised this suggestion, I 

20          talked to our people.  

21                 And we need to collect better data on 

22          guardianship cases.  As you say, this is kind 

23          of a growing area, with the aging of the 

24          population, and there are increasing numbers 


 1          of people who are not able to handle their 

 2          own -- not only their own finances, but their 

 3          day-to-day responsibilities of just getting 

 4          through life day to day.

 5                 And so we're starting to see an 

 6          increase in the number of petitions filed in 

 7          the court for appointment of a guardian.  And 

 8          when there's no family member, you know, 

 9          ready, willing or able to step up and serve 

10          as guardian, we appoint people off of lists, 

11          private guardians off of lists.  

12                 And under state law, they're entitled 

13          to a stipend for their services as guardian.  

14          But unfortunately -- and this is the problem, 

15          as you know -- in a fair number of cases 

16          there's no money in the incapacitated 

17          person's estate to pay the guardian, and so 

18          the guardian service is essentially pro bono.

19                 So as a first step, at your 

20          suggestion, we are going to be collecting 

21          more detailed information in guardianship 

22          cases:  The nature of the guardian, whether 

23          it's a relative or a stranger appointed off 

24          of a list, and whether the guardian will 


 1          receive full compensation or partial 

 2          compensation -- or perhaps no compensation, 

 3          you know, in cases where the incapacitated 

 4          person is truly impoverished -- and some 

 5          additional information, so that we can get a 

 6          better handle on this and work with the 

 7          Legislature in coming up with some solutions.

 8                 SENATOR BONACIC:  Thank you very much, 

 9          Your Honor.


11          Thank you.

12                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  

13                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Before we go to 

14          our Judiciary chair, I just want to say that 

15          we've been joined by Assemblyman Weprin, our 

16          Corrections chair, Assemblyman Lentol, our 

17          Codes chair, and Assemblyman Phil Steck.  

18                 So Assemblyman Dinowitz for some 

19          questions.

20                 ASSEMBLYMAN DINOWITZ:  Yes, thank you.  

21                 Good morning, Judge Marks.


23          Good morning.

24                 ASSEMBLYMAN DINOWITZ:  First, I'm very 


 1          glad to hear that you think it's unnecessary 

 2          for judges to sign time sheets.

 3                 But I wanted to ask you specifically 

 4          about the number of judges that are allocated 

 5          in each of the judicial districts, and I know 

 6          we've discussed this before.  As you know, 

 7          the State Constitution says that there shall 

 8          be a Supreme Court justice for every 50,000 

 9          population.  So 12 of the 13 judicial 

10          districts have fewer than that, and of course 

11          you can guess which one has more than that:  

12          Manhattan.

13                 Now, in some of the districts perhaps 

14          their caseload is very light compared to 

15          others, but in some of the districts the 

16          caseload is very heavy.  For example, in the 

17          Bronx, under the constitution, we should have 

18          three more Supreme Court justices.  And the 

19          same thing is true -- numbers vary, of 

20          course -- in several of the other counties 

21          and several of the other judicial districts.  

22                 That has an impact on backlogs.  The 

23          Bronx and the other boroughs, I'm sure, 

24          are -- except Manhattan -- are short not only 


 1          on judges but also on other court personnel.  

 2          You know, the delay that that causes is 

 3          really horrible.

 4                 You had mentioned that the backlog for 

 5          old misdemeanor cases in the Bronx has been 

 6          alleviated to the extent of 70 percent, but 

 7          that I think is after a lot of judges were 

 8          sent in temporarily from the outside.  But 

 9          there are tremendous needs in a number of the 

10          judicial districts, including those in the 

11          City outside of Manhattan.  I was wondering 

12          if you have any thoughts on how we can try to 

13          deal with that situation of the terrible 

14          shortages, especially given the fact that the 

15          constitution does say 50,000, one judge.


17          Well, I think it's clearly a problem you've 

18          identified.  

19                 Let me just say we are making 

20          significant progress with our existing 

21          judicial resources, the existing number of 

22          judges, but it's not an easy thing.  And the 

23          formula that you identified in the State 

24          Constitution, which dates back at least a 


 1          hundred years, one judge for every 50,000 

 2          residents in each of the state's 13 judicial 

 3          districts, is obviously an antiquated 

 4          formula, you know, which was developed 

 5          before -- I don't know if it was before the 

 6          advent of the automobile, but it was 

 7          certainly before, you know, everyone in the 

 8          world or in the country, you know, 

 9          essentially owns an automobile.  And before, 

10          you know, much higher levels of crime.  And 

11          it sort of developed at a time when our 

12          society was a lot less complicated and it was 

13          a much simpler society.

14                 So I believe, unfortunately, we missed 

15          an opportunity in New York on Election Day 

16          for a constitutional convention.  That's not 

17          our institutional position in the Judiciary, 

18          that's my own personal view.  Because the 

19          judiciary article in the State Constitution 

20          is something like 15,000 words.  It takes up 

21          fully one-third of the State Constitution.  

22          And, for example, the Article III of the 

23          United States Constitution is about 325 

24          words.  Article VI of the State Constitution 


 1          is 15,000 words, and it's replete with 

 2          anachronistic procedures and provisions, and 

 3          that's one of them, the one you identified, 

 4          the formula for determining the numbers of 

 5          Supreme Court justices.

 6                 Now, having said that, we are making 

 7          progress with the existing number of judges 

 8          that we have.  But I think absolutely it's 

 9          something we should look at to see if there's 

10          a need for more Supreme Court justices.  

11                 Because there aren't enough Supreme 

12          Court justices in a number of areas of the 

13          state -- I would absolutely include Bronx in 

14          that category -- we rely on lower court 

15          judges.  In the City of New York, for 

16          example, we have to elevate many if not most 

17          of the New York City Criminal Court judges, 

18          the misdemeanor court judges.  We have to, 

19          after they get some experience, if they're 

20          good judges and they prove themselves as good 

21          judges, we elevate them to Acting Supreme 

22          Court and usually put them in the criminal 

23          term of Supreme Court.  

24                 And we do the same thing with New York 


 1          City Civil Court judges, which is the lower 

 2          civil court in New York City.  We elevate a 

 3          lot of the Civil Court judges to act in 

 4          Supreme and put them in the civil term of 

 5          Supreme Court.  

 6                 And in the end, even by doing that, 

 7          for the most part we're short judges in the 

 8          Supreme Court.  And of course we've depleted, 

 9          to a large extent, you know, the lower 

10          criminal and the lower court.

11                 So I'm happy to work with you, and 

12          we've already had some preliminary 

13          discussions about this, about whether it 

14          makes sense to develop a new judgeship 

15          package.  Although, you know, I should say 

16          judgeships are not cheap.  Because it's not 

17          just the judge and the immediate staff, but 

18          when new judgeships are created, we need more 

19          court officers and court clerks and court 

20          reporters and court interpreters and the 

21          like.  

22                 So it's not a cheap proposition to 

23          create additional judgeships.  And it can be 

24          very political also, you know, when judgeship 


 1          packages are developed, and sometimes --

 2                 ASSEMBLYMAN DINOWITZ:  Political?  

 3                 (Laughter.)


 5          be political, shocking as that may seem.  

 6                 But there's probably a good case for 

 7          it, and it -- I'd, you know, be happy to work 

 8          with you on that.

 9                 ASSEMBLYMAN DINOWITZ:  Okay, good.  

10                 So several years ago the Legislature 

11          enacted provisions, as you know, for 

12          homeowners threatened by foreclosure that 

13          included mandatory settlement conferences, 

14          preforeclosure notices, strengthening 

15          anti-predatory lending laws.

16                 Do you have any data on how many of 

17          these homeowners are represented by counsel 

18          in the foreclosure settlement conversations?


20          Yeah, it's -- I don't have it with me, I 

21          apologize.  But we -- pursuant to statute, we 

22          issue a report every year, it comes out in 

23          November or early December, and it documents 

24          the percentage of homeowners who are 


 1          represented in the settlement conferences.  

 2                 And it's a much, much higher 

 3          percentage -- I don't have it off the top of 

 4          my head, but I'll get you the number and the 

 5          report.  It's a much higher percentage than 

 6          it used to be, really in very large part 

 7          because of the money that we have in the 

 8          Judiciary Budget now that we give out to 

 9          legal services offices, and representing 

10          homeowners in the settlement conferences in 

11          foreclosure cases has been a top priority 

12          where that money has been targeted.  

13                 So I believe over half of people -- 

14          I'll have to get you -- I don't want to speak 

15          off the top of my head, but it's over half of 

16          homeowners are now represented by a lawyer in 

17          the settlement conferences.  But I'll get you 

18          the exact number.  But it's significantly 

19          higher than it was six, seven, eight years 

20          ago.

21                 ASSEMBLYMAN DINOWITZ:  Okay.  In 

22          another area -- and this is the last 

23          question -- the Executive Budget proposes 

24          eliminating the $4.3 million for the Legal 


 1          Services Assistance Fund.  How do you imagine 

 2          that if that goes through as is, that that 

 3          would impact the court system?


 5          Well, it's obviously not a good thing.  And 

 6          we'll see what happens.  There's a strong 

 7          effort to prevent that from happening on a 

 8          national level.

 9                 But a number of legal service 

10          providers in this state accept money from the 

11          Federal Legal Services Corporation.  Not all 

12          of them do, because -- I can't explain this 

13          entirely, but I know there are limitations if 

14          you accept money from the Federal Legal 

15          Services Corporation as a legal services 

16          provider, there are limitations on what you 

17          can do as a legal services provider.  I think 

18          you can't lobby the Legislature on issues, 

19          you can't bring class action lawsuits.  And 

20          there are a number of restrictions that you 

21          have to agree to if you accept that money.  

22                 So as a result, not all of the legal 

23          services providers in New York accept the 

24          money.  But a number of the major providers 


 1          do, and they get a significant amount of 

 2          money from Washington.  And obviously if that 

 3          money is cut off, it's going to have a 

 4          deleterious effect on the justice system in 

 5          New York and it's going to lead to even more 

 6          people appearing in court without a lawyer, 

 7          with all the negative consequences that flow 

 8          from that.

 9                 So it's something that we're involved 

10          with institutionally, the New York State 

11          court system, through our national 

12          organizations, the U.S. Conference of Chief 

13          Justices, which Chief Judge DiFiore is a 

14          member, and the U.S. Conference of Chief 

15          Court Administrators, of which I'm a member.  

16          And those organizations, along with the 

17          National Center for State Courts, along with 

18          a lot of other organizations across the 

19          country, are very involved in the effort to 

20          try to prevent the defunding of the Legal 

21          Services Corporation.

22                 ASSEMBLYMAN DINOWITZ:  Thank you.


24          Thank you.


 1                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

 2                 Your Honor, I just had a couple of 

 3          questions.  You answered several of them so 

 4          far.  But I wanted to ask you about the 

 5          capital programming that's included in the 

 6          budget.  

 7                 The Judiciary is requesting 

 8          $18 million for capital projects.  Can you 

 9          outline those for us, please?  


11          Sure.  And this is sort of following on the 

12          heels of the money that the Legislature was 

13          generous enough to appropriate for the court 

14          system in the current fiscal year, which has 

15          allowed us to do a number of things, 

16          primarily upgrade our statewide computer 

17          network.  

18                 We have a very sophisticated, 

19          complicated computer network in the court 

20          system because we're literally in all 

21          62 counties, as you know, and we have over 

22          300 courthouses.  It's a big, kind of 

23          widespread operation.  So we need to and we 

24          do have a sophisticated computer network, and 


 1          this money, a good chunk of it, is going to 

 2          upgrade and modernize our computer network 

 3          across the state, maintaining and upgrading 

 4          servers and switches and the high-speed cable 

 5          fiber that we use to run our network.  

 6                 The money -- and we've started that 

 7          upgrading and modernizing this year, and this 

 8          capital operation we're seeking in next 

 9          fiscal year's budget would allow to us 

10          continue that effort.  

11                 The money would also be used to 

12          continue to modernize our security 

13          infrastructure, meaning x-ray machines in the 

14          courthouses, magnetometers, and replacing the 

15          bulletproof vests that our court officers 

16          wear to protect themselves.

17                 We also would use some of this money 

18          to continue to digitize paper records.  And 

19          although we have an expanding and successful 

20          e-filing program in the court system, it 

21          doesn't cover all of our cases that are 

22          filed, so we do a lot of scanning and 

23          digitizing paper records.  So a portion of 

24          the money would go to support that effort.  


 1                 And let me just mention this year with 

 2          the capital appropriation that we received, 

 3          we were able to purchase the SEI case 

 4          management system that 95 percent or more of 

 5          the town and village courts use throughout 

 6          the state to run, to manage their courts.  It 

 7          was a privately owned case management system.  

 8          The owner and developer of the system 

 9          retired, and we were able to purchase the 

10          program from this gentleman, who had 

11          previously been a town judge himself out in 

12          Western New York, and we were able to -- 

13          we're in contract proceedings right now to 

14          purchase the system.  So we will be able to 

15          provide that to every town and village court 

16          in the state free of charge.  

17                 So that's in this year's capital 

18          appropriation, but that's just an example of, 

19          you know, a very worthy purpose to which this 

20          money is being used.

21                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Judge.

22                 Just curious, you mentioned security.  

23          Does OCA track security issues that occur if, 

24          you know, some untoward incident happens in a 


 1          courtroom, for example, that breaches 

 2          security?  Do you have any statistics on 

 3          that?  


 5          there's something unusual that happens -- you 

 6          know, a fight breaks out or some act of 

 7          violence in the courtroom or in the hallways, 

 8          anything we call an unusual occurrence, our 

 9          security staff will fill out an Unusual 

10          Occurrence Report and it will be filed and 

11          distributed to court officer supervisors and 

12          a group of people.  

13                 So we do have a depository of these 

14          Unusual Occurrence Reports, and we can 

15          absolutely, you know, tabulate how many 

16          unusual occurrences there have been over a 

17          period of time and compare to prior years.  

18          So we do have that information.  

19                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  That would be 

20          helpful, thank you.


22          Sure.  And we can provide that to you.

23                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

24                 Chairwoman?  


 1                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Yes, we've been 

 2          joined by Ken Zebrowski and Aravella Simotas.  

 3                 And now to our Codes chair, 

 4          Assemblyman Lentol, for some questions.

 5                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Thank you, 

 6          Madam Chair.  

 7                 And good morning, Judge.


 9          Good morning.

10                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  We certainly 

11          appreciate your service over the last couple 

12          of years.  I think it's been excellent.  I 

13          wanted to say that right up front.

14                 And one of the things that came to my 

15          mind as Assemblyman Dinowitz was making his 

16          remarks was the -- when he talked about the 

17          judge -- the need for more judges, and I 

18          thought about the need for more judges as 

19          soon as Raise the Age comes online.  

20                 I know we've had more Family Court 

21          judges as a result of the actions taken three 

22          years ago, but are we going to have enough to 

23          fill the youth parts as well as the Family 

24          Court parts for that purpose?  



 2          Well, that's an excellent question.  And the 

 3          answer is we're not sure yet.

 4                 As you know, the Raise the Age 

 5          legislation is being implemented in phases, 

 6          and the first phase of the implementation is 

 7          this October 1st, as I think I mentioned in 

 8          my prepared remarks.  And on October 1st the 

 9          age of criminal responsibility in New York 

10          goes up to 17, and then the following 

11          October 1st it goes up to 18.  

12                 So we will be prepared on October 1st, 

13          but to some extent we have to kind of see how 

14          this goes.  There's no question that with 

15          Raise the Age there will be fewer cases 

16          overall in the state court system than there 

17          are now involving 16-and-17-year-olds, and 

18          that's because with cases -- all the 

19          misdemeanors under the law go immediately to 

20          Family Court.  And the felonies -- most of 

21          the nonviolent felonies have to begin in the 

22          criminal court.  And under the statute, 

23          everyone expects that most of the nonviolent 

24          felonies will then be transferred to Family 


 1          Court within a 30-day period.  And that 

 2          leaves the violent felonies, of which -- 

 3          obviously that's a minority, a much smaller 

 4          percentage of the overall cases.  Some of 

 5          those will stay in criminal, some of those 

 6          may be transferred to Family.

 7                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  So I'm just 

 8          wondering, when you're talking, just thinking 

 9          about the youth parts that haven't been 

10          created around the state.  Is that process in 

11          motion.


13          the criminal courts.

14                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Yeah, criminal 

15          court.  Is that process in motion now to get 

16          ready for when --


18          Absolutely, yeah.

19                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  And have there 

20          been slots filled for youth parts in parts of 

21          the state where they don't have them now?


23          There will be judges selected and trained to 

24          sit in those youth parts.  And that's 


 1          happening over the next eight months, leading 

 2          up to October 1st.

 3                 But to finish what I was saying, the 

 4          number of overall cases will be smaller 

 5          because when cases go to Family Court, the 

 6          first step is the case goes to -- before a 

 7          case is actually filed, before there's a case 

 8          officially filed in the Family Court, the 

 9          case goes to Probation, and Probation can 

10          adjust the case, meaning it can divert the 

11          case from ever going into the Family Court.  

12          It can take the youth and put them in a 

13          program, supervise them.  And many of these 

14          cases, particularly the misdemeanors, will be 

15          adjusted, will be diverted from Family Court.  

16                 So we're absolutely going to end up 

17          with more cases in Family Court, obviously, 

18          than we have now.  But overall criminal court 

19          will have far, far fewer of these cases.  

20          Family Court will have more.  But a lot of 

21          the cases will be funneled out of court 

22          entirely through the adjustment process.

23                 But we can't really predict today how 

24          many of those cases will be diverted out 


 1          until we have some experience with this.  So 

 2          it's sort of a long way of answering your 

 3          question.  In the first stage, we will not 

 4          need additional judges, we'll be able to -- 

 5          we may have to reallocate some judges from 

 6          the criminal side to the family side, but for 

 7          the initial stages of the new law, I believe 

 8          we'll have enough judges.  

 9                 But down the road, you know, we'll 

10          have to see.  We'll have to see, you know, 

11          how many -- you know, what the real 

12          additional burden is on Family Court.  We 

13          won't know that right away.

14                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Thank you.  I 

15          know I'm not going to be able to ask all the 

16          questions that I want, so I just want to go 

17          through some of the ones that are really 

18          important and timely now.

19                 The first one is we have folks in 

20          court, human trafficking cases, victims as 

21          well as defendants, and I'm hearing that ICE 

22          has taken over those parts in an effort to 

23          try and get people into custody in order to 

24          deport them.  And that's a really sad 


 1          situation, I believe, and I wonder if there's 

 2          something that your operation can do to stop 

 3          that from happening or at least interfere in 

 4          some way to prevent that from happening.  

 5          Because, you know, human trafficking is such 

 6          a bad thing that we ought not to stop it from 

 7          receiving the proper criminal justice it 

 8          deserves.


10          It's a -- this is a complicated situation.  

11          If I could just have a few minutes, I'll 

12          explain it.

13                 So the court system for years has 

14          allowed law enforcement to come into the 

15          courthouses and take people into custody.  

16          NYPD has done this for many, many, many 

17          years, without controversy.  State Police 

18          have done this.  Out of state law enforcement 

19          agencies have come into our state courthouses 

20          and taken people into custody.  We've 

21          permitted this.  In fact, ICE has done this 

22          in the past.  In prior years, ICE has come 

23          into the courthouses and taken people into 

24          custody.


 1                 So we have allowed this.  What 

 2          happened this year has sort of changed the 

 3          whole dynamic.  As ICE has made more 

 4          appearances in court, it has not been through 

 5          the roof.  I think -- and we're keeping very 

 6          close track of this, whenever ICE comes in.  

 7          Whether they take someone into custody or 

 8          not, we file one of these -- we prepare one 

 9          of these Unusual Incident Reports which I 

10          mentioned a few minutes ago, and we track 

11          this and we evaluate it.  

12                 But the problem is we've been asked to 

13          prevent ICE from doing that, to either bar 

14          them from coming into the courthouses or, if 

15          they have to come into the courthouses, to 

16          prevent them from making arrests.  It puts 

17          the court system in a very awkward and 

18          difficult position, because of course we are 

19          neutral.  We have to be, as the Judiciary.  

20          We can't take a position about policies, 

21          immigration policies in Washington, whether 

22          they're good or bad.  Individual people have 

23          their own personal views on that, but 

24          institutionally we have to be neutral.  


 1                 And it makes it very difficult for us 

 2          to say, okay, well, we'll allow these law 

 3          enforcement agencies to come into the 

 4          building and make arrests, but we don't like 

 5          you and you, and we're not going to allow you 

 6          to come in and make arrests.  So it's a 

 7          complicated situation.

 8                 But one thing we have been -- I've 

 9          been directly involved with this, and the 

10          Office of Court Administration.  We have a 

11          line of communication with ICE officials on 

12          the regional level in New York and through 

13          our national organizations -- the National 

14          Center for State Courts, the U.S. Conference 

15          of Chief Justices, the U.S. Conference of 

16          Chief Court Administrators -- we have a line 

17          of communication with ICE officials and 

18          Homeland Security officials in Washington, 

19          and we've asked them to designate courthouses 

20          as sensitive locations.  

21                 Which is they have a policy where 

22          they've designated churches, schools, houses 

23          of worship, a few other institutions as 

24          sensitive locations, meaning they will not go 


 1          and take people into custody in those places 

 2          unless there's some extreme exigency or, you 

 3          know, some emergency.

 4                 At this point they have declined to 

 5          expand their policy about sensitive locations 

 6          to include courthouses.  However, they have 

 7          agreed to sort of unofficially, on the 

 8          regional level -- and I think we're about to 

 9          see a policy released very shortly on the 

10          national level -- that ICE will not go into 

11          non-criminal courtrooms or -- well, first of 

12          all, we don't allow them to go into 

13          courtrooms and arrest people.  The arrests 

14          have to take place outside of the courtroom.  

15          But they are in agreement that they will not 

16          go into non-criminal courthouses.

17                 So they are not going into Family 

18          Court, they're not going into Small Claims 

19          Court, they're not going into Landlord-Tenant 

20          Court.  

21                 And human trafficking court, there was 

22          unfortunately an incident last June where --

23                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Excuse me, Judge.  

24          I just had one last question.  I don't mean 


 1          to stop you in mid-sentence, but I really 

 2          wanted to hear more about the opioid courts 

 3          in the Bronx and the ones in Buffalo, because 

 4          these are cutting-edge and I want everybody 

 5          to know about them because it may not come up 

 6          in this hearing.


 8          This is obviously, you know, a very, very 

 9          serious crisis across the state.  And we feel 

10          there's an important role for the court 

11          system to play.  We're trying to take a 

12          leadership role with the stakeholders, the 

13          DA's offices, the defense bar, the treatment 

14          community and take the problem-solving court, 

15          the drug court model, and apply it to opioids 

16          but step it up a number of levels.  

17                 So in Buffalo, a court that's gotten 

18          national attention, you know, a lot of 

19          recognition across the country, the -- it's 

20          sort of drug court, you know, very much 

21          stepped up.  The defendants who come in on 

22          drug possession and other charges, there's an 

23          evaluation done of all of them.  And if it's 

24          determined that they have an opioid addiction 


 1          or the potential to become addicted to 

 2          opioids, they're -- this is all voluntary, 

 3          it's on consent of the defendant and the 

 4          defense lawyer -- they will go into immediate 

 5          detox and intensive residential treatment, 

 6          which usually involves medically assisted 

 7          treatment, methadone or another type of 

 8          medically assisted maintenance drug.  

 9                 And when they come out of treatment, 

10          they will go back to court every day for 

11          30 days, so they see the judge every day and 

12          the judge can talk to them and observe them.  

13                 And it's not a simple program to put 

14          in place, and it's not inexpensive.  We did 

15          get some federal money to support the program 

16          in Buffalo.  But it's really been 

17          tremendously successful.  There have been far 

18          more people that have gone through the 

19          program than was originally anticipated.  It 

20          was opened last May.  There have been over 

21          200 participants in the program.  

22                 Unfortunately, there was one death, 

23          but only one death, which is actually a 

24          remarkable statistic considering the 


 1          population that we're talking about here.

 2                 So we want to -- it may be difficult 

 3          to expand that exact model because it's very 

 4          expensive, and bringing the defendants back 

 5          to court every day for 30 days may not be 

 6          practical in some jurisdictions around the 

 7          state.  But we want to implement some aspect 

 8          of the Buffalo opioid court in as many 

 9          jurisdictions around the state as we can.

10                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Thank you, 

11          Your Honor.  

12                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  

13                 Our next speaker is Senator Hoylman.

14                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:  Thank you, Judge.  

15          Very good to see you.


17          Good to see you.

18                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:  A couple of 

19          questions, some of them brief.  

20                 In connection with the time clock 

21          requirement that the budget has proposed, do 

22          you see -- first, how unprecedented is that 

23          for an Executive to propose something of that 

24          nature?  And do you see any constitutional 


 1          issues?


 3          haven't researched it.  You know, there's -- 

 4          some have suggested that it would implicate 

 5          separation-of-powers concerns.  But I 

 6          don't -- I really can't sit here -- honestly, 

 7          I can't sit here and sort of weigh in on that 

 8          because we haven't researched it at all, but 

 9          some have suggested that.

10                 Is it unprecedented?  I've never -- 

11          I'm not aware that it's ever been suggested 

12          here in New York.  Is any similar process in 

13          place in any other state in the country?  I'm 

14          not sure, but I'm not aware.  I've never 

15          heard of a process like that in any other 

16          state.  

17                 But it's something that, you know, we 

18          plan on looking into and determining whether 

19          we would be the first state to implement such 

20          a process if the proposal is enacted into 

21          law.

22                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:  Thank you.

23                 Second -- and I appreciate the work 

24          you've done in reducing backlog across the 


 1          state.  These numbers, these percentage 

 2          decreases are impressive.  What are your 

 3          goals for next year in terms of reducing 

 4          caseload?  


 6          goals for next year -- and I'm speaking in 

 7          general terms.  But outside of the city, with 

 8          some exceptions maybe on Long Island, outside 

 9          the city, upstate New York, we've done 

10          extraordinarily well.  We've for the most 

11          part achieved the goals that we set out to.  

12                 We're not -- you know, we have 

13          something called standards and goals in the 

14          court system, and they're not statutory 

15          guidelines or parameters, they're sort of 

16          involuntary aspirational guidelines that 

17          we've set.  And the timetables vary depending 

18          on the type of case.  Felonies are different 

19          from misdemeanors and criminal cases are 

20          different from civil cases and Family Court 

21          is different.

22                 But generally speaking, we -- we're 

23          not saying that there should be no cases over 

24          these standards and goals deadlines.  Not 


 1          every case is the same, and some cases 

 2          obviously take longer than others.  But, you 

 3          know, unofficially we're trying to achieve 

 4          the goal of at every level of court there are 

 5          no more than 10 percent of the cases over 

 6          standards and goals.  

 7                 And we've succeeded in doing that in 

 8          many parts of the state.  It's proving more 

 9          difficult, not surprisingly, in the 

10          highest-volume jurisdictions in New York City 

11          and in some places upstate and in some courts 

12          on Long Island.  So our --

13                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:  What's the 

14          percentage over standards in New York City?


16          Well, in felony cases it's currently around 

17          50 percent.  It's way too high.  And we have 

18          a number of ideas.  That is an absolute 

19          priority for us, and it may be our top 

20          priority, are the continuing backlogs of 

21          older felony cases, particularly in New York 

22          City.  Because in some of those cases people 

23          are, you know, presumed innocent sitting in 

24          jail -- not all, but enough -- and we have to 


 1          move those cases more quickly.

 2                 We have a number of ideas for that, 

 3          some new ideas.  I don't want to speak too 

 4          much about this today because the Chief Judge 

 5          will be addressing that in some detail in her 

 6          State of the Judiciary speech a week from 

 7          today.  But that's an absolute priority for 

 8          us.  

 9                 On the civil side, Supreme Court civil 

10          cases in New York City, where we've made some 

11          real progress in some counties, not as much 

12          progress in some other counties, I would say 

13          the percentage of cases over the standards 

14          and goals that apply in the civil term of 

15          Supreme Court, about 30 percent are over 

16          standards and goals.  So it's better than the 

17          felony courts, but still a long way to go.  

18                 And I should add that some of those 

19          courts -- not Manhattan, but Bronx, Queens, 

20          Brooklyn and Staten Island -- were deluged by 

21          foreclosure filings --

22                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:  So the goal is to 

23          get to 10 percent next year?  



 1          goal is to get to 10 percent, ideally within 

 2          the next year, correct.

 3                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:  I wanted to ask you 

 4          about a proposal in the Executive Budget 

 5          called the Child Victims Act.  I think -- are 

 6          you familiar with that legislation that would 

 7          raise the statute of limitations for crimes 

 8          of child sexual abuse?  


10          Yes.

11                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:  And how much 

12          preparation has your department done in 

13          anticipation of its passage?  Have you 

14          examined the specifics of the bill?  And do 

15          you see any concerns in implementation for 

16          such legislation?


18          Look, I don't -- you know, I am generally 

19          familiar with the bill.  I haven't read it, 

20          I've read the newspaper accounts about the 

21          bill.  So I'm not an expert on that proposal.  

22                 But my reaction is -- sort of 

23          unofficially, without studying the bill 

24          itself -- is that, you know, any concern that 


 1          we might have would be is there going to be a 

 2          flood of new cases that, you know, will add 

 3          to our case inventories and further, you 

 4          know, frustrate what we're trying to do with 

 5          the court system these days, which is to 

 6          eliminate delays and backlogs.  

 7                 And I have to say I don't expect that 

 8          that proposal would lead to a flood of new 

 9          cases.  There would be additional criminal 

10          cases, but I think we would be able to 

11          accommodate them.  It would be nothing like 

12          the flood of foreclosure cases that we saw 

13          with housing foreclosure, the mortgage crisis 

14          from a number of years ago.  

15                 I'm pretty sure we'd be able to 

16          accommodate any additional cases that 

17          resulted from passage of that law.

18                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:  The Governor's bill 

19          in the budget does not allow for a six-month 

20          delay before implementation.  Do you think 

21          that you would need some period for 

22          preparation if it passed in the budget?  


24          mean the speedy trial proposal?  


 1                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:  No, I'm talking 

 2          about the Child Victims Act itself.


 4          I'm sorry.  

 5                 Well, look, it's always good when the 

 6          law changes if there's some lead time to -- 

 7          with the Raise the Age, there was, 

 8          fortunately -- and that was something that I 

 9          was urging last year, is, you know, the 

10          Legislature will figure out the policy -- 

11          resolve the policy differences, but just give 

12          us time to implement the law.  And with Raise 

13          the Age there was a fair amount of lead time, 

14          which was very helpful.  

15                 So with something like this, I don't 

16          think we'd need that much lead time -- you 

17          know, a full year, a year and a half.  But 

18          some lead time is always helpful.

19                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:  Six months?  


21          Sure.

22                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:  Thank you very much.


24          Thank you.  


 1                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  We've been 

 2          joined by Assemblyman Morinello and 

 3          Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner.  

 4                 And next, to our ranker on Judiciary, 

 5          Mr. Palumbo.

 6                 ASSEMBLYMAN PALUMBO:  Good morning, 

 7          Your Honor, how are you?


 9          Good morning.

10                 ASSEMBLYMAN PALUMBO:  I've just got a 

11          quick comment, a couple of quick comments, 

12          and most of my questions have been answered.  

13          And then I have just one question for you.  

14                 And by the way, great work on dealing 

15          with the standards and goals, cleaning up 

16          those lists.  I have several friends on the 

17          bench who have said you've run a real tight 

18          ship for the past few years and you've made 

19          great strides in the direction.  So thank 

20          you.

21                 The request for the $44.4 million, an 

22          increase of 2 percent, regarding the 

23          staffing -- and this is coupled with the 

24          Executive Budget request that judges submit 


 1          essentially time sheets certifying their 

 2          duties.  And in my experience -- I've been 

 3          practicing for 20 years, and I've only been 

 4          in politics a few years.  I realized after 

 5          about 15 years that people don't like 

 6          lawyers, so I thought I'd get into politics 

 7          because they're so highly regarded.

 8                 (Laughter.)

 9                 ASSEMBLYMAN PALUMBO:  But the judges 

10          are there, certainly, for at least eight 

11          hours.  They're taking work home in all the 

12          courts.  And for example, in Suffolk County 

13          where I'm from, many of these courts have 

14          between 1200 and 1500 motions pending as we 

15          speak.  So they're trying to crank out five 

16          or six decisions a day to just try and keep 

17          up, including handling calendar, obviously, 

18          and trial and so forth.

19                 So my question is with regard to that 

20          44 million and change, how much of that will 

21          be allocated for staff?  Because I think 

22          that's where the issue lies, from a practical 

23          standpoint -- that many people I've spoken 

24          with, it's -- they're there and they're 


 1          working very hard to try and keep up with 

 2          their caseload.  In light of these cuts that 

 3          they've never recovered from, they're really 

 4          struggling.

 5                 So how much of that would go 

 6          specifically to staff?  If you cannot -- even 

 7          just a number, just generally -- is it the 

 8          bulk of it or -- what are your comments, 

 9          please, in that regard?


11          $44.4 million additional money, the 2 percent 

12          increase, the overwhelming amount of that 

13          would be devoted to filling positions.

14                 We -- it's hard to say with precision, 

15          you know, as we sit here today, how many 

16          positions we'd fill, because it depends on 

17          how many people leave the court system.  And 

18          we lose, you know, a number of hundreds of 

19          people every year.  They retire, they go on 

20          and do other things.  And we've been able 

21          fortunately -- for a number of years, we 

22          weren't able to replace, you know, after the 

23          2011 budget cuts and a few years afterwards, 

24          we pretty much had a strict hiring freeze.


 1                 But, you know, with your help the last 

 2          few years, we -- with modest increases in our 

 3          budget, we have been able to replace people 

 4          when they leave -- when they left, and we've 

 5          been able to fill an additional number of 

 6          vacancies just beyond replacing the people 

 7          when they have left.

 8                 So -- but to answer your question, the 

 9          great majority of that money would be devoted 

10          to hiring staff.

11                 ASSEMBLYMAN PALUMBO:  And hopefully in 

12          addition to the current levels that we 

13          presently enjoy.


15          That's -- that's the goal.  Because we're 

16          still down from before 2011 -- 2009, 2010, 

17          which was the high-water mark.  We were down 

18          2,000 employees in the court system -- it's a 

19          lot of people -- in 2014, and we've built 

20          that back, but not a whole lot.  We're down 

21          maybe 1650 employees still from where we were 

22          before 2011.

23                 So we've been trying to chip away at 

24          that, you know, each year as best we can.  I 


 1          don't see us ever going back to the 

 2          employment levels we had before 2011, but I 

 3          always say we don't have to.  I think we're 

 4          functioning more efficiently, we're more 

 5          streamlined than we were a number of years 

 6          ago, and we can get by without filling all of 

 7          those vacancies, even if we were ever to get 

 8          enough money to do that, which is also 

 9          unrealistic, I think.

10                 But there's no question that, you 

11          know, we could benefit from more court 

12          officers, court clerks, court reporters, 

13          court interpreters, back-office staff.  We 

14          could use more staff, absolutely.

15                 ASSEMBLYMAN PALUMBO:  Certainly.  

16          Thank you.  And thank you for e-filing, 

17          right?  That helps us a little bit.  Cleans 

18          it up to a moderate extent.


20          E-filing is great, yeah.

21                 ASSEMBLYMAN PALUMBO:  Yes, thank you, 

22          Judge.

23                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  

24                 Our next speaker is Senator Bailey.


 1                 SENATOR BAILEY:  Good morning, Judge, 

 2          how are you?


 4          Good morning.

 5                 SENATOR BAILEY:  Wow, I was a little 

 6          loud, huh?

 7                 So at the risk of being duplicative of 

 8          my colleagues, I'd like to commend you and DA 

 9          Darcel Clark on the opioid court in the 

10          Bronx.  I look forward to learning more about 

11          its implementation.  Over 300 deaths in Bronx 

12          County alone in 2017 due to opioid-related 

13          matters.  I'm glad we are treating it like 

14          the public health crisis that it is and has 

15          always been, which was not always treated 

16          like -- it was treated like a criminal 

17          justice issue when it should not have been.

18                 Also I'd like to say I would like to 

19          work with you and OCA on the implementation 

20          of Raise the Age as that comes.

21                 But my first question would be the 

22          criminal justice reforms as have been 

23          outlined in the Executive Budget by the 

24          Governor -- bail reforms, speedy trial, and 


 1          to a lesser extent for OCA, discovery 

 2          reform -- what effect would that have on the 

 3          backlog, the current backlog?


 5          Well, discovery reform I think is very 

 6          important.  We've had -- actually, the Office 

 7          of Court Administration has proposed criminal 

 8          discovery reform legislation for probably 25 

 9          years, if you can believe that.  Maybe 

10          longer.

11                 Our view is that, you know, with 

12          protections built in -- because prosecutors 

13          do raise legitimate concerns about witnesses 

14          and protection and risks to witnesses when 

15          more discovery is turned over and it's turned 

16          over earlier in the case.  So there should be 

17          protections built into any criminal discovery 

18          reform legislation in that regard.

19                 But as a general principle, if more 

20          information is turned over in a criminal case 

21          to the defense and it's turned over earlier 

22          in the case, that will facilitate earlier 

23          dispositions.  If the evidence is clear to 

24          both sides at an earlier stage, that -- it's 


 1          almost a truism, that will lead to earlier 

 2          disposition.  

 3                 So, you know, properly crafted 

 4          criminal discovery reform perfectly 

 5          complements what we're trying to do in the 

 6          court system, which is speed the disposition 

 7          of cases and reach resolution of cases, you 

 8          know, at an earlier stage.

 9                 SENATOR BAILEY:  I would most 

10          certainly agree with you, as the first bill I 

11          introduced in my long Senate career last year 

12          was the bill concerning discovery reform.  So 

13          I am a hundred percent proponent of that, 

14          earlier discovery will be better for both 

15          sides. 

16                 Concerning the Access to Justice 

17          Program, I have the pleasure of having as a 

18          constituent Deputy Chief Administrative Judge 

19          Mendelson.  

20                 What are we doing with the LEO 

21          program?  I do commend your efforts to 

22          increase diversity in the legal profession.  

23          Is that going to continue to be funded?  And 

24          if so, at what level?



 2          Well, Assemblywoman Joyner I think could 

 3          probably address that better than I could.

 4                 But it's funded through the Assembly, 

 5          am I correct?  That's not -- that doesn't 

 6          come out of the legal services money that we 

 7          have in the Judiciary budget, it's separate 

 8          money.  It's an excellent program.  We 

 9          started it a number of years ago.  We had to 

10          disband it at some point for budget reasons, 

11          but there's been funding provided the last 

12          couple of years.  We were very excited to 

13          reinstitute the program.  

14                 And assuming we continue to get 

15          funding from the Legislature, we have every 

16          expectation of continuing that program.

17                 SENATOR BAILEY:  I also see that you, 

18          in the testimony, indicated that there was 

19          $100 million for civil legal services, also 

20          equally if not more important sometimes than 

21          criminal legal services.

22                 As you may know, the New York City 

23          Council in New York City recently enacted the 

24          Right to Counsel Law concern tenants' rights 


 1          in housing courts.  Would OCA be amenable 

 2          to -- if the State Legislature were to come 

 3          up with such a proposal, would OCA be 

 4          amenable to something of the sort?


 6          Amenable to what?

 7                 SENATOR BAILEY:  If this Legislature, 

 8          the State Legislature came up with something 

 9          along the lines of Right to Counsel 

10          statewide.


12          Well, that would be a great thing.  I mean, 

13          if every tenant in the state in an eviction 

14          proceeding could have an attorney, that would 

15          be a remarkable thing.  So, you know, we 

16          would be fully supportive of it.

17                 But it would be a very expensive 

18          proposition.  I think in the City of New 

19          York, where the local legislation is passed, 

20          I think the price tag is in the neighborhood 

21          of $150 million just in New York City.  And 

22          there are a lot of eviction proceedings in 

23          New York City, obviously, a big share of the 

24          total statewide.  


 1                 But look, you know, that people go 

 2          into court with the risk of losing the roof 

 3          over their heads and they do that without a 

 4          lawyer is disturbing and should be troubling 

 5          to all of us.  And so if the State 

 6          Legislature ever approved legislation like 

 7          that and funded it, it would be a remarkable 

 8          thing.

 9                 SENATOR BAILEY:  Thank you, Your 

10          Honor.  Nothing further.

11                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.  

12          We've been joined by our Government 

13          Operations chair, Crystal Peoples-Stokes.

14                 And next for a question, Assemblyman 

15          Titone.

16                 ASSEMBLYMAN TITONE:  Thank you, 

17          Chairwoman.  

18                 Thank you, Judge.  I really appreciate 

19          the testimony that you gave.  And actually we 

20          had spoken very briefly about some of my 

21          concerns about alternative dispute 

22          resolution, and in your testimony you really 

23          addressed those concerns, and I appreciate 

24          that.  And I hope that the Chief Judge will 


 1          further expand upon it in her State of the 

 2          Judiciary next week.

 3                 But I do want to go to a question that 

 4          is a little bit more parochial to Staten 

 5          Islanders.  You know, we're known as the 

 6          epicenter of the opioid drug epidemic.  We 

 7          had a Part N for a little bit over a year 

 8          that was successful, but then it was, without 

 9          real rationale, closed down.  Can you explain 

10          if there was a rationale and what that 

11          rationale was for closing a drug court down?  

12          You know, so we're now the only borough in 

13          New York City that does not have one.


15          be happy to answer that question, because I 

16          think there's a lot of confusion about that.  

17          And I read -- I think it was an editorial in 

18          the Staten Island Advance that was very 

19          critical of the decision to close that court 

20          part.

21                 The court part was not working.  It 

22          was not a drug court, a drug treatment court 

23          by any means.  There was not a single -- over 

24          the 16-month period that that court was in 


 1          operation, not a single case was diverted 

 2          under legislation that was passed by the 

 3          Legislature in 2009 to address the 

 4          Rockefeller Drug Laws, giving judges more 

 5          discretion to divert cases.

 6                 And by the way, the judge who sat in 

 7          the part is an excellent judge and nothing 

 8          I'm saying is in any way critical of that 

 9          judge.  He's a very good judge.

10                 But it wasn't functioning -- I don't 

11          think it was ever designed to be a drug 

12          treatment court.  From the beginning, not a 

13          single case was diverted out of that court 

14          into drug treatment.

15                 Secondly, there was only one trial 

16          conducted in that part over the course of 

17          16 months, a single trial.

18                 And we came to the conclusion that the 

19          part wasn't an effective use of court 

20          resources.  There is not a similar part in 

21          any other borough in New York City except for 

22          the Bronx, which has a part like that.  It's 

23          a post-indictment part for felonies where 

24          they all go into one part.  It's not set up 


 1          as a drug treatment court.  It's nothing like 

 2          the opioid court.

 3                 It was -- we felt that it was not 

 4          succeeding --

 5                 ASSEMBLYMAN TITONE:  So let me ask --


 7          cases weren't being diverted to treatment, 

 8          and no trials were being conducted.

 9                 ASSEMBLYMAN TITONE:  All right.  Well, 

10          you know, I mean to me that's not really 

11          indicative of anything.  I mean, there could 

12          be settlements, there could be a disposition 

13          nonetheless, whether by trial or some other 

14          means. 

15                 My concern is that if you're telling 

16          me that the narcotics part in Staten Island 

17          wasn't really a drug court, then it begs the 

18          question is there a drug court on 

19          Staten Island.  And what is OCA doing to help 

20          Staten Islanders get into the treatment that 

21          they deserve, just like every other borough?


23          that's an excellent question.  And let's 

24          consider the sort of disbanding of that court 


 1          part Phase 1.  Phase 2 is we should have a 

 2          real traditional, you know, effective 

 3          diversion part drug treatment court on 

 4          Staten Island.  I agree with that completely, 

 5          and that should be the next step.  And that's 

 6          something that we will work on achieving.

 7                 ASSEMBLYMAN TITONE:  Sure.  And I 

 8          think towards that goal, you know, Chairman 

 9          Dinowitz brought up the need for judges.  

10          And, you know, OCA can look at it, well, you 

11          know, the Constitution was written, you know, 

12          years ago, it only has X number of words in 

13          it -- but that still doesn't change the fact 

14          that it exists.  And that in Staten Island 

15          we've created a judicial district, you know, 

16          nearly a decade ago and we still do not have 

17          the number of judges that we are 

18          constitutionally entitled to.

19                 And I think by addressing that problem 

20          we can start to address the need for specific 

21          court types -- our veterans courts, our 

22          opioid courts, and things of that nature.  

23                 So, you know, I appreciate this, and 

24          I'm hoping that, you know, these issues will 


 1          be addressed and that OCA will step up to the 

 2          plate on behalf of the people of 

 3          Staten Island and ask for the money to ensure 

 4          that we have what we're constitutionally 

 5          entitled to.

 6                 Thank you, Judge.


 8          Thank you.

 9                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Senator Croci.

10                 SENATOR CROCI:  Thank you, Senator.  

11          And thank you, Judge, for your appearance 

12          here today.

13                 I want to start by complimenting you 

14          and Chief Judge DiFiore on the truly 

15          remarkable work that's been done in Suffolk 

16          County with the Veterans Court.  Retiring 

17          Judge Toomey, working with the Suffolk County 

18          Sheriff's Department, working with the 

19          Vietnam Veterans of America, have started 

20          something that now different prosecutors and 

21          different law enforcement groups and 

22          charities from around the country are now 

23          coming to Suffolk County for firsthand 

24          knowledge of what is a truly remarkable 


 1          program with very, very low recidivism rates.

 2                 So it's something that should be 

 3          studied, and I want to commend you.

 4                 I also want to know if you believe 

 5          that they are adequately resourced -- I know 

 6          that comes out of their budget, there's no 

 7          specific line for it -- but if you believe 

 8          they're adequately resourced to continue and 

 9          expand that program.


11          Well, I know that Veterans Court in Suffolk 

12          County has been a success.  I mean, it's been 

13          a very successful program in many places 

14          across the state.  And I haven't heard 

15          complaints that the Veterans court in Suffolk 

16          is understaffed.  But if it is, it's 

17          something that we would look at and need to 

18          address if that's the case.  But I haven't 

19          heard complaints about that.

20                 SENATOR CROCI:  Okay.  I think I want 

21          to associate myself with some of what 

22          Assemblyman Palumbo said.  

23                 We talk to not only jurists but staff 

24          and attorneys in and out of the Central Islip 


 1          Court Complex, and some of the delay -- 

 2          because we're all concerned about speedy 

 3          trial and making sure that that process is as 

 4          efficient as possible -- some of the delay is 

 5          the staffing issues in actually moving 

 6          defendants from detention facilities up, and 

 7          there are inadequate court officers to do 

 8          that.  

 9                 Are we comfortable that in this coming 

10          budget cycle we will see additional staff in 

11          places like the Central Islip Court Complex?


13          goal is -- this is sort of a year by year 

14          process.  You know, as I said, we were down 

15          2,000 employees at one point, in I think the 

16          calendar year 2014, and we've been slowly but 

17          somewhat steadily increasing our employment 

18          levels.  And it's certainly our hope and 

19          expectation that that will continue this 

20          coming fiscal year, including in Suffolk 

21          County.

22                 SENATOR CROCI:  Thank you.

23                 In addition, the reason I bring up 

24          Central Islip Court Complex is you're no 


 1          doubt aware of the presence and the recent 

 2          killings in my community from MS-13, which is 

 3          a criminal syndicate -- narcoterrorists, 

 4          essentially -- who have a very, I would say, 

 5          robust and sophisticated distribution network 

 6          for some of the heroin and opioids that we've 

 7          seen on Long Island.

 8                 I'm concerned that we are ensuring 

 9          that that courthouse specifically has 

10          adequate security, because it is right in the 

11          center of what is now a joint federal, state 

12          and local effort to not only eradicate it but 

13          to make sure that there's no violence at 

14          places where people come to seek justice.

15                 To that end, you raise in your 

16          testimony that you had been requested to bar 

17          federal law enforcement from state 

18          facilities.  I just wanted to know where the 

19          instruction or request came from.


21          Well, we've been asked by a number of 

22          individuals and groups, including public 

23          officials, elected officials, criminal 

24          defense advocates, immigration advocates, 


 1          domestic violence advocates.  A whole range 

 2          of individuals, groups and organizations have 

 3          asked us to either bar ICE agents from coming 

 4          into the courthouses -- which by the way I 

 5          don't think would be constitutional.  I don't 

 6          think we can prevent anyone from coming into 

 7          courthouses.  They're public buildings.  If 

 8          someone comes in and gets into a fight, we 

 9          can remove the person, obviously.  But 

10          generally speaking, whether we wanted to or 

11          not, I don't think we can bar anyone from 

12          coming into a courthouse.  

13                 But in lieu of that, we've been asked 

14          to prevent ICE from arresting people in 

15          courthouses.

16                 SENATOR CROCI:  This is just DHS, not 

17          the FBI or the Department of Justice, they've 

18          just requested one specific agency and 

19          subcompartment of that agency?


21          Yes.

22                 SENATOR CROCI:  And that's just a 

23          public request?  You haven't been given a 

24          request -- there's no other direct in-writing 


 1          request to do this?


 3          There have been letters we've received on 

 4          this.  There have been oral requests.  There 

 5          have been meetings -- we've had meetings with 

 6          advocates to discuss their concerns.  So it's 

 7          a combination of public statements, letters 

 8          we've received, and meetings we've had with 

 9          different groups and organizations.

10                 SENATOR CROCI:  And is there any 

11          concern -- and this is my last question -- 

12          obviously there needs to be a federal fix to 

13          legislation, particularly with regard to 

14          immigration, no doubt.  I think everyone 

15          could agree that has to happen.  But short of 

16          that, under current U.S. law, under U.S. 

17          Code, specifically 8 U.S.C. 1324, is it your 

18          understanding that you would even have the 

19          authority to do that without in some way 

20          violating federal law?


22          Well, that's a very good question, and I'm 

23          not sure what the answer is. 

24                 Let me say this, though.  We -- you 


 1          know, in the court system we -- for us to 

 2          function, people have to come to us.  

 3          Litigants have to come to us, witnesses have 

 4          to come to us, victims of crime have to come 

 5          to us.  If they don't come into our buildings 

 6          and come into our courtrooms and participate 

 7          in court proceedings, we can't possibly do 

 8          what we're constitutionally established to 

 9          do.

10                 So the concern that's been raised -- 

11          and again, I explained our policy.  We have 

12          to be neutral.  We don't have institutional 

13          views on what immigration policies are good 

14          or what are bad.  We're the court system, 

15          we're neutral.  But we do need to be 

16          concerned about events taking place in the 

17          courthouses that might result in substantial 

18          numbers of people being afraid to come into 

19          the buildings and participate in court 

20          proceedings.  

21                 And so that's the concern.  Which 

22          is -- I think when this came up earlier, I 

23          think Assemblyman Lentol raised the issue, I 

24          started out by saying this is a very 


 1          complicated issue for us.  And we're working 

 2          it through and, you know, trying to figure 

 3          out what the right and appropriate policy is 

 4          for the court system on a very difficult 

 5          issue.

 6                 SENATOR CROCI:  Well, and we certainly 

 7          appreciate that.  My community is reeling 

 8          from not only the murders that -- of brutal 

 9          murders of children, essentially, but also 

10          this ongoing fear and intimidation within the 

11          communities from these organizations that 

12          essentially followed the people who came here 

13          to live a life and have the American dream, 

14          followed them from those countries and are 

15          brutalizing those neighborhoods in our 

16          communities.  

17                 So I appreciate your attention not 

18          only to the issue but to the security at that 

19          court complex.  It's very important to my 

20          community, very important to the families and 

21          the mothers and fathers who lost children in 

22          the last year and a half.  

23                 So thank you very much.  And again, my 

24          compliments to you and to Judge DiFiore for 


 1          the work that's being done on the Veterans 

 2          Court.


 4          Thank you.

 5                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.

 6                 Next is Deputy Speaker Hooper.

 7                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN HOOPER:  Thank you, 

 8          Madam Chair.

 9                 Good morning, Your Honor.


11          Good morning.

12                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN HOOPER:  In the interest 

13          of time, I'm going to just present the 

14          questions that I'm seeking clarity on, and 

15          then I will hope that you could help to 

16          address them for me, please.

17                 I'm going to be looking at pages 4, 5, 

18          6 and 7 of your presentation.  Pages 4, 5, 6 

19          and 7.

20                 On page 4 I would like to know what 

21          type of jobs -- you indicated that you're 

22          going to be hiring to fill the void of 

23          employees who deal with what the Judiciary is 

24          attempting to accomplish.  I would like to 


 1          know who, how, when, where these type of jobs 

 2          will be announced and whether or not the 

 3          Nassau community constituents will be able to 

 4          participate with these positions, and would 

 5          they be widely advertised.


 7          Yeah, well --

 8                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN HOOPER:  I'm going to 

 9          ask, and then I'll leave it to you.  That's 

10          one of the questions.


12          Okay.

13                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN HOOPER:  I understand 

14          also that the towns and the village courts 

15          carry the largest burden of cost when it 

16          comes to dealing with the judiciary in the 

17          counties.  That's another question.  That's 

18          on page 4.

19                 On page 5, I would just -- I'll go to 

20          page 6.  The cases that are in the Family 

21          Court -- and I see where you're talking about 

22          the $5.7 million in reference to increased 

23          cases in the Family Court.  Would you be kind 

24          enough to explain how that can be addressed 


 1          economically and what type of resources do 

 2          you see going into the Family Court, 

 3          especially -- I'm speaking in terms of 

 4          Nassau County.  That's on page 6, and that's 

 5          the fourth line.

 6                 On page 7, I see where you are seeking 

 7          to have non-attorneys to help with the 

 8          overload of legal work in the Judiciary.  I 

 9          would like to know, how would this be 

10          accomplished, and what impact on the 

11          integrity -- or the legal implications 

12          resulting from non-professionals representing 

13          the clients?

14                 So if you'd -- I'd appreciate it if 

15          you would -- you may ask me again to go over 

16          the questions.


18          Okay.  Maybe I could go backwards and start 

19          with the last question.

20                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN HOOPER:  That's fine,  

21          thank you.


23          know, we -- the -- what we call the justice 

24          gap, the hundreds of --


 1                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN HOOPER:  You're speaking 

 2          of the non-attorneys right now, right?


 4          Non-attorneys.  Hundreds of thousands of -- 

 5          despite all the good work that we've all 

 6          done, and there's more money for lawyers to 

 7          represent people in civil cases who can't 

 8          afford them, and there's been more pro bono 

 9          work that the bar has stepped up to 

10          perform -- there's still what we call a big 

11          justice gap in New York.  There's still far 

12          too many people who need a lawyer and can't 

13          afford one and don't get one, even though 

14          that problem is improving in recent years.

15                 And we feel that there's -- like the 

16          medical profession, you know, when you go 

17          into a doctor's office or into a hospital, 

18          there are nondoctors who perform a lot of the 

19          work.  You know, we still need doctors, of 

20          course, to perform surgery and to make 

21          diagnoses and do all the critically important 

22          things that doctors do, but there are all 

23          kinds of other professionals in the medical 

24          profession that assist people with health 


 1          problems.

 2                 And we think that the court system, 

 3          the justice system, really could borrow from 

 4          that and make more use of nonlawyers who 

 5          cannot practice law, they can't provide legal 

 6          advice, they can't go into court and 

 7          represent people, they can't write briefs, 

 8          they can't try cases.  But nonlawyers can 

 9          provide services to people in need of them.  

10          They can help them fill out forms, they can 

11          help them explain kind of the court system 

12          and where to go and what to do when people 

13          are representing themselves in court.  They 

14          can help them with agencies in terms of 

15          getting benefits.  There's a whole range of 

16          things that nonlawyers can perform.  And they 

17          need to be trained before they do that, but 

18          we've sort of tried to branch out in that 

19          area and provide some leadership to bring in 

20          nonlawyers to assist and support people who 

21          have legal problems and can't afford a 

22          lawyer.  Again, not giving them legal advice, 

23          not acting as lawyers, but doing a whole 

24          range of other things that nonlawyers can do 


 1          and are legally permitted to do to help 

 2          people.

 3                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN HOOPER:  So you would be 

 4          offering training to those personnel.


 6          Training is a key part of it, absolutely.

 7                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN HOOPER:  Would they be 

 8          volunteers, or would they be entitled to --


10          Generally we're relying on volunteers. 

11          Students have proven to be a good resource; 

12          sometimes they can get academic credit for 

13          providing this service.  But generally we're 

14          talking about volunteers, yes.

15                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN HOOPER:  Thank you.  

16                 What is the position of the bar 

17          association --

18                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  I'd like to try 

19          and move on.  If we could just be concise as 

20          we go forward, we still have a lot of -- we 

21          have a long day ahead.

22                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN HOOPER:  All right.  

23          What is the bar association position on this?  

24          The bar association, what is their position 


 1          on bringing in volunteers to --


 3          think the bar association -- I don't want to 

 4          speak for it.  We have about a hundred 

 5          different bar associations in New York, and 

 6          they don't always --

 7                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN HOOPER:  I'm speaking 

 8          Nassau County.


10          Nassau County Bar?  I'm not sure, but I think 

11          the bar associations have generally been 

12          supportive but have warned that we have to be 

13          very careful in how nonlawyers are used and 

14          that they don't cross the line into 

15          practicing law.  But in general, I think bar 

16          associations support the notion of having 

17          trained nonlawyers helping to address the 

18          justice gap in the state.

19                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN HOOPER:  In the interest 

20          of time, Madam Chair, just one last issue.

21                 In reference to the jobs that you're 

22          going to be seeking to fill, how will that 

23          translate into persons applying for the 

24          jobs -- the type of jobs, how will they be 


 1          advertised, and what impact would that have 

 2          on those persons who are seeking the jobs?  

 3          How would they know and when, and when do you 

 4          plan to do this and how do you plan to do it?


 6          Well, most of the jobs in the court system 

 7          are civil service jobs, meaning people have 

 8          to take a test, they score on the test, they 

 9          go on a civil service list, which is -- their 

10          ranking is based on how they performed on the 

11          test.  And particularly the positions that we 

12          need to fill in the court system, where there 

13          are shortages -- the court officers, court 

14          clerks, court reporters, a lot of the 

15          back-office staff -- most of those employees, 

16          if not all of them, are civil service 

17          employees, meaning they have to take a test 

18          to get on the list.

19                 So, you know, we feel it's very 

20          important that when we have a test, when we 

21          provide a civil service test that people take 

22          so that they can qualify to get on the list, 

23          that there be a lot of outreach in the 

24          community and that we be reaching to all 


 1          segments of the community so people know 

 2          about the test and they have time to prepare 

 3          for it.  And we do a lot of outreach in our 

 4          human resources department, and without going 

 5          into all the details, we'd be happy to share 

 6          with you some of the materials and 

 7          information on the outreach that we provide.  

 8          And we'd be interested in any suggestions you 

 9          have to do a better job in reaching out to 

10          communities when we have a civil service 

11          exam.

12                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN HOOPER:  Thank you very 

13          much.


15          You're welcome.

16                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Senator Krueger.

17                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Good morning, Judge.


19          Good morning.

20                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  I think it's still 

21          morning -- yes, it is.

22                 So the Governor has proposed a number 

23          of significant changes to our criminal 

24          justice system which would impact the courts, 


 1          so they may impact other people who are 

 2          testifying today.  But I'd just like a little 

 3          clarification from you about how you 

 4          understand the language of the Governor's 

 5          proposal for bail reform, where there's a 

 6          "notwithstanding" clause that actually allows 

 7          the DAs to, at their request, override a 

 8          judge's decision not to require bail.  

 9                 Are you familiar with that paragraph 

10          in his bill?  I'll try to read it, but --


12          know, it's -- I'm familiar with the bill.  I 

13          want to spend more time with it.  I have a 

14          lot of questions myself.  But if you could 

15          help me with that one particular provision.

16                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Okay.  I'm trying to 

17          read very small print -- sorry.  

18          "Notwithstanding the above" -- it's a 

19          reference -- it's in the bail reform 

20          section -- "in cases where the prosecutor 

21          indicates that it intends to" -- so sorry -- 

22          something for -- I apologize.  Let me just 

23          see if I can get it larger.



 1          You're trying to read a bill off of a phone.

 2                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  I'm reading 

 3          incredibly tiny print off my phone.  I 

 4          apologize.  Oh, thank you so -- this will 

 5          work better.  Staff is so helpful.  Thank 

 6          you, Dorothy.

 7                 "Notwithstanding the above, in cases 

 8          where a prosecutor indicates an intent to 

 9          move for pretrial detention, as set out in 

10          Article 545 of this title, the court shall 

11          commit the defendant to the custody of the 

12          sheriff."

13                 So I read this and think, compared to 

14          existing law, this actually gives the DAs the 

15          ability to actually override what we think of 

16          as a bail reform proposal whenever they want, 

17          and doesn't leave the judge any discretion 

18          where the judges have discretion now.


20          have to read that more closely.  But that may 

21          be, as I understand the bill from what I've 

22          read, that when there's someone who's 

23          eligible for pretrial detention -- and that's 

24          a limited number of defendants under this 


 1          bill, certainly -- there's a limited, brief, 

 2          automatic remand or detention of the person, 

 3          and then they would come back into court 

 4          within a certain -- within five days for a 

 5          hearing on whether they can continue to be 

 6          detained.  

 7                 If I'm reading it correctly.  I may 

 8          not be reading it correctly.  But that's my 

 9          understanding of the bill, that there's -- 

10          for a relatively small number of defendants 

11          who can be detained pretrial.  And this bill 

12          certainly -- that number of defendants would 

13          be much smaller under this bill than it is 

14          now under current law.  For that narrow group 

15          of defendants, there would be an automatic 

16          detention, pretrial detention, at the very, 

17          very beginning of the case, but they then 

18          have to come back into court within five days 

19          for a hearing on the question of whether 

20          detention should continue.

21                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So I'm reading it 

22          too broadly, so I need to revisit that.


24          Maybe.  Maybe.


 1                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Maybe.  Okay, thank 

 2          you.

 3                 And a follow-up same theme on the 

 4          speedy trial -- no, excuse me, not on the 

 5          speedy trial, on the discovery reform.  So it 

 6          would create a model where we would have an 

 7          obligation to follow discovery reform as the 

 8          vast majority of states in this country do, 

 9          but it would allow the prosecutors to redact 

10          any and all information.  Don't we think that 

11          both defense attorneys and DAs are both 

12          officers of the court and should have access 

13          to the same information?


15          Well, as I was saying before, that with 

16          criminal discovery reform you want to write 

17          in some protections where there are, you 

18          know, legitimate, genuine risks of safety to 

19          witnesses.  But exactly how you do it, you 

20          know, that's going to be debated on this 

21          bill.

22                 But one approach you could take is in 

23          the first instance to give the prosecutor the 

24          authority to redact, you know, in their 


 1          discretion -- but perhaps that could be 

 2          challenged by the defendant, and the judge 

 3          would ultimately have to make the decision.  

 4          The judge, in camera, you know, meaning on 

 5          his or her own, could review the materials 

 6          and there could be a judicial determination 

 7          about whether or not there was appropriate 

 8          grounds to redact the name and identity of a 

 9          prosecution witness.  

10                 Of course that would be more work for 

11          the courts, and we're not necessarily out 

12          looking for more work.  But on the other 

13          hand, that might be a satisfactory resolution 

14          of this dispute about how much authority 

15          should the prosecutor have to make the 

16          redaction determination, should it be 

17          unilateral authority or should there be a 

18          review of that decision by a judge.

19                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So the reverse, 

20          though, also would take place, that the DA 

21          goes to the judge in cases where they 

22          actually think that redacting is necessary.  

23          And so it would have the same impact, but 

24          with less work on the courts.



 2          Right.  Right.

 3                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Because I'll tell 

 4          you I support the Governor's proposals in 

 5          these areas, but I worry that all of them are 

 6          set up in a way that it adds to delays in the 

 7          court and more work for the court, and I 

 8          don't think that's anyone's intention.  Do 

 9          you share that concern?


11          Under the bail statute, there are these 

12          hearings that would be required.  But there's 

13          no getting around that, because you can't -- 

14          under Supreme Court case law, which I have 

15          read, you can't detain a person on the 

16          grounds that they're a risk to public safety 

17          without a hearing.  

18                 So if there's going to be sort of -- 

19          in this proposal if -- you know, the law in 

20          New York now is that a person can't be 

21          detained -- there's only one standard that 

22          applies, is the person a risk of failure to 

23          return to court if they're released.  If 

24          you're going to add to the law giving judges 


 1          the authority to detain people pretrial 

 2          because they're a risk to public safety -- 

 3          and most people agree if you're going to get 

 4          rid of bail in misdemeanor cases and the 

 5          lesser -- and do all these other things, 

 6          reform the bail statute -- that should be a 

 7          part of it.  That's going to mean more work 

 8          for the courts.  There's no getting around 

 9          that.

10                 But look, if the Legislature decides 

11          that, you know, the bail statutes need to be 

12          reformed -- and there's a very good argument 

13          that they do, certainly -- if it means some 

14          additional extra work for the courts, you 

15          know, we'll do the additional work.  I mean, 

16          we're not going to stand in the way of bail 

17          reform because it will mean additional work 

18          for the courts.  Hopefully it's not an 

19          enormous amount of additional work, and the 

20          bill -- the current version of the Governor's 

21          bill I don't think would cause tremendous 

22          additional burdens on the courts, but there 

23          would be some additional work.

24                 With the discovery statute, if a 


 1          prosecutor's redaction of witness identity 

 2          was reviewable by a judge, that also would 

 3          lead to some additional work for the courts.  

 4          But as I was saying earlier, overall, 

 5          criminal discovery reform, if information is 

 6          turned over sooner in the case, that will be 

 7          a good thing for the courts.  Because I 

 8          believe very strongly that that will lead to 

 9          earlier dispositions of criminal cases.

10                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you very much.


12          You're welcome.

13                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  So we've been 

14          joined by Assemblyman Blake.  

15                 And before we go to the next speaker, 

16          I just want to apologize in advance that 

17          there's a need for a number of the members to 

18          go to a Ways and Means Committee meeting.  

19          Maybe that actually will be positive --

20                 (Laughter.)

21                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  -- since you've 

22          been in here a bit.

23                 So Assemblyman Montesano.

24                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  If I can just -- oh, 


 1          I'm sorry, I apologize.  We've been joined by 

 2          Senator Sanders and Senator Brian Benjamin 

 3          since the last time we were naming people.  

 4                 Thank you.

 5                 ASSEMBLYMAN MONTESANO:  Thank you, 

 6          Madam Chair. 

 7                 Good morning, Judge.


 9          Good morning.

10                 ASSEMBLYMAN MONTESANO:  Judge, I know 

11          there's been a lot of progress made in 

12          different areas -- you spoke several times 

13          today about personnel matters and being able 

14          to replace personnel as they retired, and I'm 

15          happy to hear of that.  

16                 But my big concern is what efforts are 

17          being made to replenish the ranks that we 

18          lost over the years?  I mean, I know 

19          throughout the court system we're down, but 

20          especially on Long Island.  And we talk about 

21          Nassau and Suffolk, and I know we're down 

22          significant numbers of court personnel.  I 

23          mean, the clerks have a big problem, and 

24          especially court officers.  


 1                 And I know Senator Croci touched on 

 2          that before, because Nassau County has seen a 

 3          big influx of MS-13 arrests and cases in 

 4          progress.  And I know it takes, you know, 

 5          many more court officers to protect the 

 6          courts in those type of circumstances.  

 7                 So what efforts are being made -- 

 8          because in the past years we've sat here and 

 9          we've always given additional money to OCA 

10          for the budget for these things.  What 

11          progress are we seeing with not only 

12          replacing your existing personnel as they 

13          retire, but increasing the ranks in the area 

14          of clerks and court officers?


16          say, to be fair in answering that question, 

17          we've seen slow but steady progress.  And 

18          we're -- and I can get you the exact number, 

19          and, you know, it literally changes week to 

20          week.  

21                 But we were down -- as I mentioned 

22          before, a few years ago we were down 2,000 

23          employees from the time before the budget 

24          cuts and the hiring freeze that we were 


 1          required to impose as a result of that, and 

 2          now we're between -- I'd say about 1650 

 3          employees down.  So we're replacing people 

 4          when they leave, and that's critical, but 

 5          we've also been able to fill a modest number 

 6          of additional vacancies so that we've gained 

 7          back 350 of the positions that we lost.

 8                 ASSEMBLYMAN MONTESANO:  But so of 

 9          those positions that we lost -- the 350, how 

10          is that personnel being distributed 

11          throughout the court system?  

12                 You know, because, you know, of course 

13          we all have our own little selfishness here.  

14          So when we talk about Long Island or Nassau 

15          and Suffolk counties, how is that 350 -- what 

16          percentage of that is being allocated to 

17          those counties?


19          Well, off the top of my head I can't talk 

20          about individual counties.  But I can tell 

21          you in general terms attrition between 

22          New York City and outside New York City.  And 

23          outside New York City is a big geographical 

24          region, and to some extent, a county like 


 1          Nassau may have more in common with Queens 

 2          than it does with Wyoming County upstate. 

 3                 But the attrition inside the city has 

 4          been about the same as the attrition outside 

 5          the city in terms of numbers.  And filling 

 6          positions has also been about the same.  

 7          We've filled about -- this is over the last 

 8          year, but I think it's true over the last 

 9          several years -- we've filled about the same 

10          number of positions inside New York City as 

11          we have outside New York City.

12                 And I know in Nassau -- look, I'm not 

13          going to disagree with you, Nassau could 

14          benefit from some additional hiring.  But I 

15          do think we've been -- we have no favorites.  

16          You know, we don't favor one part of the 

17          state over the other or one county over the 

18          other.  And we distribute the funding and the 

19          authorization to fill positions, you know, 

20          very fairly.  And I think the result of that 

21          has been that the filling of positions inside 

22          New York City has been essentially equal to 

23          the filling of positions outside of New York 

24          City.


 1                 ASSEMBLYMAN MONTESANO:  Judge, I just 

 2          want to touch on just one other item.

 3                 So I'm aware of a situation where the 

 4          clerks for a long number of years are working 

 5          out of title within the system.  And I know 

 6          you've been endeavoring over maybe the last 

 7          two years to try and come up with a 

 8          resolution to this or to address it.

 9                 What progress, if anything, is being 

10          made, you know, for these people that are 

11          working out of title for a number of reasons, 

12          and so either they're not getting properly 

13          compensated or the right amount of work, you 

14          know, needs to be done in different 

15          departments?  Because we know backroom 

16          operations are a significant component of the 

17          operation of the courthouse.  

18                 You know, you touched earlier about -- 

19          you know, when they were talking about making 

20          sure judges are there, well, you could have 

21          the judges sit there for 12 hours if they 

22          don't have the help and the personnel to move 

23          the cases.  And the sheriff's department 

24          sometimes doesn't bring prisoners till 10:00, 


 1          10:30 in the morning and the judge is on the 

 2          bench at 9:00.

 3                 So, you know, it's all these types of 

 4          things that go on.  So how do we address this 

 5          issue about the reclassification of these 

 6          clerk titles?


 8          Well, look.  Let me say when you lose 2,000 

 9          employees, which we essentially did, you 

10          know, a few years back, there are going to be 

11          repercussions.  

12                 And look, people shouldn't be working 

13          out of title.  It's not good, it's not fair.  

14          But when you're down 2,000 employees, you 

15          sort of make do as best you can, and 

16          sometimes that can happen that people are 

17          working out of title.  Sometimes they don't 

18          complain about it, but they do have a right 

19          to complain.  If an employee is working out 

20          of title, you know, they have a right to 

21          complain about that.

22                 So, I mean, I think -- look, the 

23          answer ultimately is building back our 

24          workforce.  And not just replacing people 


 1          when they leave, but adding additional 

 2          employees and filling additional vacancies 

 3          beyond just addressing attrition and 

 4          replacing people when they leave.  

 5          Ultimately, that's the answer.  

 6                 I think we're heading in the right 

 7          direction.  It's completely driven by the 

 8          budget.  I mean, we can only hire as many 

 9          people as we have the money to hire, 

10          additional people.  And we have been able to 

11          do that on a modest basis.  And I think it's 

12          going to take some time, but in the end the 

13          answer to the problem you raised is hiring 

14          more people.

15                 ASSEMBLYMAN MONTESANO:  Thank you very 

16          much.


18          Thank you.

19                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Senator Savino.

20                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you, Senator 

21          Gallivan.

22                 Judge Marks, thank you for your 

23          testimony.  And if you recall, last year I 

24          think we had a brief conversation about the 


 1          strain that has been placed upon OCA and the 

 2          Judiciary as a result of having to live under 

 3          the 2 percent spending all these years.

 4                 And I was actually quite happy to see 

 5          that this year that the Judiciary requested 

 6          an increase in their budget.  And for the 

 7          temerity of suggesting that you might need 

 8          some more money, I think there's an insulting 

 9          provision in the Article VII that suggests 

10          that judges should start punching a time 

11          clock, which is insulting on many levels.

12                 But in your request for additional 

13          money, which is about $44 million, roughly 

14          around there, you state quite clearly that 

15          the first priority is for the purpose of 

16          hiring court personnel -- court clerks, court 

17          officers, court reporters, interpreters, 

18          backroom office staff, all of the staff that 

19          help support the work of the Judiciary.

20                 So is it safe to say that the 

21          reduction in head count, which dates back to 

22          the 2011 budget cuts, has that had an effect 

23          on the ability to administer the people's 

24          justice?  Because this is insinuation that 


 1          you're all going home at 1 o'clock, you know, 

 2          because you really have nothing else to do.

 3                 And I think, I would imagine -- I 

 4          don't work in the court system, but I would 

 5          imagine if you don't have a court clerk or 

 6          you don't have a court officer, you can't 

 7          operate a courtroom.  Is that safe to say?


 9          would say we, in the least two years, under 

10          the Chief Judge and her Excellence 

11          Initiative, we've made progress in addressing 

12          delays and backlogs.  And I talked about 

13          that.

14                 But at times it can be much more 

15          difficult, because, you know, we could use 

16          more court officers and court clerks and 

17          reporters and the whole range of titles, and 

18          it can at times delay -- I mean, you know, 

19          when there's a flu outbreak, you know, we 

20          could have big problems in opening up court 

21          parts.  But even -- that's an extreme 

22          example, but sort of day to day, it's a great 

23          challenge moving people around in sort of 

24          like the chess game of trying to keep -- 


 1          opening up the court parts on time, keeping 

 2          them running through the course of the day, 

 3          getting people into the building, up on the 

 4          upper floors, through the magnetometers.  

 5                 It's -- I can't sit here today and 

 6          tell you that it's not a great challenge.  

 7          It's difficult.  It does cause problems.  It 

 8          makes it more difficult to achieve the goals 

 9          of what we're trying to achieve in the court 

10          system these days.

11                 So I agree with you, yes.

12                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you.  I wanted 

13          to at least get that out there on the record.  

14                 There's two things, though, that I 

15          want to point out.  One, with respect to the 

16          collective bargaining agreement that affects 

17          I think Superior Court officers -- I should 

18          put my glasses back on to be able to read it 

19          better.  But you have -- we moved that 

20          bill out of the Senate Judiciary Committee 

21          this morning.  It's going to go to the 

22          Finance Committee, which most of us are on, 

23          I'm sure we're going to move it through.

24                 But the only thing that I'm perplexed 


 1          about is that bill, we estimate, is worth 

 2          about $43 million in -- is it current pay or 

 3          back pay?  Or is it a combination of the two?


 5          Well, it's $37 million.  We amended the bill.

 6                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Okay.


 8          It's $37 million.  It's -- the $43 million 

 9          included some prospective pay.  But after 

10          discussions, we amended the bill to reduce it 

11          to $37 million so that it is strictly and 

12          entirely retroactive pay.

13                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Okay.  So then that 

14          begs the next question, when you put in the 

15          request of 2 -- whether it's 2 or 2.5 percent 

16          above the spending cap, it's a debate -- why 

17          not include that money as well so you don't 

18          have to come back to us?  I mean, knowing 

19          that you have to pay that out, assuming we 

20          approve it -- which of course we're going to, 

21          it represents an agreement between OCA and 

22          the bargaining units -- why didn't you 

23          include that with the additional $44 million?



 1          Because it's a supplemental appropriation for 

 2          this year's budget.  You know, it's 

 3          retroactive pay that will be from a date this 

 4          fiscal year -- I think it's in early 

 5          November, when the contracts for the two 

 6          officer unions took effect, going back to 

 7          October 1, 2014.

 8                 So technically and legally, we 

 9          concluded that we really needed to seek a 

10          supplemental appropriation to this year's 

11          budget.  Because it's money that would be 

12          paid out this year.

13                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Is that because -- I 

14          heard you say earlier that OCA is not allowed 

15          to maintain labor representative reserves, as 

16          opposed to the executive branch or city or 

17          state --


19          We're not allowed to --

20                 SENATOR SAVINO:  -- to maintain 

21          reserves to pay out labor contracts?


23          There's no way --

24                 SENATOR SAVINO:  That whatever you 


 1          haven't spent at the end of the year comes 

 2          back to the General Fund, is that --


 4          Exactly.

 5                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Okay.  Then that 

 6          answers that question.

 7                 And finally, I just want to reiterate 

 8          a concern that was raised about the need for 

 9          more judges.  As you know, over 10 years ago 

10          Eliot Spitzer signed the legislation creating 

11          the 13th Judicial District of Richmond 

12          County.  To date, we're still waiting for the 

13          judges that we're entitled to.  And in fact I 

14          know Brooklyn would like the judges that 

15          we've taken from them, back to them.

16                 So maybe next year we can talk about 

17          adding more money to the Judiciary for the 

18          addition of judges around the state for those 

19          of us who are waiting.  Not to mention the 

20          strain on the Family Court system and other 

21          aspects.

22                 So I want to thank you again for 

23          having the nerve to ask for what you need and 

24          not pretending that you can survive under the 


 1          spending cap.  Now we're going to charge off 

 2          to help you get it.


 4          Thank you.

 5                 ASSEMBLYMAN DINOWITZ:  Assemblywoman 

 6          Malliotakis.

 7                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MALLIOTAKIS:  Hi, how 

 8          are you.


10          Good morning.

11                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MALLIOTAKIS:  Actually, 

12          just to follow up on what both of my 

13          colleagues from Staten Island said, does the 

14          amount that you're requesting, this increase, 

15          does that include the entitled judges for 

16          Staten Island?  Was that incorporated in the 

17          ask?


19          We can't create those judgeships.  The 

20          Legislature can create those judgeships.  So 

21          we wouldn't put money into our budget unless 

22          there was some real understanding that new 

23          judgeships are going to be created.  It would 

24          be too speculative to seek funding for that 


 1          before the Legislature either acted to create 

 2          the judgeships or there was some strong 

 3          indication --

 4                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MALLIOTAKIS:  Well, just 

 5          for those judgeships that we're already 

 6          entitled to, I think one of the steps is for 

 7          it to be included in the fiscal, right?  We 

 8          have to be able to provide the funds for 

 9          that, and we're certainly all willing to do 

10          that.  We want to ensure that, you know, 

11          something that we're entitled to and have 

12          been for years is going to come to fruition.

13                 So, you know, if that's some -- on 

14          your end, if there's a way that you can 

15          advocate for that to ensure that we're made 

16          whole, that would be very helpful.


18          Okay, just a quick response to that.

19                 Richmond County is short the number of 

20          Supreme Court justices that it's entitled to 

21          under the constitutional formula, but it's 

22          not the only county that's short.  There 

23          are -- Bronx County is short.  There are 

24          counties across the state that don't have the 


 1          full complement of Supreme Court justices 

 2          that technically they're entitled to under 

 3          the constitutional formula.

 4                 So, you know, it's --


 6          understand that.  But also those counties 

 7          have other things that we don't have.  You 

 8          know, the community courts that are in 

 9          Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx; of course 

10          our narcotics -- the Part N that's going to 

11          be removed now.  That is something that's a 

12          concern to us, of course.

13                 And you mentioned or you alluded to 

14          something about a Phase 1, the closure of the 

15          Narcotics N on Staten Island -- which is very 

16          important, as you can imagine, with the high 

17          dependency that we have on such a court; 

18          3600 cases alone since -- in just a little 

19          over a year.  Or court dates, I should say.

20                 What -- you did allude to like a Phase 

21          2 coming, it seems.  This is just part of a 

22          Phase 1.  Could you maybe give us some more 

23          insight into that?



 1          Well, I can't give you too much more 

 2          information.  It's something that we have to 

 3          work on.  And I agree with you, it's 

 4          something we need to pursue.  We have a new 

 5          administrative judge in Richmond County, 

 6          Judge Desmond Green.  He would take the lead 

 7          on this, obviously.  So we have to sit down 

 8          with him, figure out practically what makes 

 9          sense.  If we established a true drug 

10          treatment court in Staten Island, I don't 

11          think it would be a full-time court sitting a 

12          full day, five days a week.  I don't think 

13          the caseload would support that, and I'm just 

14          speaking off the top of my head. 

15                 But there would certainly be a need 

16          for a dedicated drug court to sit maybe a 

17          couple of days a week, two or three days a 

18          week.  And we have to figure that out.

19                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MALLIOTAKIS:  Okay.  I 

20          mean, you did also talk about, you know, zero 

21          cases going to treatment.  You mentioned some 

22          type of comment like that.  But, you know, 

23          look, if somebody's a first-time offender, 

24          yes, they should be sent to treatment.  But 


 1          if we're talking about somebody with multiple 

 2          felony convictions, then they shouldn't be 

 3          eligible for treatment.  So I think that 

 4          that, you know, really is on a case-by-case 

 5          basis and we shouldn't be judging the 

 6          effectiveness of the court on that alone.

 7                 But I did want to add my voice to my 

 8          colleagues who have been advocating for that.

 9                 One other question, mental health 

10          court.  It's something that I believe is 

11          important.  We've had a number of incidents 

12          on Staten Island that you read about in the 

13          newspaper of individuals who are being killed 

14          by people who are through -- in and out of 

15          the criminal justice system over and over 

16          again.  We had two murders of Staten 

17          Islanders -- we saw Police Officer Familia, 

18          over the summer, murdered -- by individuals 

19          who are either schizophrenic, bipolar.  This 

20          is a major issue.  And when you look at the 

21          history, you see 20, 30, 40, even, prior 

22          arrests.

23                 What is your opinion on the 

24          effectiveness of mental health court in terms 


 1          of giving these individuals treatment before 

 2          they go back onto the street to hurt somebody 

 3          else, or even themselves?  And what is your 

 4          opinion on how it could be expanded?  

 5                 And also, from your perspective, are 

 6          there a lack of beds when you're trying to 

 7          send someone for, let's say, in-patient 

 8          treatment?  You know, there were closures of 

 9          many mental health facilities, and so has 

10          that come into consideration at all?


12          think the mental health courts that we've 

13          established, you know, in certain 

14          jurisdictions in the state have proven to be 

15          very effective in reducing recidivism.  

16                 They use the coercive leverage that 

17          the judge has -- because a criminal case is 

18          before the judge and the judge can, you know, 

19          ultimately send the person to jail or 

20          prison -- to use that leverage to get the 

21          individual with the mental health problem to 

22          go into treatment and, you know, address the 

23          reason why he or she may be committing 

24          crimes, sometimes violent crimes.


 1                 So it can be very effective.  I think 

 2          our experience is -- you know, there are 

 3          limited treatment slots.  You know, that's 

 4          always an issue.  But that the mental health 

 5          courts we've set up, including the one in 

 6          Brooklyn, which has been a very successful 

 7          court over the years, they figure out how to 

 8          get people into treatment slots.  And, you 

 9          know, they've been able to do that.

10                 So maybe -- I mean, we have to look at 

11          this, but maybe Staten Island could benefit 

12          from a combined drug treatment/mental health 

13          court.  You know, maybe a single judge could 

14          be trained to handle both types of cases.  

15          And actually, with -- people with drug 

16          addictions often have mental health issues 

17          that go along with the drug addiction.  

18          That's very common.  

19                 So it's something that, you know, I 

20          think we need to work on, and we'll do that.

21                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MALLIOTAKIS:  Okay.  

22          Well, anyway, we can work together to 

23          advocate for that.  I just think that there 

24          are too many people who are in need of 


 1          services and treatment that are being allowed 

 2          to go back on the street without any 

 3          supervision, without any requirements -- 

 4          utilizing Kendra's Law, for example, for 

 5          mandated outpatient treatment -- and then 

 6          we're seeing, you know, it starts off as an 

 7          arrest for something small like jumping a 

 8          turnstile, and the next thing you know, we 

 9          have a murder.  And there has to be some 

10          more -- we have to be a little more proactive 

11          in ensuring these individuals get the 

12          services that they need to help themselves, 

13          and also for public safety issues.

14                 Thank you.


16          Thank you.

17                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  We are now joined 

18          by Senator Kaminsky, and Senator Rivera will 

19          be next.

20                 SENATOR RIVERA:  Thank you, 

21          Mr. Chairman, Your Honor.

22                 I have two issues that I wanted to 

23          just ask you about, one that we have already 

24          heard about and one that we have not yet 


 1          heard about.

 2                 As far as the one that we have heard 

 3          about a little bit, earlier Assemblymember 

 4          Lentol was speaking to you about the presence 

 5          of ICE in courts across the state.  And 

 6          because his time was running out, there was 

 7          one part that was -- that you started to 

 8          speak about related to -- you started to 

 9          speak about an agreement between the courts 

10          and ICE related to sensitive locations.  And 

11          I wanted you to finish that thought just so 

12          that we can know what the current parameters 

13          are.  And, most importantly, since you spoke 

14          about apparently a new agreement or something 

15          that has been reached, I wanted to get 

16          clarification on what exactly you meant.


18          Well, we -- just the first part of that, I 

19          wouldn't describe it as an agreement, but I 

20          think in our communications with the regional 

21          officials -- you know, the New York 

22          City-based, Long Island, downstate-based ICE 

23          regional office -- when there were -- when we 

24          were seeing an increased presence of ICE in 


 1          the courthouses, you know, compared to in the 

 2          past, we met with them and began discussions 

 3          with them.  

 4                 And we have asked them to designate, 

 5          you know, all courthouses as sensitive 

 6          locations.  We have not gotten them to do 

 7          that, either at the regional level or the 

 8          national level.  We've had those discussions 

 9          at the national level as well.

10                 But what we've seen, and I think it's 

11          in response to our urgings, is that ICE is 

12          not going into non-criminal courthouses or 

13          targeting people involved in non-criminal 

14          proceedings.  They've limited their presence 

15          and their activities to criminal defendants, 

16          you know, who have cases in criminal 

17          courthouses, in criminal courtrooms.

18                 So we would prefer that all the 

19          courthouses, including the criminal 

20          courthouses, be designated as sensitive 

21          locations, and we will continue to urge that.  

22          But at the moment, we think we've 

23          accomplished sort of the result being that 

24          the activity is limited to people who are 


 1          involved in criminal proceedings.  And not 

 2          victims, not witnesses, but criminal 

 3          defendants.

 4                 SENATOR RIVERA:  And also I want to 

 5          state for the record, since there was -- and 

 6          Senator Croci is not here, but there was a 

 7          conversation that he had about whether there 

 8          was added security necessary in certain 

 9          courthouses, et cetera.  

10                 We can all agree that ICE agents in 

11          court does not mean more security, right?  

12          They are there potentially to identify people 

13          who are -- who would be undocumented people 

14          or to arrest folks that are -- they want to 

15          target for deportation.  They don't provide 

16          added security to the court.  Would that be 

17          correct?


19          They don't provide added security?  

20                 First of all, they're not -- we -- we 

21          have our own policies on this.  They're not 

22          permitted to take people into custody inside 

23          the courtroom.  We don't allow that.

24                 SENATOR RIVERA:  I just wanted to 


 1          state it for the record, since Senator Croci 

 2          was talking about the added security that is 

 3          necessary in certain courtrooms in his 

 4          community, which I certainly appreciate, but 

 5          ICE does not mean security.


 7          those are separate issues.

 8                 SENATOR RIVERA:  Correct.  

 9                 So the second I have not heard much 

10          about, and it is Section 510.45, of our 

11          pretrial service agencies.  There's an added 

12          line that reads as follows in the current 

13          budget proposal:  "The Office of Court 

14          Administration shall certify a pretrial 

15          services agency or agencies in each county to 

16          monitor principals released under conditions 

17          of nonmonetary release."

18                 Does that mean that we're privatizing 

19          supervision?


21          I'm familiar with that provision; I saw it.

22                 These pretrial service agencies, 

23          they're not government agencies, although 

24          they -- pretrial services.  Let me explain 


 1          this.  Probation departments, many probation 

 2          departments around the state have a pretrial 

 3          services unit within their probation 

 4          department, so that would be a government 

 5          agency, the probation department.  But in 

 6          some other jurisdictions, including New York 

 7          City, nonprofit organizations serve as the 

 8          pretrial services agency.  In New York City, 

 9          the pretrial service agency is called the 

10          criminal justice agency.  It sounds like a 

11          government agency, but actually it's not.  

12          It's a nonprofit that contracts with the city 

13          to perform the services that it provides.  

14                 And as I understand the Governor's 

15          bill, there would be a greater role for 

16          pretrial service agencies with bail reform.  

17          If bail is going to be eliminated for 

18          misdemeanors and nonviolent offenders, which 

19          the bill provides for, there's going to be a 

20          lot more of a need for supervision of 

21          defendants when they're out, you know, while 

22          their case is pending.  And that will lead to 

23          a larger role for pretrial service agencies.

24                 And as I understand the bill, it would 


 1          require the Office of Court Administration to 

 2          certify, you know, that the agency has the 

 3          resources and the expertise to perform that 

 4          role.  And if that's what the Legislature 

 5          wants to do, you know, we could take on that 

 6          role.  I think that would work out fine.

 7                 SENATOR RIVERA:  I might have a 

 8          followup later, Your Honor, but thank you so 

 9          much.


11          Sure.

12                 ASSEMBLYMAN DINOWITZ:  Assemblyman 

13          Steck.

14                 ASSEMBLYMAN STECK:  Judge, I want to 

15          ask you first a question about the electronic 

16          filing.  And that is, is this something OCA 

17          designed itself or something that OCA 

18          contracted out?


20          know, that's a very good question.  Because 

21          it goes back -- our e-filing system goes back 

22          many years.  It started in the '90s on a 

23          small scale, and it's been expanded.  And we 

24          do expand each year.  


 1                 I mean -- I'll say this with a caveat.  

 2          I believe in the beginning we used 

 3          consultants to help us design it.  But I'll 

 4          have to check that and I'll get back to you.

 5                 ASSEMBLYMAN STECK:  Well, I think  

 6          that kind of answers my question.  I don't 

 7          know if you've ever looked at the current 

 8          state of the federal e-filing system.


10          not familiar with federal e-filing system.

11                 ASSEMBLYMAN STECK:  Well, I would 

12          suggest that someone from OCA do so, because 

13          it is incredibly simple and easy to use and 

14          covers a wide variety -- every conceivable 

15          topic in the federal system.  Whereas our 

16          experience with the state system is that it 

17          is incredibly cumbersome and difficult to 

18          use.

19                 The other thing is I don't know if 

20          you're aware that now that New York County 

21          has e-filing, were you aware that you're 

22          still required to hand-deliver papers to a 

23          part?  And is that really consistent with the 

24          objectives of an e-filing system?



 2          Well, that's a good question.  And actually I 

 3          sit in the civil term in New York County, 

 4          so -- and by the way, I don't find e-filing 

 5          difficult at all.  Now, I'm not filing 

 6          papers, and that may be where the difficulty 

 7          arises, but --

 8                 ASSEMBLYMAN STECK:  That's what we're 

 9          talking about.


11          Okay.  But calling up the documents, which in 

12          my case is -- I find very easy.

13                 ASSEMBLYMAN STECK:  No, the issue is 

14          how to file them, not how to review them once 

15          they're filed.


17          we will look at that.  

18                 But in terms of the hard copies -- 

19          look, you know, a lot of judges are not 

20          youngsters, maybe is a polite way to put it.  

21          You know, it's an older group, for the most 

22          part.  And a lot of judges didn't grow up 

23          with computers, and I think pretty much every 

24          judge -- there may be a few exceptions -- 


 1          don't use the computer.  

 2                 But this is the problem you raise 

 3          about the requirement of -- and not all 

 4          judges require hard copies, but I think many 

 5          do.  I think it's a function of people, sort 

 6          of an older class of people who aren't --

 7                 ASSEMBLYMAN STECK:  That wouldn't 

 8          explain why you can't FedEx the papers to 

 9          that part when they want paper copies.  You 

10          have to actually hire someone in the City of 

11          New York to deliver it.

12                 But I think we could go on to another 

13          topic, because I have a very short period of 

14          time here.  And that is you have been 

15          repeating over and over and over that you've 

16          lost 2,000 positions since a previous year, 

17          and I think that school districts statewide 

18          have probably lost a lot more positions than 

19          that.  But the filings in the court system 

20          have been going down from 2006, from 

21          4.5 million filings to 3.4 million filings in 

22          2016.

23                 Now, I recognize that there may be 

24          regional differences here.  In the area, in 


 1          the Capital District, if you go into a 

 2          courthouse you can hear a pin drop.  We had 

 3          15 trials two years ago in the entire Third 

 4          Judicial District, civil trials, which is a 

 5          seven-county area.

 6                 So my question is, has any 

 7          consideration been given to instead of 

 8          assigning Court of Claims judges to hear a 

 9          lot of cases in the Capital District where 

10          the Court of Claims is, to perhaps using them 

11          in places like the Bronx, where my colleague 

12          Mr. Dinowitz has been complaining of a 

13          backlog?  We don't appear to have that here, 

14          and I think some of the problems that 

15          Governor Cuomo has spoken about really do 

16          exist in the Capital Region.


18          Well, you raised a lot of points; I don't 

19          know if I can respond to all of them.

20                 It's not necessarily a bad thing that 

21          there are fewer trials.  It's good when cases 

22          settle.  There's a lot of benefits when cases 

23          settle -- to the courts, to the litigants, to 

24          the parties.  That's not necessarily a bad 


 1          thing.  Although some cases have to go to 

 2          trial, and we wouldn't want to have a system 

 3          with no trials.

 4                 ASSEMBLYMAN STECK:  Well, you can of 

 5          course grant summary judgment, then you don't 

 6          have a trial, whether it's warranted or not.  

 7          It's not all about settlements.


 9          talking about settlements, not summary 

10          judgments.

11                 ASSEMBLYMAN STECK:  Well, I think 

12          anybody who's ever practiced law believes 

13          very strongly in settlements, so no one is 

14          suggesting that settlements aren't desirable.  

15          I think the point, Judge, is that we have 

16          such few trials, I'm raising the question as 

17          to, at least in my area of the state, whether 

18          the courts really are overburdened and some 

19          of the resources are maldistributed and might 

20          be better used, say, in Mr. Dinowitz's area.


22          Well, that's not a novel idea.  We've done 

23          that periodically.  We've reassigned judges 

24          from upstate to downstate, including in Bronx 


 1          County.  And it's not a panacea, but it is 

 2          something that can be helpful.  Although it's 

 3          not without expense, because that generally 

 4          requires, under our rules, picking up the 

 5          accommodation costs and the transportation 

 6          costs of taking someone who lives in Albany 

 7          and assigning them to Bronx County or 

 8          New York County.

 9                 By the way, we've been criticized in 

10          newspapers in New York City for the cost of 

11          that, but that's fine.

12                 So it's one aspect of perhaps an 

13          overall solution to the problems that we 

14          discussed this morning about judges in some 

15          jurisdictions having very, very large case 

16          inventories.  So it's one possible solution 

17          to a much larger problem.

18                 ASSEMBLYMAN STECK:  Well, I'm kind of 

19          curious as to why our state court budget is 

20          14 percent higher than the State of 

21          California, which is larger geographically, a 

22          very complicated state with more people.


24          That's not true.  That's not true.


 1                 ASSEMBLYMAN STECK:  But in any event, 

 2          I apologize for interrupting.  Fortunately 

 3          I'm not in court, so I don't get to be 

 4          penalized for that.  But thank you very much.


 6          Thank you.

 7                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Judge, I'd like to 

 8          focus on bail.  Regarding bail in its current 

 9          form and the laws revolving around it, do you 

10          have any opinions about how it's currently 

11          working?


13          Well, I would say it could work better.  

14          There are too many people in certain parts of 

15          the state who are detained on very low-level 

16          bail, people who are not posing a threat to 

17          public safety, charged with low-level 

18          nonviolent offenses where bail is set at very 

19          low levels and they -- I'm talking about 

20          $1,000, $750, $500 -- and they can't make 

21          even that low amount.  And the bail bond 

22          industry doesn't offer bail bonds for very 

23          low bail because there's no incentive for 

24          them, no profit incentive for them in very 


 1          low bail.

 2                 So I think that there are more people 

 3          who are detained who shouldn't be, and that 

 4          we need alternatives to that.  And again, I'm 

 5          talking about people who are not -- do not 

 6          pose a threat to public safety.

 7                 At the other end, because our bail 

 8          statute -- we're one of only four or five 

 9          states in the country that does not permit a 

10          judge, in making a bail determination, to 

11          take into account the defendant's risk to 

12          public safety -- that that needs to be 

13          addressed also.  

14                 So I think there are problems within 

15          our bail statute that are very different.  On 

16          the one hand, people being detained who 

17          really don't have to be detained; on the 

18          other hand, judges not being able, when they 

19          make a bail determination, to take risk to 

20          public safety into account, as judges can in 

21          45 of the 50 states in the country but not in 

22          New York.  Different problems, but both 

23          problems that could be addressed in an 

24          intelligent approach to reforming bail in the 


 1          state.

 2                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  All right, thank 

 3          you.

 4                 No, I do understand -- I'm aware that 

 5          judges are prohibited from considering risk 

 6          to public safety.  But it's my 

 7          understanding -- and I can't recite them, I 

 8          apologize, and I won't put you on the spot 

 9          either to do that -- but that there's -- I 

10          think the current Criminal Procedure Law 

11          provides for eight or nine different 

12          options --


14          Yes.

15                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  -- for judges.  

16          One, of course, is releasing somebody on 

17          their own recognizance, another of which is 

18          unsecured bail, although I understand the 

19          paperwork is a little bit more extensive.  

20                 My question is regarding -- now we'll 

21          put that issue of public safety aside and 

22          just focus on that second area that you had 

23          talked about, the first portion of it.  Would 

24          it be your opinion -- or would it be fair to 


 1          say that the judges already have those tools 

 2          to make certain of those changes as far as 

 3          the release on recognizance, or unsecured 

 4          bail, or utilizing one of the other options?


 6          Yeah.  And the partially secured bail bonds, 

 7          as well, are an option.  

 8                 There are -- I agree with you 

 9          100 percent, there are options in the 

10          existing statute that could help to address 

11          this problem that are not being successfully 

12          utilized.  And we have tried to get -- look, 

13          bail is an individual decision of a judge 

14          exercising his or her discretion.  The Office 

15          of Court Administration can't tell judges how 

16          to make those decisions.  But we have 

17          provided training on the bail statute and 

18          alternatives to bail, including the options 

19          in the existing law.  And we've encouraged 

20          and urged judges to look at the statute more 

21          broadly and not limit their decisions just to 

22          cash or ROR or an insurance company bail 

23          bond, and to use some of the other options in 

24          the statute.


 1                 So I agree with you that there are 

 2          partial solutions in the existing law that if 

 3          they were taken more advantage of, you know, 

 4          would help make a contribution to solving the 

 5          problem.

 6                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  And if we had to 

 7          prioritize -- I mean, that being the case, 

 8          should we then be focusing on the issue of 

 9          the threat to public safety and trying to 

10          resolve that issue?


12          think we should be doing all of these things.  

13          We should be looking at the -- figure out how 

14          to get judges to use more of the options 

15          available in existing law.  We should be 

16          looking at the problem of low bail being set 

17          for people who pose no threat to public 

18          safety, who can't make that bail.  And we 

19          should be looking at the fact that judges 

20          can't take risk to public safety into account 

21          when they make these decisions.

22                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  My last question 

23          has to do with the roles of the district 

24          attorneys when it comes to the judge setting 


 1          bail.  What role do they currently have, and 

 2          in your opinion, what role should they have?


 4          Well, I think the role that they have is to 

 5          make their recommendation based on, you know, 

 6          the information they have before them and be 

 7          helpful to the judge by making a sound 

 8          recommendation as to the bail decision.  I 

 9          think that's always been their role, and that 

10          should continue to be their role.

11                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you.

12                 ASSEMBLYMAN DINOWITZ:  Assemblyman 

13          Lentol.

14                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Yes, Judge, I 

15          didn't want to speak again, but I just wanted 

16          to offer a comment on what you said about 

17          bail and public safety.

18                 I believe that -- I completely 

19          disagree with you.  I believe that judges 

20          take into account now the public safety 

21          aspect of a defendant who's in front of them, 

22          and it doesn't need to be in the statute.  

23          And the reason I say that is a very simple 

24          one:  Because if you put it in the statute, 


 1          you'll have more problems in letting people 

 2          out than you know, because no judge will want 

 3          to make a decision regarding bail.  If public 

 4          safety is in the statute, they'll be on the 

 5          hook for letting somebody out who commits 

 6          another crime.  

 7                 So I believe that the framers of the 

 8          penal law when it was constructed in 1965 had 

 9          a great deal of difficulty in making a 

10          determination as to whether public safety 

11          should be put in this new statute that they 

12          were creating -- they were all Republicans, 

13          by the way -- and they decided against it 

14          just because of what I said, that they could 

15          leave it to the judges to decide.  And most 

16          judges will determine, in a case before them, 

17          whether or not public safety would be 

18          violated by a defendant who's before them and 

19          make their decision accordingly regarding the 

20          bail.

21                 And you can comment on that if you'd 

22          like, but I think if we -- we're going to go 

23          down a very poor road that we don't want to 

24          travel on because we're going to find out 


 1          that judges will let nobody out, and we will 

 2          have just the opposite effect of bail reform, 

 3          we'll have bail where nobody gets out.


 5          Well, I mean, I guess the premise of that 

 6          view is that judges can't be trusted, 

 7          which --

 8                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  No, no, it's not 

 9          that.  It's not that they can't be trusted, 

10          it's just that they can be trusted now.  They 

11          won't be trusted if they're required to 

12          consider public safety, because they're not 

13          going to be the ones to make the 

14          determination as to whether public safety 

15          will be violated because of this person 

16          before them, and then committed a new crime 

17          while he's out on bail.


19          you're saying judges are not following the 

20          law now.  That even though they're not 

21          permitted, they are taking public safety into 

22          account.

23                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  I think I am 

24          saying that, yes.


 1                 CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGE MARKS:  all 

 2          right.  Well ...

 3                 ASSEMBLYMAN DINOWITZ:  Assemblywoman 

 4          Joyner.

 5                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN JOYNER:  Okay, good 

 6          afternoon, Judge.  I have two questions.


 8          it the afternoon?

 9                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN JOYNER:  Yes, it's 12:00 

10          now.  

11                 (Laughter.)

12                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN JOYNER:  The first 

13          question is I was informed that there is a 

14          proposal to move the Housing Court in the 

15          Bronx into 851 Grand Concourse.  I wanted to 

16          know what's the rationale behind that.  I do 

17          see that this is going to create a lot of 

18          challenges to implement.

19                 And my second question is, you know, 

20          we're happy to hear about the new drug court 

21          that will be coming to the Bronx, but I 

22          wanted to know, does this include any drug 

23          use offense, certain drug use offense, and 

24          what's the rationale as to why we're not 


 1          covering all drug use offenses?


 3          first question is yes, we're going to be 

 4          swapping Housing Court with Civil Court.  And 

 5          the reason is very simple.  We have 16 

 6          Housing Court judges in the Housing Court 

 7          building.  We have, I believe, seven, 

 8          possibly eight -- half as many, or less than 

 9          half as many -- Civil Court judges in 

10          851 Grand Concourse.  The Civil Court 

11          operation has more space for seven or eight 

12          judges than the Housing Court building has 

13          for 16 judges.  I mean, this is really a 

14          no-brainer.  

15                 And Housing Court is at a turning 

16          point with the universal access law that was 

17          enacted by the City Council, and we're going 

18          to be seeing more and more lawyers in Housing 

19          Court, there's going to be more litigation in 

20          Housing Court as a result of that.  

21                 And Housing Court, in its current 

22          building in the Bronx, it's just completely 

23          inadequate -- probably almost from day one, 

24          but it's gotten worse.  It's just a 


 1          completely insufficient space for 16 judges 

 2          and all the litigation that goes on in 

 3          Housing Court.  

 4                 So to us, this was a no-brainer just 

 5          to make the swap.  And there will be some 

 6          disruption, obviously, as a result of that.  

 7          But in the end, we'll have Housing Court with 

 8          more space and Civil Court with less space 

 9          but plenty of space to conduct Civil Court 

10          operations.

11                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN JOYNER:  And the second 

12          question?


14          opioid initiative in the Bronx is limited to 

15          individuals with an opioid addiction or at 

16          risk of an opioid addiction.  And we have 

17          treatment -- we do have a treatment court in 

18          the Bronx, it's in the Supreme Court, not in 

19          the Criminal Court.  I believe I'm correct 

20          when I say that, I just wanted to check that 

21          before.

22                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN JOYNER:  Yeah, I'm not 

23          sure that that's correct.



 1          going to have to look into that.

 2                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN JOYNER:  Okay.  Because 

 3          on the record, I just think that if it's 

 4          going to be a true drug court, it should 

 5          cover all drug use offenses.


 7          Yeah, and we do have a drug treatment part 

 8          for felony drug cases.  I don't think we have 

 9          one for misdemeanor cases in the Criminal 

10          Court, with the exception of this new opioid 

11          court that we've established.  And maybe we 

12          need a dedicated treatment part in the Bronx 

13          for misdemeanors as well, and that's 

14          something that I'll take a look at.

15                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN JOYNER:  Thank you.

16                 ASSEMBLYMAN DINOWITZ:  Assemblyman 

17          Morinello.

18                 ASSEMBLYMAN MORINELLO:  Good morning.


20          Good morning.

21                 ASSEMBLYMAN MORINELLO:  Or good 

22          afternoon.


24          Good afternoon.


 1                 ASSEMBLYMAN MORINELLO:  Just briefly, 

 2          I want to swing back to the standards and 

 3          goals.  I want to commend the Office of Court 

 4          Administration for the history of being open 

 5          to the quality-of-life courts.  Drug court 

 6          was approved many, many years ago.  We then 

 7          added the mental health court, domestic 

 8          violence court, we have the opiate addiction 

 9          court, which is new, and just before that, 

10          the veterans court.

11                 I think it's recognized that these 

12          programs can take somewhere up to two, two 

13          and a half years sometimes for the defendants 

14          to go through the programs.  How are these 

15          reported, and how are they adjusted for 

16          standards and goals so that they don't either 

17          go against a judge's record or affect your 

18          results in trying to expedite court cases?


20          think that's a good question.

21                 In most of the courts, not all, in 

22          most of the cases in most of the courts 

23          there's a guilty plea entered.  And once a 

24          guilty plea is entered, that's a disposition.  


 1          So the standards and goals framework doesn't 

 2          apply, it's considered a disposition.

 3                 ASSEMBLYMAN MORINELLO:  Is eliminated, 

 4          correct.


 6          I think as you probably know, if the 

 7          defendant then goes through the course, 

 8          completes the course of treatment and 

 9          successfully goes through that, often the 

10          charge will be dismissed or -- the plea will 

11          be vacated, the charge will be dismissed or 

12          there'll be a conviction of a lesser offense.

13                 So for most of the cases, there's a 

14          guilty plea and the standards and goals no 

15          longer applies.

16                 In the instances like the opioid part, 

17          where there's no guilty plea, the prosecution 

18          is deferred.  The standards and goals 

19          timetables, you know, stops at that point and 

20          then resumes if the prosecution resumes.  So 

21          essentially in the problem-solving courts the 

22          cases come out of the standards and goals 

23          structure.

24                 ASSEMBLYMAN MORINELLO:  So there is a 


 1          recognition and there is a separate reporting 

 2          column for those.  


 4          Exactly.

 5                 ASSEMBLYMAN MORINELLO:  And that has 

 6          been recently, I understand, it hasn't been 

 7          the situation going back a couple of years.


 9          may be.

10                 ASSEMBLYMAN MORINELLO:  Okay.  I'm 

11          glad you recognize that.

12                 Number two, in the presentation 

13          there's a section that discusses access to 

14          justice, and within that, limited English 

15          proficiency.  I know when I was on the bench 

16          we had difficulty getting interpreters, and 

17          many times it was claimed as an economic 

18          situation.  Has OCA looked at -- is any of 

19          this additional money for interpreters, or 

20          are they coming up with creative ways and 

21          possibly video arraignment or 

22          representations?


24          Yeah, we -- look, the language access to the 


 1          courts, as we call it, is a very high 

 2          priority for us.  And across the country 

 3          every court system is dealing with this, 

 4          increasing numbers of people coming into the 

 5          courts with limited English proficiency.  

 6                 And we -- it has been a real challenge 

 7          for us, but we -- believe me when I tell you 

 8          that we prioritize this issue.  And we need 

 9          to hire more interpreters who are our 

10          employees, staff employees.  We also rely on 

11          per-diem interpreters, interpreters who go on 

12          a list, and we have an electronic system to 

13          schedule them.  And particularly in -- 

14          there's so many languages spoken in the 

15          courts in this state.  In Queens alone, I 

16          think there are over 150 different languages 

17          spoken.  

18                 We can't hire our own employees as 

19          interpreters for 150 languages.  In some of 

20          the languages, the need for that interpreter 

21          doesn't come up on a regular basis.  And so 

22          we rely on these per-diem interpreters.  

23          They're not court employees, but they're 

24          certified and on a list that we provide.  And 


 1          we call them in in advance when we know that 

 2          there's a case on the calendar requiring an 

 3          interpreter in a particular language.

 4                 But still, that doesn't meet the full 

 5          need, and we're relying more and more on 

 6          remote interpreting, where the interpreter is 

 7          at a remote location.  LanguageLine is one of 

 8          the outfits that -- it's a private company 

 9          that provides this service, and there are 

10          other organizations that provide this 

11          service.  

12                 And, you know, we need to sort of 

13          think very broadly and expansively, you know, 

14          beyond just our own court interpreter 

15          employees, because that alone is never going 

16          to meet the increasing demand for court 

17          interpreting in the courts.  Believe me, it's 

18          a challenging issue, but it's critically, 

19          critically important.  Because, you know, 

20          it's really -- if someone is a participant in 

21          a court proceeding and can't understand 

22          what's going on, that's as bad as coming into 

23          court without a lawyer -- or maybe it's even 

24          worse than that.  It probably is even worse 


 1          than that.

 2                 So it's a whole other component of our 

 3          access to justice, and a growing challenge.  

 4          And I can assure you that we're committed to 

 5          meeting it as best we can.

 6                 ASSEMBLYMAN MORINELLO:  Well, I liked 

 7          when you said remote, because the difficulty 

 8          many times is at the arraignment part, and 

 9          we're talking about bail adjustments.  But if 

10          you can't even arraign them, it's difficult 

11          to then release them until there's an 

12          arraignment.  So with modern technology, I do 

13          appreciate that you look in the study on 

14          remote.  Thank you very much.


16          Thank you.

17                 ASSEMBLYMAN DINOWITZ:  Assemblyman 

18          Blake.

19                 ASSEMBLYMAN BLAKE:  Good afternoon, 

20          Judge.


22          Good afternoon.

23                 ASSEMBLYMAN BLAKE:  As a 

24          representative from the South Bronx, where 


 1          the court's actually in our district, I first 

 2          want to go on record in agreeance {sic} with 

 3          Assemblywoman Joyner and others.  It is 

 4          surprising to me that opioid would be the 

 5          only drug considered in the drug court.  It 

 6          seems to be a continual preparation of what 

 7          we're seeing in terms of opioid being seen as 

 8          a more critical drug than drugs that have 

 9          been impacting communities of color.  So we'd 

10          greatly ask for that to be considered.

11                 Judge, have you seen the memo from the 

12          Legal Aid Society on January 22nd of this 

13          year in response to criminal discovery and 

14          discovery for justice?


16          I've seen the Governor's bill.  I haven't 

17          seen the Legal Aid memo.  I think I'm 

18          familiar with the concerns they have, though.

19                 ASSEMBLYMAN BLAKE:  Absolutely.  So as 

20          someone who -- you know, Kalief Browder was a 

21          constituent of ours, his mother was a 

22          constituent of ours, the challenges that 

23          we've seen repeatedly.  

24                 I'm interested in a few things.  Can 


 1          you please explain the rationale of the 

 2          Executive as to why the defense would have to 

 3          release information without it being 

 4          redacted; however, the prosecution could 

 5          redact information?


 7          Well, first of all, I'm not in a position to 

 8          defend that bill.  It's not our bill.  I said 

 9          earlier, we have been advocating for criminal 

10          discovery reform, the court system, for 

11          25 years.  So I'm not in a position, nor do I 

12          want to defend the Governor's bill.

13                 But I think there is an issue with 

14          criminal discovery that is -- and I'm not a 

15          prosecutor, but I know is very important to 

16          prosecutors, and that's avoiding danger to 

17          witnesses.

18                 ASSEMBLYMAN BLAKE:  To the witnesses.  

19                 So -- so, Your Honor, then, so in that 

20          instance, as a judge, do you believe, in your 

21          personal capacity, it is fair that one side 

22          would share information without it being 

23          redacted while the other does not?



 1          think you could argue that that's not the 

 2          best approach, but --

 3                 ASSEMBLYMAN BLAKE:  I understand, Your 

 4          Honor.  Thank you, sir.


 6          you might want to give a judge, you know, the 

 7          capacity to review that decision.

 8                 ASSEMBLYMAN BLAKE:  Understand.  But 

 9          we are acknowledging that it is creating an 

10          unfair dynamic there.

11                 Secondly, do you equally have an 

12          individual opinion in terms of the timetable 

13          itself?  So it says, and I'm reading in 

14          Section 240 -- understanding that this is not 

15          your bill, but it's for context -- that 

16          within 15 days of the prosecution's 

17          disclosure, information would need to be 

18          released.  

19                 And it seems, again, that an unfair 

20          dynamic is being created that the burden is 

21          being placed on the defense to take actions 

22          that the prosecution does not have to take in 

23          that same timetable.  

24                 In your individual capacity, is it 


 1          fair that a proposal is coming forward that 

 2          the defense actually has to do things that 

 3          the prosecution does not?


 5          Well, look, I think just to answer your 

 6          question generally, the more information that 

 7          can be disclosed, as early as possible, you 

 8          know, should be the goal.  And from the court 

 9          system's perspective, as I said earlier, that 

10          will lead to earlier dispositions, which is 

11          something that we're very interested in and 

12          focused on.  The more information that can be 

13          disclosed, you know, at the earliest possible 

14          stage, should be the goal.

15                 ASSEMBLYMAN BLAKE:  Understand.  So in 

16          your individual capacity, again, from what 

17          you have heard as of now from the current 

18          proposal as relates to open discovery and the 

19          current implementation of how it works, your 

20          assessment of what is working versus not 

21          working when it comes to open discovery is 

22          what?


24          view of what's working in the current 


 1          process?

 2                 ASSEMBLYMAN BLAKE:  Correct.


 4          view is that there is information that is 

 5          disclosed much too late in the process, 

 6          including on the very eve of trial.  A lot of 

 7          the critical discovery does not need to be 

 8          disclosed until that very, very, very late 

 9          stage, and that's disruptive to the court 

10          system, it's not the fairest approach, and 

11          that should be reformed.  That's my -- that's 

12          not only my opinion, I think that's the 

13          institutional position of the court system.

14                 ASSEMBLYMAN BLAKE:  Grateful for the 

15          answer, Your Honor.

16                 Going back to initially what we were 

17          talking about in terms of the courts and the 

18          decisions on the courts, I'm just still 

19          trying to get a clear understanding as to why 

20          a drug court is being considered in this 

21          aspect, and only opioids is recognized -- and 

22          let me be very clear -- is a critical issue 

23          that has to be addressed.  Why would that be 

24          the only one being assessed, as opposed to 


 1          all misdemeanor drug violations that could be 

 2          considered?


 4          going to have to look into that.  I know we 

 5          have a dedicated drug court in the Supreme 

 6          Court in the Bronx for felonies.  We started 

 7          this opioid part in the criminal court for 

 8          misdemeanor cases.  And I have to look into 

 9          why we don't just generally have a drug court 

10          for misdemeanors as a whole.  You know, 

11          non-opioid drug situations in the Bronx.

12                 ASSEMBLYMAN BLAKE:  Understand.


14          There may be a very good reason for that, but 

15          I have to find out.

16                 ASSEMBLYMAN BLAKE:  Would ask that 

17          that gets submitted back to us so we can have 

18          an understanding of the rationale.


20          Absolutely.

21                 ASSEMBLYMAN BLAKE:  And just in 

22          conclusion, knowing the time is short, there 

23          is a continual dynamic and frustration -- and 

24          I'm not taking this out towards you, but on 


 1          the collective system -- that proposals are 

 2          looked at that are consistently hurting black 

 3          and brown communities on a repeated and 

 4          continual basis, without rationale as to why 

 5          we would not be assessing it in totality.

 6                 So when we look at open discovery, we 

 7          look at bail reform, we look at speedy trial, 

 8          there has to be a more general assessment of 

 9          assessing things in totality.  And given the 

10          numbers in our district in particular, would 

11          ask that you all come back to us with the 

12          rationale.

13                 Thank you, Your Honor.  Thank you, 

14          Chairman.


16          Thank you.

17                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

18                 That concludes the testimony today.  

19          We appreciate your patience and taking so 

20          many questions.  And good luck.  Thank you.  


22          Thank you very much.

23                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Our next speaker is 

24          Robert Tembeckjian, administrator and counsel 


 1          for the New York State Commission on Judicial 

 2          Conduct.  Welcome.

 3                 ADMINISTRATOR TEMBECKJIAN:  Thank you, 

 4          Senator.  

 5                 And I thank those of you who have been 

 6          meeting with me and making your staffs 

 7          available to me throughout the last couple of 

 8          years, so that we have a little bit of an 

 9          understanding of one another before I show up 

10          to testify.

11                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Very impressive.  

12          We have your testimony, and you don't have 

13          it, so you're following the directions and 

14          you're going to summarize, which is great.

15                 ADMINISTRATOR TEMBECKJIAN:  I am, and 

16          I appreciate it very much.

17                 Public confidence in the court system 

18          requires that the judiciary be not only 

19          independent but accountable.  In New York, as 

20          in all other states, there is an independent 

21          mechanism for reviewing the conduct of judges 

22          and, where appropriate, to discipline those 

23          judges for ethical violations.  In New York 

24          that role, under the constitution, falls to 


 1          the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.  

 2          We've been at it in our current form since 

 3          1978, replacing a more temporary situation 

 4          that was established by the Legislature until 

 5          the constitution created the body that we now 

 6          have.

 7                 For the last eight years, under a 

 8          system in which our caseload has been growing 

 9          rather substantially, our resources have been 

10          flat, which has effectively meant that our 

11          staff has been reduced and the resources that 

12          we have to bear on the significant caseload 

13          that we have, have been under significant 

14          strain.

15                 In the last year alone, we had close 

16          to 2100 complaints, which is an annual record 

17          for us.  We've never had more than that.  At 

18          the same time, since 2011, when this era of 

19          stagnant budgeting for us began, we've lost 

20          19 percent of our staff.  We've gone from 51 

21          to 41 and a half.  Last year I lost three 

22          attorneys, two to retirement, one who 

23          returned to the private sector, and was only 

24          able to replace them with a half-time 


 1          position.  

 2                 This has had an adverse effect on our 

 3          ability to conclude our matters in a timely 

 4          manner.  Although last year we publicly 

 5          disciplined 16 judges and confidentially 

 6          cautioned 29, we conducted over 330 

 7          investigations and over 480 preliminary 

 8          inquiries, which is a substantial number on a 

 9          staff that has been gradually reduced.

10                 Now, the Division of Budget, through 

11          the Executive Budget, has recommended for us 

12          an increase this year of $112,000.  That's on 

13          an overall budget of slightly under 

14          $5.6 million.  That will not be enough to 

15          keep us even.  Just to maintain our current 

16          level of resources, we would need an increase 

17          of $228,000 -- and that would not allow for 

18          the addition of any new staff to make up for 

19          the losses, and it would not likely lead to 

20          an increase in the disposition time of our 

21          matters.  And that is simply unfair to the 

22          innocent judge who's waiting exoneration and 

23          to the public which expects -- and rightfully 

24          should get -- the expeditious disposition of 


 1          those cases in which misconduct has occurred 

 2          and the judge should be disciplined.

 3                 I asked in my request to the Division 

 4          of Budget for an increase of a little over 

 5          $540,000 this year, which would allow us to 

 6          get our staff up to 45 -- not to our full 

 7          complement of 50 -- and to reverse some of 

 8          the deleterious effects that this era of 

 9          stagnant budgeting has created for us.

10                 This is the first time in eight years 

11          that the Executive Budget has proposed an 

12          increase for us, and for that I am extremely 

13          grateful.  But as I've indicated, the amount 

14          that's been recommended for us is not going 

15          to be enough for us just to maintain the 

16          status quo.  So if we don't get a little more 

17          assistance from the Legislature, which in the 

18          past has demonstrated its willingness to do 

19          that for us, we're going to have even more 

20          attrition and an even slower disposition rate 

21          as the overall caseload continues to expand.

22                 Now, I realize that these numbers in 

23          the overall context of a $168 billion State 

24          Budget are almost inconsequential.  But for a 


 1          small agency like ours, and for others that 

 2          might be similarly situated, these relatively 

 3          small numbers have an outsize effect, because 

 4          as you might imagine, a flat budget is 

 5          effectively regressive.  Because in order to 

 6          meet the increasing obligations year to year 

 7          in rent, in salaries, and so forth, we have 

 8          to make cuts in order to make do on the same 

 9          dollar amount.  

10                 The only way that I've been able to do 

11          that in the last eight years has been through 

12          attrition, and that has had a negative impact 

13          on our ability to do the job.

14                 So as much as I appreciate, under very 

15          difficult financial circumstances, that the 

16          Executive Budget has proposed a modest 

17          increase for us, I'm hoping to find some 

18          sympathy in the Legislature and that, with 

19          all of the importuning of other worthy causes 

20          for your time and resources, that you find 

21          some way to at least partially supplement 

22          what the Executive has recommended for us so 

23          that we can at least stay even and, with a 

24          little bit of luck, replenish some of the 


 1          diminished resources that we've had to live 

 2          with over the years and do our job a little 

 3          more efficiently and expeditiously.

 4                 So with that, and the statistical 

 5          analysis that is in my statement, I again 

 6          appreciate the time that you've given me 

 7          today and that you and your staffs have given 

 8          me in the run-up to this proceeding so that 

 9          we can share our views and hopefully I might 

10          be able to find some help.

11                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

12                 So I had a few questions.  And I 

13          appreciate your testimony about your concerns 

14          regarding funding levels.  One of the things 

15          that is outlined in the Governor's budget has 

16          to do with judges leaving work early.

17                 ADMINISTRATOR TEMBECKJIAN:  Yes.

18                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  And is that 

19          something that the commission would track or 

20          enforce?  How would that work?

21                 ADMINISTRATOR TEMBECKJIAN:  Well, 

22          first of all, I'm not aware that there's any 

23          widespread issue of judges who are not 

24          conscientious and doing the job.  In our 


 1          experience, we find that the overwhelming 

 2          majority of judges in New York are indeed 

 3          conscientious and are very serious about the 

 4          work that they do.

 5                 To the extent that there have been 

 6          individual complaints of judges who are not 

 7          doing the job, when brought to our attention, 

 8          the commission deals with them.  For example, 

 9          last year we had a case, publicly reported, 

10          in which a judge had not been attending to 

11          his duties for a period of over two years.  

12          It turned out that the judge had profound 

13          medical issues.  And when we became aware of 

14          it, we negotiated with the judge a retirement 

15          in a relatively short period of time, 

16          indicating that the alternative would be a 

17          full-fledged disciplinary proceeding for 

18          failure to perform the duties of office, 

19          which is a constitutional requirement of the 

20          judiciary.  

21                 So when we are made aware of issues 

22          involving judges who are not performing the 

23          duties of course in a consistently 

24          appropriate and diligent manner, we have the 


 1          ability and the resources to deal with it.

 2                 I also indicated in my written remarks 

 3          that if the Governor's proposal is enacted, I 

 4          predict that it will cause a further increase 

 5          in our workload because his proposal is for 

 6          the Comptroller to audit the workday of the 

 7          judges.  But the Comptroller doesn't have the 

 8          constitutional authority to take any action 

 9          upon finding that a particular judge has been 

10          derelict in his or her responsibilities.  The 

11          only constitutional entity that has the 

12          authority to act on such a complaint is the 

13          Judicial Conduct Commission.

14                 As I indicated, we have done so in the 

15          past when these types of complaints have been 

16          brought to our attention.  We're equipped to 

17          do it.  We don't have the resources, nor do I 

18          think it would be appropriate, to fan out 

19          across the state and literally monitor the 

20          workday of 1250 judges in the state-paid 

21          court system, particularly without some 

22          significant showing that there has been a 

23          real problem.

24                 We deal with the individual problems 


 1          when they're brought to our attention, we do 

 2          it quite effectively and efficiently, and I 

 3          think that's a system that ought not to be 

 4          disturbed -- but it ought to be appropriately 

 5          funded so that we can do our job.

 6                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So what you're 

 7          saying is you respond to individual cases 

 8          when they are reported to you, but you 

 9          haven't seen any trends of widespread abuse 

10          of the system, judges not being at the job, 

11          and that sort of thing.

12                 ADMINISTRATOR TEMBECKJIAN:  That's 

13          correct.  I'm not aware of any such 

14          widespread problem.  As Judge Marks indicated 

15          in his testimony, in any group of 1250 or 

16          1300 individuals, judges or otherwise, there 

17          are going to be some who are not as 

18          effectively performing their duties as they 

19          should.  

20                 To the extent that that does present 

21          an issue, the Judicial Conduct Commission 

22          does deal with it.  I think we've shown that 

23          we can deal with it.  And when properly 

24          resourced, we can do it as efficiently as 


 1          possible.

 2                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Just curious, there 

 3          was a pretty notorious case in Rochester 

 4          about a judge that was -- that actually was 

 5          driving drunk and failed to show up to work.

 6                 ADMINISTRATOR TEMBECKJIAN:  Yes.

 7                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Is that something 

 8          that the commission was involved in?

 9                 ADMINISTRATOR TEMBECKJIAN:  It has 

10          been publicly reported that we have, and we 

11          are.  And in terms of a specific comment on a 

12          pending matter, that's pretty much as far as 

13          I can go, because we do have a 

14          confidentiality mandate in our statute that 

15          is pretty airtight.

16                 But let me just as a general 

17          proposition -- and you might apply this to 

18          any particular case that you've read about in 

19          the newspapers -- one of the reasons why it 

20          appears to take so long for the commission to 

21          reach a disciplinary disposition on a matter, 

22          even when there is a lot of public notoriety 

23          for it, is because we literally don't have 

24          the resources to do the job as efficiently as 


 1          we do.  

 2                 And just one simple example that every 

 3          lawyer will appreciate.  We don't have the 

 4          funding in our budget for stenographic 

 5          services.  And of course we're required to 

 6          produce a transcript for every bit of 

 7          testimony that we take.  We take 12,000 or so 

 8          pages of transcribed testimony every year 

 9          during investigations and during disciplinary 

10          hearings.  All of those transcript pages are 

11          transcribed in-house by our secretaries 

12          because we don't have the funding to go 

13          outside.

14                 A case such as the one that you 

15          mentioned might have been disposed of six 

16          months ago if we had the resources 

17          commensurate with our responsibility.  

18          Because just the physical task of producing 

19          transcripts to the extent that we generate 

20          them every year can add two to six months to 

21          the disposition of a case.  If there's an 

22          investigation that results in a hearing, 

23          transcription services would go a long way 

24          towards speeding the process up.  And we 


 1          just -- we don't have a nickel for it.

 2                 And the other aspect of this is the 

 3          very confidentiality that prohibits me from 

 4          discussing in detail a matter that might be 

 5          pending, the commission itself has been 

 6          advocating since 1978 that when formal 

 7          disciplinary charges are proposed, that its 

 8          proceedings at that point should be public, 

 9          as they are in a majority of states, so that 

10          the public and the Legislature can see what 

11          it is we're doing as we're doing it.  So that 

12          one can see all of the due process 

13          obligations that we fulfill and that we 

14          afford to a judge.

15                 It should not be easy to remove a 

16          judge from office.  It shouldn't happen 

17          without significant due process protections.  

18          But under the veil of secrecy which we are 

19          statutorily obliged to observe, you and the 

20          public can't see what it is we're doing as 

21          we're doing it to be satisfied -- as I think  

22          you would be -- that we are on the job and 

23          doing the best we can with the resources that 

24          we have.


 1                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

 2                 ASSEMBLYMAN DINOWITZ:  Okay, we have 

 3          35 more witnesses, so I'm going to make this 

 4          pretty brief.

 5                 ADMINISTRATOR TEMBECKJIAN:  I'm very 

 6          aware of that, and not a problem.

 7                 ASSEMBLYMAN DINOWITZ:  And I'm sure 

 8          that our answers will also be brief.

 9                 I just want to get the numbers 

10          straight.  So the increase proposed is 

11          $112,000 for the budget?

12                 ADMINISTRATOR TEMBECKJIAN:  That's in 

13          the Executive Budget.  That's less than the 

14          $500,000 I asked for --

15                 ASSEMBLYMAN DINOWITZ:  No, I 

16          understand.  But that's what the Executive 

17          Budget --

18                 ADMINISTRATOR TEMBECKJIAN:  That's 

19          what the Executive is.

20                 ASSEMBLYMAN DINOWITZ:  How much of 

21          that is going towards rent increase?

22                 ADMINISTRATOR TEMBECKJIAN:  $78,000.

23                 ASSEMBLYMAN DINOWITZ:  So $6500 a 

24          month increase in rent.


 1                 ADMINISTRATOR TEMBECKJIAN:  Yes.

 2                 ASSEMBLYMAN DINOWITZ:  What's the old 

 3          rent?

 4                 ADMINISTRATOR TEMBECKJIAN:  I'm sorry?

 5                 ASSEMBLYMAN DINOWITZ:  What was the 

 6          rent?

 7                 ADMINISTRATOR TEMBECKJIAN:  Our rent 

 8          obligations in New York City and in Rochester 

 9          are a little over a million dollars a year.  

10          And that's negotiated by the Office of 

11          General Services -- which, by the way, did a 

12          very, very good job in negotiating this new 

13          lease for us.  Real estate, as you know, in 

14          New York City is rather expensive.  The 

15          cost --

16                 ASSEMBLYMAN DINOWITZ:  There's plenty 

17          of space in the Bronx where you might get a 

18          better deal, just so you know.

19                 ADMINISTRATOR TEMBECKJIAN:  That might 

20          be so.  We've been in Manhattan and, by rule, 

21          our headquarters are in Manhattan.  

22                 And OGS calculated the cost of moving 

23          us, building a courtroom -- because we have 

24          our own courtroom facilities, because all of 


 1          our proceedings are held in-house -- and they 

 2          assessed, and I think appropriately so, that 

 3          the cost of moving and building out new space 

 4          would have been more than the $78,000 annual 

 5          increase in rent that they ultimately 

 6          negotiated for us.

 7                 ASSEMBLYMAN DINOWITZ:  Still a pretty 

 8          hefty increase.

 9                 So other than that, though, your 

10          budget has been flat for seven years.

11                 ADMINISTRATOR TEMBECKJIAN:  Yes.

12                 ASSEMBLYMAN DINOWITZ:  Which in 

13          essence means, in real dollars, that you've 

14          had a significant decrease, would that be 

15          correct?

16                 ADMINISTRATOR TEMBECKJIAN:  That's 

17          absolutely right.  And that's why our staff 

18          has been decreased 19 percent in that time 

19          frame.

20                 ASSEMBLYMAN DINOWITZ:  Right.  Okay, 

21          thank you.

22                 Assemblyman Lentol.

23                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  (Inaudible.)

24                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.


 1                 ADMINISTRATOR TEMBECKJIAN:  Thank you 

 2          very much.  Appreciate it.

 3                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Well, thank you.  

 4          We appreciate you appearing today, very much.

 5                 Our next speaker is Commissioner Roger 

 6          Parrino, New York State Division of Homeland 

 7          Security and Emergency Services.

 8                 Welcome, Commissioner.  

 9                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  How you doing, 

10          Madam Chair.

11                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  I would remiss if I 

12          didn't thank you again for spending some time 

13          in my district to look at flooding concerns.  

14          I think we had a great day together, and I 

15          truly appreciate it.

16                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  Thank you very 

17          much.  I appreciate it.

18                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  And the feedback 

19          was great too.

20                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  Shall I begin?

21                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Yes, sir.  And as 

22          we're asking all of the people testifying, 

23          we're asking them to summarize rather than 

24          read word for word the testimony, if that's 


 1          okay.  If it doesn't work for you, we're okay 

 2          too.

 3                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  Yeah, I prefer 

 4          to read it if that would be fine.

 5                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.

 6                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  Thank you.

 7                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  We give 

 8          commissioners a little leeway on that.

 9                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  Thank you, 

10          Chairman Young.  I am Roger Parrino, 

11          commissioner of the Division of Homeland 

12          Security and Emergency Services.  Thank you 

13          for the opportunity to discuss the excellent 

14          work of the division over the past year as 

15          well as a few highlights from the Governor's 

16          public safety budget.  

17                 The men and women of the division are 

18          charged with a tremendous responsibility -- 

19          namely, protecting New Yorkers from natural 

20          and manmade disasters through prevention, 

21          preparedness, response and recovery efforts.  

22          The Governor's budget provides the resources 

23          needed to accomplish our mission and protect 

24          public safety.  Total appropriations are 


 1          $1.5 billion.  Some notable budget items 

 2          include resources to construct a Field 

 3          Operations Building at the New York State 

 4          Fire Academy; continuation of funding to 

 5          support interoperable emergency 

 6          communications; support for the expansion of 

 7          disaster preparedness and emergency response 

 8          efforts; and resources to implement recently 

 9          enacted legislation.  

10                 I'd like to recognize the exceptional 

11          work of my employees, who rise to the 

12          occasion every time they are called upon.  

13          I'd also like to thank the families of these 

14          men and women, who spend time away from home 

15          and loved ones because of their commitment to 

16          public safety.  Whether it was the long-term 

17          Lake Ontario emergency response and recovery 

18          effort, flooding, fires, tornados, 

19          snowstorms, ice jams, mud slides or any other 

20          incident throughout the state -- mutual aid 

21          missions in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, 

22          Florida, and Texas -- they continue to assist 

23          those in need.  

24                 I'm especially proud of the division’s 


 1          work on Lake Ontario.  The long-term nature 

 2          of severe flooding along the lake created 

 3          unique challenges and required creative 

 4          solutions.  The Division worked on the ground 

 5          with many state agencies and local officials 

 6          throughout the duration of the event to fill 

 7          sandbags, utilize new dam technologies, 

 8          provide insurance information, and even pump 

 9          out flooded street and basements.  

10                 Thanks to this work and our 

11          partnership with FEMA, New York State was 

12          able to secure a federal disaster declaration 

13          during, rather than after, the event.  FEMA 

14          funds will supplement the relief package that 

15          was passed by you and your colleagues last 

16          year.  

17                 We continue to support other recovery 

18          efforts, which includes the reimbursement of 

19          over $7.5 billion for projects related to 

20          Sandy, Irene and Lee.  I've had the 

21          opportunity to speak with several lawmakers 

22          about projects effecting your communities, 

23          and I'd like to thank you for your continued 

24          support.  


 1                 I'm happy to report that the Swift 

 2          Water Flood Training Facility at the State 

 3          Preparedness Training Center (SPTC) is 

 4          scheduled to open by late spring.  We are 

 5          fully staffed and expect to begin training 

 6          our emergency responders as early as this 

 7          summer.  

 8                 Over the last year, the division has 

 9          worked to ensure that local first responders 

10          are better trained to handle an Orlando or 

11          Las Vegas-style active shooter event.  

12          Through the regionally focused Advanced 

13          Active Shooter Scenario courses provided at 

14          the SPTC, the division and the National 

15          Center Security and Preparedness trained over 

16          300 law enforcement and emergency medical 

17          service personnel from four regions.  This 

18          rescue task force concept has law enforcement 

19          secure "warm zones" for EMS to gain access to 

20          victims and ultimately save more lives.  

21                 This past year, the division increased 

22          the number of Red Team exercises across the 

23          state, evaluating and enhancing the state’s 

24          overall counterterrorism posture.  Red Team 


 1          exercises have been conducted in all 16 

 2          Counterterrorism Zones, across over 900 

 3          locations and businesses, in partnership with 

 4          nearly 100 law enforcement agencies.  These 

 5          efforts have built upon New York's "See 

 6          Something, Say Something" campaign and has 

 7          raised awareness among various industries and 

 8          strengthened their partnerships with law 

 9          enforcement.  

10                 We have developed a new mandatory 

11          training for civilian airport workers, which 

12          provides them with the skills necessary to 

13          assist passengers during emergencies and 

14          identify suspicious activities.  We continue 

15          to grow our team to provide a full day of 

16          training to civilian airport workers across 

17          the state.  And with the Legislature’s 

18          support, training has already been provided 

19          to approximately 6,000 airport workers.  

20                 We are also committed to educating the 

21          next generation of homeland security 

22          professionals.  The division has a strong 

23          partnership with the College of Emergency 

24          Preparedness, Homeland Security, and 


 1          Cybersecurity, which now has nearly 2,000 

 2          students enrolled in the program.  

 3                 Further, the division, in conjunction 

 4          with the National Guard and the Red Cross, 

 5          has trained over 215,000 New Yorkers as part 

 6          of our Citizen Preparedness Corps.  

 7                 While it is not possible to cover all 

 8          the great work the division has done during 

 9          my testimony today, I hope that I've provided 

10          you with an idea of the division's priorities 

11          for the next fiscal year.  I appreciate the 

12          opportunity to appear before you today, and I 

13          am pleased to answer any of your questions.

14                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, 

15          Commissioner.  

16                 Our first speaker is Senator Tom 

17          Croci, who is the chair of the Homeland 

18          Security Committee in the Senate.

19                 SENATOR CROCI:  Thank you, Senator 

20          Young.

21                 Commissioner Parrino, thank you for 

22          coming here and being part of this 

23          conversation today and for your testimony.

24                 Just a couple of questions.  I know 


 1          you and I have had numerous discussions since 

 2          the beginning of your tenure, and I want to 

 3          compliment you and your team on the work that 

 4          you're doing on behalf of the residents of 

 5          New York State.

 6                 And to all of my colleagues, if you 

 7          don't know the commissioner's background both 

 8          in the military, law enforcement and as a 

 9          dedicated public servant -- I assure you that 

10          our questions are directed through you and 

11          not at you, sir.  And we just want to make 

12          sure that we understand some of the proposals 

13          that are coming our way so that we can better 

14          enable resources.

15                 The first question is with regard to a 

16          proposal for -- I guess it's $1.9 million for 

17          20 full-time employees to participate in 

18          disaster preparedness and emergency response 

19          efforts.  And the second is a $5.8 million 

20          proposal for only seven full-time employees.  

21          So I'm wondering why there's $1.9 million for 

22          20 and what are the scope and duties of their 

23          responsibilities, and then 5.8 for only seven 

24          and what the scope and duties of their 


 1          responsibilities would be.

 2                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  So, sir, thank 

 3          you for the question.  The 5.8 million is for 

 4          things that have already passed in the 

 5          Legislature, things that we are already 

 6          responsible for that we have to pick up on.

 7                 And the 20 is something new.  We're 

 8          trying to increase our ability to, in the 

 9          emergency management area and also in the 

10          counterterrorism area, to beef up and be a 

11          little bit more flexible in how we respond to 

12          threats to New York.

13                 SENATOR CROCI:  So what specifically 

14          would be the duties, the kind of backgrounds 

15          that these full-time employees that are 

16          proposed that you envision -- what 

17          backgrounds do you envision them having, and 

18          what would be their duties?

19                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  So in there 

20          would be five assistant commissioners for 

21          emergency management.  We're looking for 

22          people who can respond who don't get excited.  

23          Perhaps they have a career as a fireman or a 

24          police officer or something along those 


 1          lines, and they're used to dealing with both 

 2          the public and with elected officials in 

 3          problem solving.

 4                 I'm also looking for people with 

 5          emergency management backgrounds who can pass 

 6          their knowledge on and work and communicate 

 7          with locals.

 8                 SENATOR CROCI:  And all of these 

 9          individuals will be subject to same kind of 

10          rigorous screening that people who work for 

11          DHSES go through -- background checks, some 

12          of them presumably would be -- it would be 

13          necessary for them to have access to 

14          classified information.

15                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  That's correct, 

16          sir.

17                 SENATOR CROCI:  Is that kind of the 

18          caliber we're looking at?

19                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  So yes, that's 

20          absolutely correct.  And I guess the best 

21          example would be the same caliber of which I 

22          work with today.  I have a fantastic division 

23          that I'm very proud of.

24                 But some of these would -- part of 


 1          their ability to be hired may be hinged on 

 2          the fact that if they're capable of getting a 

 3          clearance or they've had one in the past.

 4                 SENATOR CROCI:  Okay.  Are these 

 5          envisioned to be civil service positions or 

 6          are these envisioned to be direct hires?  How 

 7          do you envision the process?

 8                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  Mix -- it's a 

 9          mixture of both.  So -- and some of those we 

10          require for the clearance would probably be 

11          in the civil service area and they'd also be 

12          looking for them to work in the Red Team and 

13          the infrastructure area.

14                 SENATOR CROCI:  Okay.  And the seven 

15          full-time employees at 5.8 million, which you 

16          said would be necessary to handle existing 

17          requirements?

18                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  So this has to 

19          do with -- I really wish I could get with you 

20          after this to make sure I get my specifics 

21          down, but I think this --

22                 SENATOR CROCI:  That's fine.

23                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  Yeah, the -- so 

24          having to do with -- up the -- fire cancer, 


 1          water purification -- infrastructure for the 

 2          water, cyber.  These are all things that 

 3          we've been working on.

 4                 SENATOR CROCI:  Okay, very good.

 5                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  I assure you 

 6          we'll be a good steward of the state's money.

 7                 SENATOR CROCI:  Oh, I have no doubt, 

 8          commissioner.

 9                 In looking at the budget and reading a 

10          press release from the Governor of 

11          December 5, 2017, I notice that there's a 

12          counterterrorism advisory panel that's been 

13          formed.  I'm extremely familiar with the 

14          individuals on that panel.  I used to work 

15          for one of them.  And obviously few better 

16          minds in the country to be advising both the 

17          Executive and this government on how to 

18          proceed.

19                 So I'm wondering, have there been 

20          published recommendations, is there a report, 

21          is there anything that would better inform 

22          the Legislature as to the recommendations 

23          that these experts have made?

24                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  Sir, as far as 


 1          I know, the work is still ongoing.  

 2                 So I worked with two of the three, 

 3          Lisa Monaco and Commissioner Kelly.  And I'm 

 4          looking forward to seeing their 

 5          recommendations and what they think.  It's an 

 6          interesting balance between the 3,000-feet 

 7          view -- the 30,000-foot view or federal view 

 8          with someone who's worked on the local level 

 9          and implemented that, Commissioner Kelly.  So 

10          I'm very interested to see their findings 

11          also.  It's still in the works.

12                 SENATOR CROCI:  Well, our 

13          understanding from the release was that these 

14          recommendations were going to advise the 

15          proposals in the budget.  So if that's not 

16          the case, we're looking forward -- would this 

17          be something that we can, as a legislative 

18          body, have access to, the committee?  Because 

19          these recommendations obviously would be very 

20          interesting, to know that we're resourcing 

21          what the best minds in the business say 

22          New York should be doing.

23                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  Yes, so -- as 

24          far as I know, they haven't finished it or 


 1          handed anything in.  I know that when I had a 

 2          chance to speak to them, I spoke very highly 

 3          about things that I was interested in, and 

 4          hopefully will reflect it.

 5                 SENATOR CROCI:  Okay.  Well, we look 

 6          forward to those recommendations.  And if 

 7          it's to advise what is going into this 

 8          budget, then should we expect to see these 

 9          recommendations before the budget is passed 

10          at the end of March, hopefully?

11                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  Understood, 

12          sir.

13                 SENATOR CROCI:  Okay.  We'll be eager 

14          to see that.

15                 My final question -- I know we're 

16          getting short on time, you've been very 

17          patient -- the mutual aid operations that 

18          we've conducted -- and as somebody who was on 

19          the ground during Superstorm Sandy, like some 

20          of my colleagues in this room, we know too 

21          well the importance of mutual aid and what it 

22          meant to our communities.

23                 I'm just wondering where the money for 

24          some of the mutual aid support that we've 


 1          given other states and territories, where is 

 2          that coming from?  Is that coming from the 

 3          existing department or agency budgets?  Is 

 4          there a special fund?  How are we paying for 

 5          the support that we provided places like 

 6          California and Puerto Rico, Texas, et cetera?

 7                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  So as -- the 

 8          way the mutual aid works, sir, is the -- so 

 9          it's set up on the 50 states and territories, 

10          which would include Guam, Puerto Rico and 

11          Washington, D.C.  And when they make a 

12          request, they're actually on the hook for 

13          providing the finances for their request, but 

14          they work with FEMA to get the funding so 

15          that the state that provides the -- for that 

16          request gets back-paid.

17                 SENATOR CROCI:  So that means that 

18          federal monies are going to reimburse New 

19          York State for the Guard, the National Guard 

20          deployment, the amount of time that civilians 

21          spent on the ground, et cetera?

22                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  So in theory, 

23          it works that the federal government would 

24          back the state or municipality that made that 


 1          request, and the state or municipality that 

 2          made that request funds it back to the agency 

 3          that provides it.

 4                 SENATOR CROCI:  So in some way 

 5          New York is going to be made whole for these 

 6          deployments, or we're taking it out of hide 

 7          in one budget area?  If we're going to 

 8          resource certain departments and agencies, we 

 9          want to make sure that we're doing so to 

10          support mutual aid.  Given what we've seen 

11          with regard to natural disasters, it's 

12          something we should be thinking about more 

13          proactively.

14                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  I understand.

15                 SENATOR CROCI:  So if I could get from 

16          your office perhaps a breakdown of, after 

17          federal reimbursement from FEMA or the host 

18          municipality, slash, territory, what are 

19          taxpayers on the hook for and what should we 

20          be planning for for the future.

21                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  So those 

22          receipts are still coming in.  So we're not 

23          completed yet.  There was a lot of work that 

24          we did that was a result of donations that 


 1          came at the -- New Yorkers and corporations 

 2          that provided funds.  

 3                 So for example, I was down in Puerto 

 4          Rico for 16 days.  I didn't stay in a hotel 

 5          at the expense of anyone.  And we were able 

 6          to -- I used the type of techniques that I 

 7          used in the Middle East with 

 8          counterinsurgency where I hooked up with the 

 9          locals -- the Carlos Beltran Foundation, to 

10          be exact, who knew people throughout the 

11          island.  And we were able to get supplies 

12          that were donated, and the transportation 

13          down to Puerto Rico was donated, so at no 

14          expense to New York at all, and get supplies 

15          for the humanitarian relief of Puerto Rico as 

16          quickly as we could.

17                 SENATOR CROCI:  Okay, and the final 

18          question that I always ask at these hearings 

19          is:  This is your legislative body; do you 

20          feel that we are adequately resourcing your 

21          department to ensure that we are doing 

22          everything possible to protect the homeland 

23          and to make sure New Yorkers are safe?

24                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  So I appreciate 


 1          that question, sir, and absolutely.

 2                 SENATOR CROCI:  Okay.  Thank you, 

 3          Commissioner Parrino.  And again, thank you 

 4          for your service.

 5                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  So the 

 6          Assembly doesn't have any questions, so we'll 

 7          speed through the Senators that do.

 8                 But Commissioner, again, I thank you 

 9          for viewing some of the flooding areas in my 

10          district.  And as you know, my district goes 

11          a long way.  It goes from 10 miles outside of 

12          Erie, Pennsylvania, all the way to near 

13          Rochester.  

14                 And in 2017, in the spring and summer, 

15          Lake Ontario experienced a significant amount 

16          of flooding.  And I was wondering what the 

17          department's role -- what kind of support did 

18          you give during that time period to the 

19          people around Lake Ontario?

20                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  I spent a 

21          tremendous amount of time in Lake Ontario, 

22          just even understanding the problem set and 

23          seeing what we could, as New Yorkers, could 

24          do.  


 1                 But the interesting thing that 

 2          separates Lake Ontario from other disasters 

 3          in the country is that it's not over.  So we 

 4          don't know what spring is going to bring us.  

 5          And we were able to get FEMA to work with us 

 6          and cooperate with us and make it a federal 

 7          disaster while it's still going, which is 

 8          really unusual.

 9                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  And I 

10          fully understand that and agree with what you 

11          said.

12                 Now, there were funds that were 

13          distributed through the state that you were 

14          able to secure to help the people around 

15          Lake Ontario.  What role -- did you take an 

16          advisory role in the agencies that were 

17          distributing the funds?  How did that work?

18                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  So I have an 

19          Office of Recovery that works with making 

20          sure that under any circumstances, we get the 

21          most amount of dollars.  So it's never a 

22          cookie-cutter approach that one program works 

23          best.  So I was advised by my recovery people 

24          on how we should approach and when we should 


 1          be taking state funds and when we should be 

 2          applying for federal funds and when we should 

 3          be applying for SBA loans.  Each incident was 

 4          different.  

 5                 Does that answer your question?  

 6                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Yes, it does.  

 7          Thank you for that.

 8                 Just switching a little bit now, in 

 9          2017 in New York State we experienced three 

10          domestic terrorism incidents, all being 

11          home-grown or lone wolf incidents.  I know 

12          that you have to be careful about what you 

13          can say, but could you elaborate for the 

14          Legislature on what the division's role was 

15          in these incidents and what is being done to 

16          prevent these types of occurrences in the 

17          future?

18                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  So we use the 

19          term counterterrorism, and I hope I don't get 

20          punished for using it.  The true term is 

21          antiterrorism.  My division does 

22          antiterrorism.  

23                 So what we try to do is we're looking 

24          at the patterns and trends, not only in the 


 1          New York State or even the United States, but 

 2          we're looking at the patterns and trends 

 3          overseas so that we can adjust and adapt to 

 4          what's going on.  

 5                 So for example, the Port Authority 

 6          bomber.  So public information, training.  

 7          Our citizen's preparedness now involves 

 8          active shooter training, which we introduced 

 9          this fall.  Working with DOT on different 

10          ways to block the bike path for the future 

11          and any other paths that we have.  Working 

12          with other state agencies.  

13                 One of our biggest concerns is large 

14          gatherings.  Large gatherings are targets for 

15          people that want to cause us harm.  So my -- 

16          not only my counterterrorism people, my 

17          emergency management people are working with 

18          locals to let them know about the 

19          vulnerabilities every time there's a large 

20          mass gathering, and what they can do to 

21          mitigate these issues.

22                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So do you work hand 

23          in hand, for example, with the New York City 

24          Police Department?  I know that some of our 


 1          modes of transportation -- subway systems and 

 2          so on, maybe buses -- could be targets.  So 

 3          could you explain your relationship with some 

 4          of the cities around the state?  

 5                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  So my 

 6          relationship with the NYPD is directly 

 7          related to their counterterrorism people, who 

 8          I worked with when I was with the feds and I 

 9          work with today.

10                 One of the assistant commissioners 

11          that I have working for me comes from the 

12          intelligence division of the NYPD, gives us a 

13          special connection.  My director for 

14          counterterrorism is a lieutenant colonel in 

15          the State Police, which keeps us very sharp 

16          with the State Police.  I'm also in 

17          discussion with the Port Authority, Amtrak, 

18          and everyone else, so that we're always 

19          discussing the latest issues and what we can 

20          do and what kind of funding we can get 

21          through federal grants to harden targets as 

22          opposed to leaving them vulnerable.

23                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you for that 

24          answer, commissioner.  


 1                 You know, we'll be having ITS 

 2          testifying in just a little while -- I hope 

 3          just a little while.  But as we know, there 

 4          are different types of terrorism.  So 

 5          cyberattacks are something that we experience 

 6          in New York State every single day, 

 7          unfortunately.  And I was wondering, did your 

 8          division provide any support to the Erie 

 9          County Medical Center ransomware attack that 

10          occurred in April of 2017?  

11                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  So we did 

12          through our counterterrorism piece, working 

13          with the NYSIC and the State Police and ITS, 

14          to just make sure that we're up on exactly 

15          what happened and if there was any good 

16          practices that we could provide for the 

17          future.

18                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.  Thank you 

19          for that.  

20                 And so the fiscal year 2018 enacted 

21          budget, the one we did last year, provided 

22          the division funds to start a cyberincident 

23          response team for certain vulnerable state 

24          agencies and localities.  Is this the type of 


 1          incident that the team would respond to?  

 2          We'd be very curious to know, just since, you 

 3          know, we made sure it was included in this 

 4          year's budget.

 5                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  Yes, this would 

 6          be the type of incident.

 7                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay, thank you.  

 8                 How many staff members would be on a 

 9          typical cyber response team?

10                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  We're looking 

11          for seven.  That's the number, seven plus one 

12          administrative helper.

13                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.  Is there 

14          more than one team or --

15                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  No, this would 

16          be one team.  Right now we're supplemented by 

17          people from the National Guard who are doing 

18          a very good job for us.

19                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  What kind of 

20          qualifications would be necessary for a team 

21          member?  

22                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  We're still 

23          building the team.  But we're looking for 

24          people that have the cyber background and the 


 1          ability to also communicate their knowledge 

 2          in a style which the locals will understand.

 3                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So you're looking 

 4          to have positive relationships --

 5                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  Yes.

 6                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  -- rather than the 

 7          state coming in and taking over.  And some of 

 8          the things we've heard -- 

 9                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  That's not what 

10          we're looking to do.

11                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Right.  Gotcha.  So 

12          thank you for that.  

13                 One of the issues would be -- and you 

14          and I had actually talked about it the day we 

15          were together.  But speaking of local 

16          governments, I think that you would want to 

17          be more of a resource rather than -- you 

18          know, I just referenced it, but sometimes I 

19          think local governments feel that the state 

20          comes in.  But I also know that the 

21          cyberattack problem is something that they 

22          may not have the resources to deal with it.  

23                 So how are you communicating with 

24          local governments?  Are you waiting until 


 1          there's an incident, or are you proactively 

 2          letting them know that you're available if 

 3          they need you?  

 4                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  We are 

 5          proactively letting them know that we're 

 6          available to discuss the best practices, 

 7          cyberhygiene practices.  And we're trying to 

 8          get that communication going at all levels of 

 9          the state with the whole division.  I would 

10          like more of a holistic view than just, oh, 

11          yeah, and we're just counterterrorism.  Just 

12          let them know that we're available.  And 

13          we're not looking to take charge or take over 

14          or force our ways.  What we want to do is to 

15          be able to always to assist and help.

16                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  How do you 

17          interface with the state's ITS?  

18                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  I interface 

19          with them when we have -- we have my cyber, 

20          especially my infrastructure group, who's 

21          under counterterrorism, is constantly in 

22          conversation with them.  We attend briefs 

23          together at the NYSIC to make sure that we're 

24          all on the same sheet of music and we 


 1          understand the trends and patterns that we 

 2          have to be concerned about.

 3                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So thank you for 

 4          that.  I mean, that's an emerging issue and 

 5          it just seems to be getting more and more 

 6          explosive as we go through the days.  So we 

 7          appreciate all your efforts in that area.

 8                 Finally, I want to ask about the 

 9          reappropriation to allow for reimbursements 

10          of Superstorm Sandy costs.  And I know that 

11          Senator Croci referenced Superstorm Sandy.  

12          But what costs are being reimbursed with this 

13          reappropriation?  Because it's not clear in 

14          the Governor's proposal.

15                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  Could you ask 

16          that question again, please?  Because I -- so 

17          your question wasn't clear about how unclear 

18          it was in the proposal.

19                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Right.  It's not 

20          clear in the budget, in the proposal, as to 

21          how the reimbursement of Superstorm Sandy 

22          costs will occur, and it's actually included 

23          in a reappropriation.  So there's a reapprop 

24          there, not clear -- it says it's for 


 1          Superstorm Sandy reimbursement costs, I 

 2          believe.  How will that money be spent?

 3                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  So I'm really 

 4          not quite sure, so I'd have to get with my 

 5          staff with you on that one.  Because I'm sure 

 6          I know the answer, but the way you're asking 

 7          it, I'm just not grasping it.  And I 

 8          apologize.

 9                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.

10                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  I know we have 

11          like over $6 billion that we have done to 

12          Sandy already, 7.5 when you include Irene and 

13          others.  But I'm not sure about the specific 

14          part of this budget that I'm stumbling on.

15                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Right.  And from 

16          our members on Long Island, I think that they 

17          would say -- or down in the city also, the 

18          areas that were affected by Superstorm Sandy, 

19          they would say that there's still a lot of 

20          needs out there that need to be addressed.  

21                 And so we're just curious, if there's 

22          money in the budget for Superstorm Sandy -- 

23          and it looks like there is -- I'm sure our 

24          members would want to know how that money is 


 1          being spent.

 2                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  So it's being 

 3          spent with the locals making their 

 4          requirements and us getting their -- 

 5          reimbursing them after it's been done.  So 

 6          we're not coming up with any new ideas, it's 

 7          the locals that we're funding to make sure 

 8          they get taken care of what they want to.

 9                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Is there some kind 

10          of list available that the members could look 

11          at?  

12                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  So we have the 

13          list of all the requests.  I don't -- I 

14          suppose we could look at that and see if 

15          that's available that we can make public.

16                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Right.  Well, I 

17          think that --

18                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  Those 

19          priorities are decided by the locals.  So I'm 

20          not sure it's a best practice that we are --

21                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  No, it's just a 

22          communication thing.  You know, we have to 

23          vote on a budget.

24                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  I understand.


 1                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  It's our 

 2          constitutional duty to review the budget, 

 3          understand what's in it.  And I know that all 

 4          the members care deeply about their 

 5          constituents in their districts and their 

 6          communities, and so they'd like to know how 

 7          the money is being spent.  And, you know, 

 8          maybe if there is a need that hasn't been 

 9          identified, it would be helpful to have that 

10          information too, so --

11                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  Yes, ma'am.

12                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.  Well, thank 

13          you, Commissioner.

14                 Our next speaker is Senator Kaminsky.

15                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:  Thank you, Madam 

16          Chairwoman.  

17                 Good afternoon, Commissioner.  The 

18          community of Island Park was grateful to have 

19          you this summer take a tour of the areas that 

20          were badly flooded in Sandy and continue to 

21          flood badly in moon tides and rainstorms.  

22                 And as we are now more than five years 

23          coming up to the sixth anniversary of Sandy, 

24          believe it or not, through next year, the 


 1          $40 million FEMA program that your agency 

 2          oversees has not been seen in action.  And 

 3          the residents there, who continue to have 

 4          trouble getting their kids in and out of an 

 5          elementary school and to just drive down the 

 6          basic streets, are interested where the 

 7          progress is.

 8                 We were really grateful to have you 

 9          there.  I think your background is just 

10          tremendous in lighting a fire under this 

11          issue and ensuring that it's managed 

12          correctly.  And as we're here another year 

13          later, I'd just like to ask you about it and 

14          see what we can do to expedite it so that 

15          there's flood relief brought to the important 

16          village of Island Park that needs it so 

17          badly.

18                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  So as you know, 

19          I'm fully aware of the situation.  I came 

20          down there and you were able to introduce me 

21          to a lot of people so that we could get a 

22          better line of communication going.  Which 

23          resulted in the village's proposal of Phase 

24          1, which we got sometime after July.  What 


 1          was missing was we needed a benefit-cost 

 2          analysis, which we got with the village.  And 

 3          as recently as I believe late December and 

 4          the middle of January, only a week or two 

 5          ago, we've had that information.

 6                 So we'll be moving forward to make 

 7          sure that that project gets the attention it 

 8          needs.

 9                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:  Okay, I appreciate 

10          it.

11                 Also my district has a number of 

12          religious childcare centers, community 

13          centers and sites, one of which received a 

14          bomb threat earlier in the year in the wave 

15          of anti-Semitic threats that we unfortunately 

16          witnessed.

17                 And as you review the security grants 

18          that our state has been so generously able to 

19          provide for very important causes, you know, 

20          we have -- we entrust agencies to take care 

21          of our young people, as young as infants, to 

22          make sure that they have the properly secured 

23          doors, windows, cameras and the like.  It's 

24          critical, and I'd ask that you consider some 


 1          of these centers in Nassau County that could 

 2          badly use the funding, that are a very 

 3          visible target and certainly deserving of 

 4          such funding.

 5                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  Absolutely, 

 6          sir.

 7                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:  Thank you for your 

 8          time.

 9                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.  

10                 So thank you very much for your 

11          testimony.  But you know what, I'm skipping 

12          Senator Savino, so I will hand it to her 

13          first.

14                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you.  I just 

15          have one question.  

16                 First of all, thank you for your 

17          testimony, and I want to thank you --

18                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  I was this 

19          close.  

20                 (Laughter.)

21                 SENATOR SAVINO:  I also want to thank 

22          you for coming out to Staten Island and 

23          meeting with myself and my colleagues about 

24          some of the issues around not just 


 1          Staten Island but Brooklyn.  We did 

 2          appreciate that, especially since that day 

 3          you were being, I think, pulled to Puerto 

 4          Rico right after you left us.

 5                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  Yes, ma'am.

 6                 SENATOR SAVINO:  I just have one 

 7          question.  In the aftermath of the terrible 

 8          vehicle-ramming terrorist attack in Lower 

 9          Manhattan, what do you think we can do as 

10          lawmakers or policymakers to prevent 

11          something like that from happening, either 

12          people being able to lease vehicles and use 

13          them as weapons -- I mean, is there something 

14          that we can do to stop that?

15                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  Well, I believe 

16          one of our proposals is looking at something 

17          with rental trucks over a certain weight, 

18          asking for two types of I.D.  

19                 I think looking at the -- my Red Teams 

20          look at the rental car or rental truck 

21          industry.  I think we can review that more.  

22          That character followed a playbook that was 

23          written by al-Qaida on exactly how to do 

24          this, and part of that is renting a big 


 1          vehicle that is difficult to stop.

 2                 So we're looking at regulations that 

 3          will just give a second look to people 

 4          renting those types of vehicles.  I think 

 5          that could be helpful.

 6                 SENATOR SAVINO:  I don't know the 

 7          answer to this, I guess I'm going to have to 

 8          look it up, but I'm curious.  Do the same 

 9          standards apply to renting a truck for the 

10          day from a retailer that apply to renting 

11          from, say, an actual auto or car rental 

12          facility?  I'm not sure if they do, and I 

13          guess if they don't, they should.

14                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  I think that's 

15          something we can work on to look -- I could 

16          work with your staff, if you'd like, to see 

17          that.

18                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Because he rented it 

19          from the Home Depot.

20                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  Home Depot.  

21          But -- I think they're under the same 

22          regulations, but I'm not sure.

23                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Well, that's 

24          interesting.  I'll have to check that.


 1                 But thank you anyway.

 2                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.  And we 

 3          have been joined by Senator Sanders.

 4                 SENATOR SANDERS:  Semper fi, sir.

 5                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  Semper fi.

 6                 SENATOR SANDERS:  I rushed back here 

 7          to do several things, but I would not have 

 8          missed you.  

 9                 First, I want to thank you for coming 

10          out to my community.  It's very hard to get 

11          to for some people, but you made your way.  

12          And it was very kind of you and your family 

13          to come and celebrate Thanksgiving with my 

14          community by helping to make sure everyone 

15          had a good Thanksgiving.  So we certainly 

16          appreciate that.  

17                 I also thank you, sir, for taking us 

18          on a tour.  We are in the storm-ravaged part 

19          of the Rockaways and other communities where 

20          we got hit very bad by Sandy, and we are 

21          quite concerned over the next one.  It's not 

22          a question of if there will be, it's when.  

23                 You have assured me -- and took me 

24          around to see some of the sites and to see 


 1          some of the planning that the city is -- the 

 2          state, I stand corrected.  Well -- well, 

 3          12 years as a City Councilperson, it's hard 

 4          to get it out of your system -- that the 

 5          state is actually doing.  A very impressive 

 6          positioning of supplies, a much smarter -- 

 7          we're going to be dealing with these storms 

 8          in a smarter way in the days to come.  

 9                 I of course want to remind you that 

10          the bad thing of being in this storm pattern 

11          is that we really need to make sure that we 

12          lift everything in our supply depots so that 

13          when the storm comes, it does not take out 

14          our depots.  

15                 You may have been asked about 

16          communications, and of course that's very 

17          important to us down there also.  Do we have 

18          a sufficient communication network for the 

19          areas of New York City or -- I don't simply 

20          want to say my district, but I'm thinking of 

21          it.  How are we going to communicate with the 

22          state when the storm hits us again, sir?

23                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  So we're set 

24          very well with that.  So between Mesonet and 


 1          working with the locals and our own dispersed 

 2          emergency managers and regional directors and 

 3          assistant commissioners, we're not -- it's 

 4          not Albany responding to your district; we 

 5          have people that live just outside your 

 6          district that are going to be monitoring this 

 7          and going to be communicating and meeting 

 8          with the locals.  

 9                 Is that the type of communication 

10          you're talking about?  

11                 SENATOR SANDERS:  Yes, that's exactly 

12          the communication.

13                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  So we're -- and 

14          we monitor the weather beyond New York State 

15          to see what's coming in.  So we're getting 

16          much, much better on that over the years.

17                 SENATOR SANDERS:  We were caught short 

18          before.  And I stayed down there on the 

19          ground and saw the dysfunction that the 

20          different parts of government were not 

21          speaking to one another.  Again, my 

22          particular community, which was hard-hit, we 

23          did not see any help for four days.  I 

24          mean -- and in that time we had to start 


 1          working for ourselves.  

 2                 Can I encourage you also, sir, that it 

 3          would be good to start training, doing more 

 4          training of the local people there?  One 

 5          point is the city trained all kinds of first 

 6          responders, but then they didn't think it 

 7          through.  They trained and had a group of 

 8          people, but told everybody to evacuate, so 

 9          they dispersed them and never used them.

10                 We need to not simply train but 

11          perhaps get them into a positioning where we 

12          can send them to help.  The city trained 

13          community people, they had a core of people 

14          who could help, but they dispersed them and 

15          there was nothing on the ground to work with.

16                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  Sir, allow me 

17          to get with your staff, I'll have my 

18          assistant commissioner meet with you and 

19          we'll talk this through and see if we can get 

20          Joe Esposito's office and my office on the 

21          same sheet of music so that we can actually 

22          take care of this and we'll have something 

23          going forward.  

24                 SENATOR SANDERS:  Well, that's all 


 1          that I can ask for.  And you certainly spoke 

 2          as a good Marine, sir.  So as one to another, 

 3          I would just say I feel very confident that 

 4          we're going to see this thing through, 

 5          especially since I know it was a Marine that 

 6          you put in charge of the supply depot.  So 

 7          I'm looking forward to those.  

 8                 You're welcome back to my district.  

 9          New York is a safer place with you.  Thank 

10          you very much, sir.  Thank you.  

11                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  Thank you.

12                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.

13                 I'm just going to thank you very much 

14          for your testimony.  I appreciate you coming 

15          to my district and talking to me about a 

16          number of issues.  And I know we're all very 

17          appreciative of the work, which is incredibly 

18          diverse, of your agency in all parts of the 

19          State of New York.  

20                 And I'm going to hopefully excuse you 

21          because we have another 35 people to chat 

22          with this afternoon.  Thank you so much.

23                 COMMISSIONER PARRINO:  Thank you very 

24          much.


 1                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  And our next 

 2          testifier is Michael Green, New York State 

 3          Division of Criminal Justice Services.

 4                 And we're at 10:45 on the schedule, 

 5          for people who are keeping track.  Thank you.  

 6                 Good afternoon.

 7                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Good 

 8          afternoon.  

 9                 Good afternoon, Chairwoman Weinstein, 

10          members of the Assembly, members of the 

11          Senate.  I'm Mike Green, head of the Division 

12          of Criminal Justice Services.  Thank you for 

13          inviting me to appear before you today.  

14                 New York continues to experience 

15          reductions in crime and the prison 

16          population.  Reported crime reached an 

17          all-time low in 2016, and we maintain our 

18          standing as the safest large state in the 

19          nation.  While numbers for this past year are 

20          not yet final, preliminary data shows that 

21          crime reached another all-time low in 2017, 

22          with a homicide decrease of more than 

23          10 percent.  

24                 DCJS initiatives such as GIVE, SNUG, 


 1          and our alternatives to incarceration network 

 2          contribute to this success, and these 

 3          programs continue to receive national 

 4          recognition.  Governor Cuomo's proposed 

 5          budget for fiscal year 2018-2019 will allow 

 6          DCJS to continue to support the criminal 

 7          justice system in communities across the 

 8          state, support evidence-based programs proven 

 9          to be effective and cost-efficient, and 

10          develop innovative programs that position 

11          New York as a national leader in effective 

12          public safety policy.  

13                 Governor Cuomo has advanced 

14          significant criminal justice reforms, 

15          improving every stage of the justice system 

16          from arrest to community reentry.  Last year, 

17          several major reforms were enacted:  raising 

18          the age of criminal responsibility, extending 

19          the landmark Hurrell-Harring settlement, 

20          requiring video recording of interrogations 

21          for serious offenses, and allowing properly 

22          conducted witness identifications into 

23          evidence at trial.  

24                 Building on this success, Governor 


 1          Cuomo has proposed additional criminal 

 2          justice reforms addressing bail, speedy 

 3          trial, discovery, civil asset forfeiture, and 

 4          reentry that will enhance the fairness and 

 5          effectiveness of our criminal justice system.  

 6                 The majority of people in New York's 

 7          jails have not been convicted of any crime 

 8          and are held because they cannot afford to 

 9          post bail.  The current system based on 

10          monetary bail is unfair to those who lack the 

11          financial resources to post it.  The Governor 

12          is committed to reforming New York's bail 

13          statute and has proposed legislation that 

14          would require that most defendants charged 

15          with misdemeanors or nonviolent felonies be 

16          released without requiring cash bail, in a 

17          manner that is the least restrictive way of 

18          assuring the defendant's appearance in court. 

19                 The court may order a defendant to be 

20          held in jail pretrial upon motion by the 

21          people in cases where a defendant is charged 

22          with a crime of domestic violence or other 

23          more serious violent crimes, commits a crime 

24          while already on pretrial release, or fails 


 1          to appear in court.  

 2                 The Sixth Amendment to the United 

 3          States Constitution and state law guarantee 

 4          all citizens accused of a crime the right to 

 5          a speedy trial.  Too often, however, 

 6          defendants are held in pretrial custody for 

 7          excessive periods of time and courts are 

 8          overburdened with the number of pending 

 9          criminal cases.  To address this problem, the 

10          Governor has advanced legislation to reduce 

11          unnecessary delays and adjournments in court 

12          proceedings and ensure that accused 

13          individuals proceed through the justice 

14          system in a streamlined and efficient manner.  

15                 New York has one of the nation's most 

16          restrictive discovery rules.  It allows 

17          prosecutors to withhold basic evidence until 

18          after a jury has been selected and right 

19          before opening statements begin.  The 

20          Governor has proposed legislation that would 

21          require both prosecutors and defendants to 

22          automatically share information in an 

23          incremental fashion well in advance of the 

24          start of a trial.  This will ensure that 


 1          defense attorneys have the tools necessary to 

 2          represent their clients and prosecutors have 

 3          the tools they need to protect the identity 

 4          and safety of witnesses.  

 5                 Individuals with criminal convictions 

 6          continue to face significant barriers to 

 7          their successful reintegration into society. 

 8          Everyone benefits from the opportunity to 

 9          participate fully in the workforce, where 

10          they can build a stable life and support 

11          themselves and their families.  Our 

12          communities benefit as well, as employment is 

13          closely tied to reduced recidivism and 

14          reduced dependence upon public services.  

15                 In recognition of this, the Governor 

16          proposes to update New York's occupational 

17          licensing statutes to remove outdated 

18          mandatory bars that have kept qualified 

19          applicants with criminal convictions from 

20          being licensed in many fields.  

21                 Last year, the Legislature passed and 

22          Governor Cuomo signed into law historic 

23          legislation raising the age of criminal 

24          responsibility to 18 years of age.  To 


 1          successfully implement the Raise the Age 

 2          legislation, the Governor proposes a 

 3          $100 million appropriation over the next 

 4          fiscal year to support a continuum of 

 5          effective prevention, diversion, treatment, 

 6          and supervision services at the state and 

 7          local level.  

 8                 This 2018-2019 budget proposal will 

 9          allow DCJS to continue to carry out and 

10          implement innovative and evidence-based 

11          initiatives that are designed to promote 

12          fairness, respect, and transparency in the 

13          state's criminal justice system.  Our highest 

14          priority is public safety.  We are confident 

15          that with your continued support, we will 

16          sustain the historic reductions in crime we 

17          have achieved, while continuing to reduce the 

18          number of individuals who enter the criminal 

19          justice system.  

20                 Thank you for the opportunity to speak 

21          with you today.

22                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you very much.  

23                 Our first questioner is Senator 

24          Gallivan.


 1                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you, Madam 

 2          Chair.  

 3                 Good afternoon, Commissioner.

 4                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Good 

 5          afternoon.

 6                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you for being 

 7          here, and for your testimony.  

 8                 I want to touch on two or three 

 9          different areas.  First, Raise the Age and 

10          the additional -- I think it was $100 million 

11          in funding?  

12                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Yes.

13                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  A couple of 

14          questions along that -- or a couple of 

15          questions regarding that.

16                 So you outlined a number of different 

17          areas where we would incur costs.  Are you 

18          able to be more specific at this point?  

19                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  

20          Certainly.  There are a number of agencies 

21          involved, so DCJS is involved in one piece, 

22          OCFS is involved in others.  

23                 From a DCJS perspective, I think 

24          probation is one of our major focuses.  Raise 


 1          the Age will put additional responsibilities 

 2          on probation departments across the state.  

 3          Responsibilities I think are very 

 4          constructive in terms of trying to intervene 

 5          early through the screening process, see if 

 6          cases can be safely diverted, supervision.  

 7                 But part of that $100 million is to 

 8          make sure that local probation departments 

 9          get reimbursed 100 percent for the costs that 

10          they incur, to make sure that DCJS has the 

11          resources we need to support them and doing 

12          things like training and technical 

13          assistance.  The money is envisioned, for 

14          example, to make sure that local sheriff's 

15          departments get reimbursed for costs that 

16          they've raised in terms of transport.  

17                 So my understanding is that that 

18          $100 million appropriation is to support both 

19          state and local costs in implementing Raise 

20          the Age.

21                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  And it's your 

22          understanding that the state bears the 

23          responsibility for all the additional local 

24          costs associated with the implementation.  


 1                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Yes.

 2                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  The one thing that 

 3          was not mentioned in your testimony, and this 

 4          might be in another area of the budget, is 

 5          there any consideration for the potential 

 6          capital costs?  The capital costs 

 7          specifically that -- the items that have been 

 8          raised at the local level regarding capital 

 9          costs focus on the potential for new housing 

10          for those that are, first, the 17-year-olds 

11          and then after that -- I'm sorry, first --

12                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Sixteen.

13                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  -- the 16 and then 

14          the 17-year-olds, October 1, '18, followed by 

15          '19.  

16                 And when I have talked with some of 

17          the courts and the judges there was some 

18          concern about -- some potential concern about 

19          facilities.  I don't know if it's a real 

20          concern or not.  But anyway, the question is 

21          capital costs.  Any consideration for that?

22                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  So I do 

23          believe there is consideration for capital 

24          costs.  But I think in terms -- the question 


 1          that you're asking I think goes specifically 

 2          to detention facilities, which are currently 

 3          a local responsibility.  And I think that is 

 4          something that probably would be more 

 5          appropriately addressed to OCFS, since DCJS 

 6          is not directly involved.

 7                 The one thing I would say, though, I 

 8          think it's important -- 

 9                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Excuse me for 

10          interrupting.  I will do that.  But go ahead.  

11          Good point.

12                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I think 

13          it's important in looking at this and keeping 

14          it in context to understand the numbers.  In 

15          2010, there were approximately 46,000 16- and 

16          17-year-olds who went through the criminal 

17          justice system.  By 2016, that number was 

18          down to 21,000, and it's been going down 

19          incrementally every year.  It looks like if 

20          this trend continues, it will be down to 

21          about 18,000 next year.

22                 We anticipate for the first six 

23          months -- so that would be what's covered 

24          under this budget, October 1st through March 


 1          31st, just 16-year-olds.  That number for the 

 2          entire state will be somewhere between 4,000 

 3          and 4,500.  So that's spread across the whole 

 4          state.  Obviously nowhere near that entire 

 5          number are going to go through detention.  

 6          It's envisioned that a very small percentage 

 7          of that number will go through detention.  

 8                 So while it's a very real concern, I 

 9          do think it's important to keep the numbers 

10          in perspective as well.

11                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  I think that where 

12          we would see the potential for costs would be 

13          in the larger counties.  So we have New York 

14          City, then of course the Erie, Monroe, 

15          Albany, et cetera.  When you look at most of 

16          the other upstate numbers, I understand we 

17          might be talking only one or two per county.  

18                 But the obligation, of course, is 

19          anybody who is confined has to be held 

20          safely -- and the concern of keeping now, for 

21          this fiscal year, the 16-year-olds separated 

22          from those that are younger so we don't run 

23          into some of the same problems that we were 

24          concerned with when 16-year-olds were with 


 1          older people.

 2                 Changing gears, the New York State 

 3          Commission of Corrections.  The Governor has 

 4          called -- the Governor has called -- I don't 

 5          have any specific language in front of me -- 

 6          for stepped-up oversight, at least in his 

 7          presentations, between his budget 

 8          presentations and the State of the State, 

 9          regular inspections of all of the facilities, 

10          local and state, in the state.  The proposed 

11          budget for the State Commission of 

12          Corrections is unchanged.

13                 So two questions.  First, are you able 

14          to describe what the Governor's 

15          intentions are in the proposal as far as the 

16          additional stepped-up oversight of local 

17          facilities?  And second, if it's an increased 

18          workload, how can they do it without any 

19          increase in their budget or personnel?  

20                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  And I 

21          apologize again, but they are a separate 

22          agency and I can't speak for them in terms of 

23          their staffing or their ability to carry that 

24          out.  I think that would have to be directed 


 1          to them.

 2                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  My mistake, I 

 3          think.  Do they not fall under DCJS?  

 4                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  No, they 

 5          don't.  We do have a -- they're a completely 

 6          separate agency, with one exception.  

 7          They're -- it's what's called a hosted 

 8          arrangement.  So certain services such as, 

 9          for example, HR services or other services, 

10          we will share.  But, you know, they're 

11          completely separate --

12                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Okay, I'll follow 

13          up separately.

14                 The last area I wanted to touch on, 

15          you testified briefly to it, the Governor's 

16          proposals regarding bail reform.  And I don't 

17          know, were you here when Judge Marks was 

18          testifying --

19                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Yes, I 

20          was.

21                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  -- and the 

22          discussion about bail reform?

23                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Yes.

24                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Well, given your 


 1          background, of course, I'm sure you're 

 2          aware -- and I can't recite it, and I won't 

 3          ask you to recite all the options in bail.  

 4          But similar to my discussion with Judge 

 5          Marks, the Criminal Procedure Law provides 

 6          eight or nine different types of bail, 

 7          including -- eight or nine different options 

 8          that judges have, including releasing 

 9          somebody on their own recognizance.  And when 

10          we focus on judges setting low amounts of 

11          bail, recognizing that public safety is not 

12          an authorized element of the law that judges 

13          are able to take into consideration.  

14                 My question is, would it be -- I have 

15          the opinion that judges have enough tools to 

16          make changes right now, some of the intended 

17          changes that the Governor is trying to 

18          achieve.  What is your opinion about the 

19          tools that the judges have available right 

20          now in the law, and do they use it to the 

21          full extent that they can, in your opinion?  

22                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  To me I 

23          think the very basic problem is that our 

24          current bail statute, by definition, uses 


 1          someone's -- the amount of resources they 

 2          have as a factor in determining whether or 

 3          not they're going to sit in jail.

 4                 When you have cash bail, whether it's 

 5          cash, whether it's a bond where you have to 

 6          put some cash up, people who are otherwise 

 7          exactly similarly situated in terms of the 

 8          crime that they committed, the risk that they 

 9          pose, will either stay in jail or be released 

10          because of how much money they have.  And 

11          personally, my personal opinion is that that 

12          is patently unfair and it's something we 

13          ought to do something about.

14                 In 2016 we had 45,000 people in the 

15          State of New York sit in jail for five days 

16          or more who were charged with a misdemeanor 

17          or a nonviolent felony because they simply 

18          did not have the money to post bail.  And if 

19          you look at the breakdown, the demographic 

20          breakdown, about 70 percent of those 45,000 

21          were black or Hispanic.

22                 So to me, the concept of cash bail in 

23          and of itself carries a fundamental 

24          unfairness that needs to be addressed.  And 


 1          the Governor's proposal is an attempt to do 

 2          that.

 3                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Point taken.  But 

 4          cash bail is not the only option that the 

 5          judges have available to them.  They can 

 6          release on recognizance, they can provide 

 7          unsecured bond, and other options.  

 8                 But when you talk about -- and we 

 9          didn't -- when the judge was testifying, that 

10          was one area we didn't talk about, something 

11          that you just raised and I was remiss in not 

12          bringing that up, is the requirement that the 

13          judges consider the defendant's ability to 

14          pay or resources available.  

15                 Is it possible that the judges need to 

16          be trained in this area and that's something 

17          that they're not considering at this point?  

18          Because if they were, why would there be so 

19          many people on small amounts of bail and they 

20          can't come up with the cash?

21                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Those 

22          things are all things that could help.  But I 

23          think as long as you have cash as an option, 

24          particularly for misdemeanors and nonviolent 


 1          felonies, you will never remove the inherent 

 2          unfairness that the system puts on people who 

 3          don't have resources.

 4                 So the Governor's proposal removes 

 5          cash for a large group of offenders, 

 6          particularly misdemeanors and nonviolent 

 7          felons, in an attempt to minimize the effects 

 8          of that really prejudicial effect of our 

 9          current system.

10                 So, you know, I agree with you that 

11          training, use of alternatives would all be 

12          good things.  But as long as you leave cash 

13          as an option in there, the system by 

14          definition is going to be a system that 

15          discriminates against people who don't have 

16          means.

17                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you, 

18          Commissioner.

19                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Assemblyman 

20          Lentol.

21                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Thank you, 

22          Commissioner.  

23                 So I don't know where to begin.  

24          There's a 212-page criminal justice budget, 


 1          and I know I'm only going to get to a few 

 2          pieces of it.  But I wanted to start out with 

 3          discovery, because discovery in my opinion is 

 4          the key to all criminal justice reform.  In 

 5          any area, in any state, in any country that 

 6          you talk about, if you don't have the right 

 7          to know, it's going to be difficult.

 8                 However, we have been saddled in 

 9          New York State with a system of justice -- 

10          and I don't want to speechify, believe me, I 

11          just want to put this into perspective.  

12          Because there is a large audience out there 

13          that doesn't understand discovery.  I talk to 

14          my constituents about discovery and they look 

15          at me blankly and don't know what I'm talking 

16          about.

17                 And I think, though, when they watch 

18          TV and they see what happens in the 

19          courtroom, that in every case, whether it's 

20          Court TV -- I don't know if they have that 

21          anymore -- or whether it's actually live 

22          trials of O.J. Simpson or in any other case, 

23          they see that the law of the land, as they 

24          see it, is open file discovery and that you 


 1          have a system of justice whereby the 

 2          prosecution has evidence and the defense has 

 3          evidence that they're going to present at the 

 4          trial, and that it's going to be a fair 

 5          fight.  You turn over the evidence you have, 

 6          Mr. D.A., and Mr. Defense Attorney, you turn 

 7          over what you have, and we'll a have a fair 

 8          fight and fight it out in court.  

 9                 But that's not the system of justice 

10          in New York, is it, Mr. Green?  Even though 

11          you actually see that on cases in -- I can't 

12          even remember the series that -- on 

13          television, Law and Order, which films as 

14          though it's happening in New York State.  You 

15          would think that that's not only the law of 

16          the land, but it's definitely the law of New 

17          York State.  But it's not, Mr. Green, is that 

18          correct?  

19                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  That's 

20          correct.  Even though I know as a DA, I 

21          always had an open file discovery policy, and 

22          I know other DAs do, currently New York's 

23          discovery statute is written in a way that 

24          would allow prosecutors to wait until after a 


 1          jury is selected and before opening statement 

 2          to turn over some of the discovery or Rosario 

 3          material.  

 4                 And I think the Governor shares your 

 5          concern in that regard --

 6                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Yes.

 7                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  -- and 

 8          the reason that he's introduced this proposal 

 9          is to change that framework.

10                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  That's why I was 

11          happy to see a proposal on discovery put in 

12          the budget, because I think there is an 

13          opportunity for change.

14                 However, when I looked at it, I was, I 

15          have to tell you, mortified.  First because 

16          it was very hard to understand, very 

17          complicated, and it didn't seem to do what I 

18          thought we do in the civil law and in every 

19          other jurisdiction that has open file 

20          discovery, and that is:  Here's the evidence, 

21          we're turning it over now to you, 

22          Mr. Defendant.  The defendant says, Here's 

23          our evidence, we're turning it over to you.  

24                 That's not what this does, this 


 1          proposal, is that correct?  

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

 3          think it's fair to analogize criminal cases 

 4          to civil cases.  

 5                 I think what this proposal does is 

 6          recognize the issue that we have in our 

 7          current discovery statute, but also recognize 

 8          some of the inherent issues in the criminal 

 9          justice system, such as the fact that every 

10          day there are examples of witnesses who have 

11          been threatened, intimidated, houses are 

12          being firebombed, they're being shot.

13                 And so we need to balance and we need 

14          to do everything we can in cases where those 

15          issues aren't present, to get the defense the 

16          materials they need in an early stage of the 

17          proceedings so they can use them to get the 

18          representation they deserve and need.  But at 

19          the same time we need to make sure that we 

20          take into account the very real issues that 

21          prosecutors raise with regard to witness 

22          intimation and witness protection.  And this 

23          proposal that the Governor put forward is an 

24          attempt to balance both of them.


 1                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Thank you for 

 2          that affirmative defense, but I didn't get 

 3          there yet.  

 4                 (Laughter.)

 5                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  I didn't want to 

 6          talk about that yet, I just wanted to set 

 7          exactly what I believe the stage of the 

 8          discussion is and what it ought to be.

 9                 Now, I understand that we have to 

10          protect witnesses.  And we have MS-13, we 

11          have all these gangs to worry about in 

12          New York.  I understand all of that.  Don't 

13          they have gangs in California?  

14                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Yes, 

15          they have a gang statute in California.  We 

16          don't too.  I'm not advocating that we adopt 

17          that.

18                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Well, I'm just 

19          saying -- I'm not advocating anything about 

20          gang statutes.  I'm talking about the type of 

21          discovery that they have in California allows 

22          for protective orders to be issued by judges 

23          in order to protect against witnesses being 

24          tampered with or being hurt or being followed 


 1          or any of that.  Isn't that true?

 2                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I have 

 3          not read California's discovery statute 

 4          recently, but I know the Governor's proposal 

 5          you have in front of you also provides for 

 6          protective orders to be sought by either 

 7          party.

 8                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  So all I'm saying 

 9          is that this particular statute is difficult 

10          because it unilaterally allows prosecutors to 

11          do a lot of different things that they 

12          wouldn't be able to do in other states that 

13          have effective discovery statutes.  

14                 For example, redaction.  When I looked 

15          at it, I said, well, you know, maybe there 

16          are cases where a prosecutor needs to use 

17          redaction.  But it seems, as you go through 

18          the statute, that it's almost in every case 

19          that a prosecutor will be able to 

20          unilaterally redact information, witnesses' 

21          identities, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, 

22          as you go down the line.  And there seem to 

23          be plenty of escapes and loopholes in the law 

24          that no discovery will follow as a result of 


 1          that unilateral power.

 2                 Now, maybe if there were equal time 

 3          given to defense to be able to redact, I 

 4          would have been happy.  I don't think I 

 5          would, anyway.  But I might have been happier 

 6          if I saw redaction allowed by the defendant.  

 7          But that's not allowed here.  It's only one 

 8          way, where the prosecution gets to redact 

 9          everything.  Is that correct?  

10                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I've got 

11          to disagree with your characterization.  I 

12          don't believe that it's full of loopholes.  I 

13          don't believe they can redact in every case.  

14          I think the right to redact is limited.  

15                 I think it's important to note that 

16          any time there is a redaction, it provides 

17          for the right to have a judge review that 

18          redaction to see whether or not the judge 

19          agrees with that.  So I think I would again 

20          disagree with your assessment.  I feel that 

21          it's a very balanced statute, it attempts to 

22          balance legitimate concerns.

23                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  So let me give 

24          you an example of what I'm talking about.


 1                 What is the basis for the new 

 2          prosecution's right to redact when 

 3          disclosure, quote, could interfere with the 

 4          ongoing investigation of a case -- or a case, 

 5          any case?  Isn't there always a hypothetical 

 6          chance of interference with an investigation?  

 7                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Again, 

 8          as I read that, I would not read it as 

 9          hypothetical.  I would read it as actual, and 

10          I believe a judge reviewing it would also 

11          read it actual, not hypothetical.

12                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  And as I read the 

13          protective order statutes, which I tried to 

14          do -- they're complicated too.  But why, in 

15          your view, are they insufficient?

16                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I 

17          believe one reason would be the time delay 

18          between -- that it would take to get the 

19          protective order.  This just provides for an 

20          immediate remedy so the prosecutor can 

21          redact, can promptly turn the remaining 

22          materials over, and then if the defense has 

23          an issue with the redaction, it goes to the 

24          judge and the judge reviews it and makes a 


 1          determination as to whether or not more 

 2          material needs to be turned over or the 

 3          redactions were proper.

 4                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Well, let's go 

 5          back to the material that's turned over.  

 6          Now, I don't know if this is true and I'd 

 7          like to ask you, because some of the lawyers 

 8          that I've spoken to after they've read the 

 9          bill -- and they're smarter than I am -- have 

10          told me that the bill is unconstitutional as 

11          drafted because it requires the defense to 

12          disclose information before the prosecution 

13          does, not after.  So the prosecution -- 

14          instead of changing the law so the 

15          prosecution will turn over stuff, we're 

16          making the defense turn it over, maybe as 

17          payment or a fee for them to get some 

18          discovery from the prosecution.

19                 So the way this statute does read, it 

20          requires disclosure of certain categories of 

21          information by the defense but not by the 

22          prosecution also as well.

23                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I 

24          believe the case you're referring to is a 


 1          Supreme Court case involving the State of 

 2          Oregon, and I don't believe --

 3                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Yes.

 4                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I think 

 5          that dealt with alibi witness situations.  I 

 6          don't believe that our statute that the 

 7          Governor has proposed runs afoul of that.

 8                 I also don't believe that it generally 

 9          requires disclosure by the defense before it 

10          requires disclosure by the people.  The one 

11          exception may be grand jury minutes, which 

12          can be disclosed 15 days prior to trial.  But 

13          otherwise, the way I read it, the obligation 

14          is on the prosecution first.  

15                 But in any event, I think the Supreme 

16          Court case you referred to talks about a 

17          one-sided discovery situation where there's 

18          disclosure required by the defense without 

19          reciprocal obligation.  When you read this 

20          statute as a whole, I don't think that it 

21          would even come close to falling afoul of 

22          that case.

23                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  So I don't have 

24          much time left, but I just wanted to make one 


 1          remark because -- about bail reform.  And as 

 2          I said from the very outset, the key to all 

 3          of these criminal justice reforms, whether 

 4          they're speedy trial or bail reform, is 

 5          discovery.  Because if you don't know the 

 6          information that you need to try your case, 

 7          why would you want a speedy trial?  So you 

 8          could go to jail?  I don't think so.  

 9                 If you don't know about what happened 

10          in the case and you want to argue against 

11          preventive detention, which the Governor's 

12          bail reform requires to be mandatory for five 

13          days, how are you going to be able to fight 

14          that detention at a hearing if you don't know 

15          because you don't have discovery at the 

16          outset?  

17                 So I'm just making that as a 

18          statement; you don't have to reply to it.  

19          But all I'm telling you and I'm telling the 

20          Governor, that I love the fact that we're 

21          talking about this, I love the fact that 

22          discovery, bail reform and speedy trial is in 

23          the budget, but we have to change it.  

24                 Thank you, sir.


 1                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Thank 

 2          you.  I know you've advocated for these 

 3          issues for a long time.  I appreciate your 


 5                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Thank you.  

 6                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  

 7                 Senator Croci.

 8                 SENATOR CROCI:  Thank you.  

 9                 And thank you, sir, for being with us 

10          again today this year.

11                 A question, one of the proposals that 

12          is in the budget in your section is the 

13          Governor has proposed a half a million 

14          dollars for MS-13 gang prevention efforts, 

15          presumably for the Long Island area, my 

16          Senate district.  And I guess the efforts are 

17          to be allocated pursuant to a plan submitted 

18          and approved by the budget director.

19                 Can you give us some details about 

20          what the nature of the plan is, where the 

21          monies are intended to go, what 

22          organizations, and how it will be utilized?  

23                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  It's my 

24          understanding that that money is meant to be 


 1          targeted for Long Island related to MS-13, 

 2          and specifically related to the funding of 

 3          anti-gang education and training programs in 

 4          schools.

 5                 SENATOR CROCI:  And who would be 

 6          conducting this training?  Is this local law 

 7          enforcement?  Is this --

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

 9          believe that's spelled out in the budget 

10          language.  But I believe the intention would 

11          be for the state to be supporting local 

12          efforts.

13                 SENATOR CROCI:  Absolutely.  And if 

14          that's the case, we'd very much like to know 

15          how it will be spent and to what 

16          organizations and groups.  Because there is a 

17          federal law enforcement investigation and a 

18          lot of partners down there working now, we 

19          want to be complementary to those efforts.  

20                 So we'd just like to know exactly that 

21          money is going to be allocated and what kind 

22          of efforts are going on, either in the 

23          Brentwood school system or Central Islip 

24          school system or others.  We'd very much like 


 1          to have the details on that.

 2                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  

 3          Understood.

 4                 SENATOR CROCI:  Thank you.  

 5                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

 6                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Assemblyman 

 7          Weprin.

 8                 ASSEMBLYMAN WEPRIN:  Yes, thank you, 

 9          Madam Chair.  

10                 Thank you, Commissioner Green, for 

11          coming.

12                 I appreciate your initial comments.  I 

13          chair the Corrections Committee, and I 

14          appreciate your comments on the reduction of 

15          crime and prison population.

16                 Having said that, I was a little 

17          disturbed there were two cuts, probably 

18          totaling less than a million dollars, on two 

19          very good programs that were taking place 

20          under your jurisdiction, and they were also 

21          organizations that I have worked with closely 

22          as chair of Corrections and help to prevent 

23          recidivism and also reducing the prison 

24          population.  One is a program by the Osborne 


 1          Association, a defender-based advocacy 

 2          program, and the other one was the Legal 

 3          Action Center Program.  I think the total of 

 4          both of the items were less than a million 

 5          dollars.  

 6                 Is there any reason why they were 

 7          defunded?  And obviously we can restore them, 

 8          but what was the thinking behind that?

 9                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  So in 

10          the Governor's proposed budget, I don't 

11          believe that there are any cuts in line with 

12          anything you've mentioned.  I'm assuming or 

13          guessing that you're speaking about money 

14          that was allocated pursuant to a competitive 

15          request for proposal, a request for 

16          application, last year.  So in the ATI 

17          funding realm, we did put out funding in a 

18          number of different areas.  There was 

19          workforce-related ATI funding, and then there 

20          was ATI funding related to other programming.  

21                 And it's possible, as part of that 

22          competitive solicitation, that the 

23          organizations that you mentioned may have 

24          previously got money but did not put in 


 1          proposals that met the standard to get 

 2          funded.

 3                 So there's no cut in funding in any of 

 4          those funding streams.  But we put out 

 5          competitive proposals and then made awards, 

 6          looking at both geographically where is the 

 7          need, and then in terms of programming, 

 8          making sure we had the right programming 

 9          being funded, and then, within those 

10          confines, funding the best proposals that we 

11          had.  So I can only guess that you're 

12          referring to organizations that may have not 

13          gotten funding through that.  

14                 And all I can say is that we've done 

15          the best that we can at DCJS to make sure 

16          that we take the money that's being allocated 

17          and make sure it's being distributed where 

18          the need is and that the right types of 

19          services are being funded and that they're 

20          being provided in the best way possible.

21                 I know that we have significant 

22          contracts with Osborne still.  So, you know, 

23          it's not that we don't work with them or they 

24          don't provide very valuable services under 


 1          our funding streams.

 2                 ASSEMBLYMAN WEPRIN:  I've been told by 

 3          counsel that they did lose the funding 

 4          through the ITA process.  But if it's 

 5          possible to look at those programs again, 

 6          maybe we can look to fund them in addition or 

 7          try to see if the services they provided are 

 8          being provided by some of these new programs 

 9          that came out through the ITA RFP.

10                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  We'll 

11          certainly do that.

12                 ASSEMBLYMAN WEPRIN:  Thank you.  

13                 Thank you, Madam Chair.

14                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you very 

15          much.  

16                 Any more questions?  Senator Phillips.

17                 SENATOR PHILLIPS:   Good afternoon, 

18          Commissioner.  

19                 Just in reference, I also represent a 

20          portion of Long Island, but Nassau County.  

21          And I'd like to go back to the MS-13 gang 

22          activity.  Although we're fortunate in Nassau 

23          that we haven't had the extreme that's in 

24          Suffolk, but it's in Nassau County.  And, you 


 1          know, thanks to the hard work of the Nassau 

 2          County Police Department, we are prepared.  

 3                 But what kind of support has DCJS 

 4          offered in an effort to eradicate MS-13?  

 5                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  About, I 

 6          would say, maybe two months ago myself and 

 7          Mike Wood, who's the head of our Office of 

 8          Public Safety and a former deputy chief at 

 9          the Rochester Police Department, went to 

10          Long Island.  We spent the morning with the 

11          Nassau County police commissioner and his top 

12          people working on the issue.  We spent the 

13          afternoon with Commissioner Ryder and his top 

14          people, you know, looking for ways we could 

15          help.  We've been working with Suffolk County 

16          with regard to improvements they're making to 

17          their intelligence center.  I think the 

18          proposal that Senator Croci asked me about 

19          came out of those conversations.

20                 So, you know, we've personally been 

21          down there -- and I agree with your 

22          assessment that I think both police agencies 

23          are very dedicated and working very hard on 

24          this issue.  And we're working with them 


 1          behind the scenes to support them in any way 

 2          we can.

 3                 SENATOR PHILLIPS:   And do your crime 

 4          analysis centers provide any support?  Is 

 5          there any --

 6                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  We're 

 7          networked -- our DCJS directly supported 

 8          centers, there's eight of them.  And then 

 9          we're networked with centers in both Nassau 

10          and Suffolk.  So to the extent -- first of 

11          all, we share information through that 

12          network so they can -- you know, if MS-13 

13          members are operating somewhere else within 

14          that network, they can share information with 

15          law enforcement agencies.  

16                 And then if we have tools that exist 

17          within our network that would be useful to 

18          them -- such as, for example, facial 

19          recognition or social media mining tools -- 

20          we can make those available to them.

21                 SENATOR PHILLIPS:  And last, I just 

22          would like to support what Senator Croci said 

23          on this half a million dollars.  

24                 There are several programs in this 


 1          MS-13 gang prevention proposal, and I think 

 2          the worst thing that could happen is the 

 3          school districts don't know how or aren't 

 4          thought of.  And, you know, I worry about 

 5          that a little bit in my district because 

 6          sometimes people don't think, but, you know, 

 7          Westbury, Elmont, Port Washington, you know, 

 8          these are districts that need support to 

 9          combat this and prevent it before it comes 

10          in.  

11                 So the sooner you can be clear on 

12          where that money is going and how to apply, 

13          the better.  Thank you.

14                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Thank 

15          you.  I appreciate the concern.

16                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you, 

17          Commissioner.  I have a question.  

18                 I see that the Executive Budget 

19          eliminates the $2.83 million in funding for 

20          civil legal services and instead funds part 

21          of the $6.1 million in existing aid to 

22          defense services through the LSAF fund, the 

23          Legal Services Assistance Fund.

24                 What's the rationale for eliminating 


 1          the civil legal services funding and 

 2          replacing it with indigent defense funding?  

 3                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  The 

 4          funding that comes through DCJS's budget in 

 5          terms of the money that's going out to the 

 6          defense agencies I know is unchanged.  

 7                 I believe with regard to two areas of 

 8          funding, the source of those funds may have 

 9          changed from General Funds to another 

10          specific fund.

11                 In both of those cases, I think the 

12          fund that's now being used as opposed to the 

13          General Funds, the purpose of that fund does 

14          specifically cover the funding it's being 

15          used for.  And I think that might be more 

16          appropriately addressed to Budget, but my 

17          understanding is that the purpose was to try 

18          and make sure that no on-the-ground agency 

19          suffered any cuts in a very difficult budget 

20          year.

21                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Well, the -- 

22          since I was around at the time with your 

23          predecessor, Katie Lapp, when that was 

24          established, we -- the LSAF fund specifically 


 1          was designed for civil legal services.  

 2                 I understand the desire to show that 

 3          the agency is under its 2 percent cap, but I 

 4          don't know that it's appropriate to do that 

 5          by offloading expenses that rightfully belong 

 6          under the General Fund and eliminating legal 

 7          services funding.

 8                 Is there any proposal to replace that 

 9          $2.83 million in legal services funding?

10                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  And 

11          again, I think the figure I had was $2.6 

12          million here.  But I think that might be a 

13          question that's more appropriately addressed 

14          to the Budget Division.

15                 All I can say is what I know from the 

16          DCJS budget is that the same amount of money 

17          that we had to fund Aid to Defense and to 

18          fund the New York Defenders in last year's 

19          budget is also present in this year's budget.  

20          The only difference is the source of those 

21          funds.

22                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Right.  Okay, 

23          thank you very much.  

24                 Senate?  


 1                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.  

 2                 Senator Jamaal Bailey.

 3                 SENATOR BAILEY:  Thank you, Senator.

 4                 Thank you, Commissioner, for coming 

 5          before us.  

 6                 Not to belabor the point that 

 7          Assemblyman Lentol made so well about 

 8          discovery, but I do -- I am a huge proponent 

 9          of discovery reform, and I'm happy about the 

10          steps that we're taking but we need to go a 

11          little bit further.

12                 You mention that certain 

13          jurisdictions are in fact open file 

14          jurisdictions where they do allow the defense 

15          to get the information -- the evidence 

16          beforehand.  We mentioned how important 

17          witness protection is, and I agree.  But in 

18          these jurisdictions do we have any statistics 

19          about any spike in intimidation or issues 

20          that would require these witnesses to be 

21          protected as such?  

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

23          believe there's any statewide data that's 

24          kept, but I've had prosecutors for the last 


 1          year sending me examples.  And I have 

 2          documented examples.  They include videotapes 

 3          taken off of social media of gang members 

 4          reading witnesses' grand jury testimony aloud 

 5          and proclaiming that they're putting out 

 6          warrants for the witnesses and that they 

 7          should be killed.  You know, and I could go 

 8          on and on with examples.

 9                 So I think a comparison to other 

10          states is tough because you can pull out one 

11          piece of a statute from another state and 

12          say, See, this is great.  But my general 

13          experience is when you read the whole 

14          statute, you and everyone else will find 

15          things you like in other states' statutes and 

16          things you don't like.  And I think it's 

17          probably the same in the Governor's proposal.  

18          And the bottom line is I think everybody is 

19          trying to balance these things.  

20                 You know, personally I think the 

21          Governor's proposal did a very good job.  It 

22          goes much further than our current discovery 

23          statute in terms of making information 

24          available to the defense.  It will no longer 


 1          allow prosecutors to walk in after jury 

 2          selection, before opening statement, dump 

 3          materials on the desk and say, Let's go now.  

 4          It provides for grand jury testimony to be 

 5          turned over 15 days before trial, which is a 

 6          tremendous improvement over our current 

 7          statute.

 8                 But it does put those witness 

 9          protection things in there too, because 

10          they're very important.

11                 So, you know, I'm sure we could 

12          discuss and there will be discussions about 

13          how you strike that balance.  But I think the 

14          important thing is, you know, that we 

15          recognize the importance of both of those 

16          things and try and come up with a statute 

17          that takes them both into account.

18                 SENATOR BAILEY:  I would agree with 

19          you.  And to your point about the countless 

20          social media clips about witness 

21          intimidations, I could also have countless 

22          clips of people who have taken guilty pleas 

23          without knowing information before them, 

24          individuals who have been incarcerated with 


 1          little to no information about why they are 

 2          in there.

 3                 So it's -- what we're saying is 

 4          essentially the same thing.  I believe that 

 5          we have come further than we've been before.  

 6          But as Assemblyman Lentol mentioned, the 

 7          discovery -- the redaction policy I believe 

 8          is overbroad.  There is far too much 

 9          prosecutorial power in that statute.  And I 

10          hope that's something that we can remedy.

11                 In my limited time, I wanted to speak 

12          about the SNUG program and its funding, 

13          $4.8 million in appropriation.  The SNUG 

14          program does a lot of good work in my 

15          senatorial district, particularly in the City 

16          of Mount Vernon.  Are there any new SNUG 

17          programs that are going to be planned 

18          statewide?  

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

20          believe there are any plans for any new 

21          programs in our network.  I think the 

22          Poughkeepsie program that was just stood up 

23          as a result of money in last year's budget is 

24          the newest one.  I think that gives us 11 


 1          sites that we're operating with the 

 2          $4.8 million in funding that you provide.

 3                 You know, I would agree with you, I 

 4          think those programs are just absolutely 

 5          tremendous programs.  And we're on pace -- we 

 6          don't have the final 2017 numbers in yet, but 

 7          by all accounts it looks like we're going to 

 8          come in under 600 homicides for the state for 

 9          2017.  We haven't hit that number since 1965 

10          when we started keeping track as a state.  It 

11          looks like the shootings, both in New York 

12          City and the rest of the state, are going to 

13          come in significantly down in 2017 compared 

14          to '16.  

15                 And I think that, you know, while law 

16          enforcement deserves some credit, I think the 

17          SNUG programs deserve a lot of credit as 

18          well.  You know, we've worked very hard with 

19          those programs, we have a great partnership 

20          between DCJS and the local programs on the 

21          ground and the not-for-profits they operate 

22          out of, and really appreciate the support 

23          that the Legislature has provided us with 

24          those.


 1                 SENATOR BAILEY:  It is an excellent 

 2          program, Commissioner.  

 3                 One final question about civil asset 

 4          forfeiture.  There is mention in the 

 5          Executive Budget Article VII about the 

 6          ability of law enforcement to bring civil -- 

 7          eliminating the ability, excuse me, of law 

 8          enforcement to bring civil asset forfeiture 

 9          proceedings against individuals not charged 

10          with a felony and requires a conviction 

11          before a court may grant forfeiture of the 

12          defendant's assets.  

13                 Where does DCJS come down on this?

14                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  The 

15          genesis of the proposal I believe are 

16          instances where there have been forfeiture 

17          actions where money has been taken from 

18          people who ultimately they weren't charged 

19          with crimes or weren't convicted of crimes.  

20          And so I think the purpose is to try and 

21          limit forfeiture to situations where there is 

22          a conviction.

23                 SENATOR BAILEY:  Okay.  Thank you, 

24          Commissioner.  Nothing further.


 1                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Thank 

 2          you.  

 3                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Assemblyman 

 4          Oaks.

 5                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Hi.  I just wanted 

 6          to address the issue related to the bail 

 7          proposal and the concern that I've heard 

 8          raised around the issue of outstanding 

 9          warrants.  

10                 Already with the bail system we have a 

11          significant number of people who, you know, 

12          don't appear or whatever and there are 

13          outstanding warrants.  I'm concerned that 

14          without bail then the percentage of people 

15          who would then appear in court might be 

16          reduced dramatically.

17                 So is there anything within the 

18          proposal that would address the issue of the 

19          possibility of having an increased number of 

20          folks who don't appear?

21                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Yes, I 

22          believe there is.  And a couple of comments 

23          I'd make.  

24                 First, the fact that people raise that 


 1          as an issue and say that there's a large 

 2          number of warrants, if that's true, would 

 3          indicate that the current system is not 

 4          working to get people to return to court.

 5                 I have seen studies in a very limited 

 6          basis that indicate that removing monetary 

 7          bail does not in any way reduce reappearance 

 8          rates.

 9                 But the Governor's proposal also does 

10          address situations where someone refuses to 

11          voluntarily return to court.  And one of the 

12          bases for pretrial detention or a motion 

13          asking a judge to consider pretrial detention 

14          would be in a situation where someone has 

15          been released, has been given a court date, 

16          and has refused to voluntarily return to 

17          court.  And ultimately a judge would have the 

18          power, after going through the proper 

19          processes, to order that person held if 

20          there's no other way to get them to return to 

21          court.  

22                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  So when you're 

23          saying you looked at some data and whatever, 

24          your sense is we may not see that increase 


 1          or -- in people appearing?

 2                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  You 

 3          know, some of the data I've looked at -- for 

 4          example, people who have $500 or less bail 

 5          set, over half of those people across the 

 6          state cannot afford the bail, and that amount 

 7          of bail keeps them sitting in jail.

 8                 You know, I'm hard-pressed to think 

 9          that someone who posted $250, the sole reason 

10          they come back to court is for that $250.  So 

11          no, I don't think the elimination of cash 

12          bail for misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies 

13          is going to dramatically increase the number 

14          of people who don't come back.

15                 Further, in the Governor's proposal, 

16          for the first time the Governor would put in 

17          a statutory framework to provide monitoring 

18          services.  And there are studies that show 

19          that things like text messaging or 

20          notifications being sent to people to inform 

21          them of their court dates can dramatically 

22          improve the percentage of people that come 

23          back to court when they're supposed to.

24                 So I think there are much more 


 1          efficient ways, in this day and age, other 

 2          than cash bail to really focus on and improve 

 3          appearance rates in court.

 4                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Well, one of the 

 5          things I think certainly people who commit an 

 6          offense appear, many are referred under the 

 7          current structure to services, pretrial 

 8          services of different kinds.  And certainly 

 9          getting individuals in these services can 

10          often highlight some of the issues, whether 

11          it's homelessness or education issues, 

12          trouble with finding jobs, et cetera.  Some 

13          of those educational issues are addressed, 

14          identified, and perhaps more stability 

15          brought to the person's life and the 

16          likelihood of reoffending goes down.  

17          Certainly I've seen, you know, benefits.  Had 

18          a chance to serve on a board, you know, that 

19          did that.

20                 Again, I guess as I was concerned, if 

21          you're not appearing to answer, then the 

22          opportunity to get them to, you know, those 

23          services may be reduced.

24                 But obviously should this go forward, 


 1          you know, the opportunity for us to be able 

 2          to respond and have an impact on lowering 

 3          crime and certainly individuals' involvement 

 4          in that crime, you know, we need to be 

 5          successful with.

 6                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  No, I 

 7          would agree that that's a very important part 

 8          of the proposal.

 9                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Thank you.

10                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

11                 Senator Savino.

12                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you, 

13          Senator Young.  

14                 Thank you, Commissioner, for your 

15          testimony.

16                 I'm not going to belabor the point on 

17          the proposals in the Governor's budget around 

18          bail and discovery and others, because there 

19          are other people who are going to come up and 

20          speak later on.  I know the DAs Association 

21          is here and Defenders are here and Legal Aid, 

22          so I'll leave those questions for them.

23                 I do want to make one point, though.  

24          I think both Assemblymember Lentol and 


 1          Senator Bailey, who -- he and I cochair the 

 2          Codes Committee, and we're working on some of 

 3          these legislative efforts -- I want to 

 4          emphasize their point about discovery being 

 5          the most important part of it.  Because if 

 6          you're a defense attorney or a defendant, the 

 7          last thing you want is a speedy trial when 

 8          you don't know what evidence the DA is 

 9          sitting on.  So that has to be front and 

10          center of anything.

11                 But I want to ask you a question about 

12          a proposal in the Governor's Article VII 

13          which sounds like a good thing, but it's a 

14          little confusing.  So it talks about removing 

15          the employment restrictions for persons with 

16          felony convictions and makes hiring 

17          discretionary.

18                 And they outline several particular 

19          positions:  Check cashers; the ability to 

20          serve on the Community District Education 

21          Council; serving on the Bingo Control 

22          Commission, which I didn't even know we had 

23          one of those, but I guess we do; a notary; 

24          selling or distributing games of chance; 


 1          insurance adjusters; real estate brokers and 

 2          real estate salespersons; subsidized 

 3          private-sector and not-for-profit employment 

 4          programs; and driver school employees.  I'm 

 5          assuming that means persons who work for a 

 6          driving school, not school employees who 

 7          drive, right? 

 8                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I 

 9          believe the first is the case.

10                 SENATOR SAVINO:  All right.  So the 

11          question I have, does it mean all felony 

12          convictions, there would be a bar?  Because 

13          say, for instance, you were convicted of 

14          embezzling money from a non-for-profit.  We 

15          wouldn't want you working there again.  Or if 

16          you had robbed a bank, we wouldn't want you 

17          working as a check casher.  

18                 Or we've also passed several 

19          restrictions on what Level 3 sex offenders 

20          and what kind of occupations they're allowed 

21          to work.  I think in the Senate we've pretty 

22          much outlawed all of them.  I'm not sure the 

23          Assembly has followed suit.  But would that 

24          conflict with those statutes, where we don't 


 1          believe that Level 3 sex offenders shall be 

 2          working in a school or teaching people how to 

 3          drive?  

 4                 So I'm -- could you explain some of 

 5          these?  And if you don't know the answer, 

 6          that's fine.  But I'm just curious about 

 7          these.

 8                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I 

 9          believe under current law a conviction serves 

10          as an absolute bar.

11                 I think the intention here is that in 

12          the overwhelming majority of cases, when a 

13          person has served their time, has 

14          successfully completed and is going on trying 

15          to rebuild their life, that we can't be 

16          throwing up roadblocks.  

17                 And I think you, you know, rightfully 

18          point out that there are certain limited 

19          circumstances where it would make sense to 

20          look at those.  I don't know if the bill 

21          makes provisions for that or not, but I can 

22          get back to you on that.

23                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you.  I would 

24          just say, again, I believe in redemption and 


 1          I think the most important thing we could do 

 2          to prevent recidivism is to find a way for 

 3          people to become productive members of 

 4          society.  But I think that, again, if you've 

 5          been convicted of embezzling money from a 

 6          nonprofit, we might not want you working in 

 7          the nonprofit sector again.  

 8                 And I only point these out because 

 9          these were pointed out to me that these are 

10          occupations that for some reason have been 

11          identified.  So I think we should just be 

12          very careful about how we apply this.  And in 

13          an effort to get people back to work and 

14          become functioning members of society -- all 

15          important goals of the state, but at the same 

16          time we have to be careful how we apply it.

17                 Thank you.

18                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Thank 

19          you.  

20                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator 

21          Savino.

22                 We've been joined by Senator Joe 

23          Robach, Senator Patty Ritchie, Senator Marty 

24          Golden, and Senator Brian Benjamin.


 1                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Assemblyman 

 2          Lentol for a question.

 3                 ASSEMBLYMAN LENTOL:  Thank you.  I'm 

 4          not going to come back for my 15 or 10 

 5          minutes -- five minutes that I have, I just 

 6          wanted to make a comment.  And this is a 

 7          complimentary one to be sure, Commissioner 

 8          Green.

 9                 And it's not on policy, but I wanted 

10          to let you know that buried in the DCJS 

11          website -- and this was something that was 

12          produced by DCJS a few years back when -- it 

13          was apropos then, but it seems to be more 

14          apropos now.  And buried in the website is a 

15          video I had commissioned legislatively, and 

16          it's called "The Familiar Stranger."  And it 

17          teaches parents, teachers and coaches that 

18          they're not the only ones, that they are 

19          usually the first victims, not the pedophiles 

20          of a pedophile {sic}.  Parents, teachers and 

21          coaches.  

22                 We heard the gymnasts who were abused 

23          say that they were groomed, but the pedophile 

24          grooms the parents first.  And nobody talks 


 1          about that.  And so everyone misses the 

 2          point, and it puts the kids at risk.  And 

 3          they put it on the kids to have the 

 4          responsibility for it.

 5                 So I just put it on the front burner 

 6          for you so you can put it on the front page 

 7          of the website, because it really is very 

 8          good.  And it was done by CJS.

 9                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Thank 

10          you.  I've actually seen the video.  Thank 

11          you.  I appreciate the comment.

12                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  

13                 Our next speaker is Senator Krueger.

14                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Good afternoon.  

15          Thank you for your testimony.

16                 You may have heard me ask the Chief 

17          Administrative Judge this earlier today.  My 

18          concern -- as much as I support bail reform, 

19          discovery reform and speedy trial reform, my 

20          concern is the way the wording is written in 

21          the bail reform bill, it actually would take 

22          existing discretion away from judges.  And if 

23          a DA decided that they were going to demand 

24          remand into custody, it would result in -- as 


 1          I understand it -- at least a five-day 

 2          placement, and perhaps longer, before a judge 

 3          even evaluated whether they should be 

 4          remaining in jail if they don't have cash or 

 5          bond.

 6                 So my question is, you highlighted 

 7          there are 45,000 people in the state who 

 8          currently end up staying in jail because they 

 9          have inadequate money to pay their bond.  

10          Don't we need to fix this language so we 

11          don't actually, at the end of the day, say we 

12          thought we did something but actually we're 

13          not seeing fewer people ending up in our 

14          jails for at least some period of time?  

15                 Because my understanding is for a 

16          low-income person, five days in jail means 

17          losing their job, potentially losing their 

18          children to child welfare.  And that the goal 

19          of the Governor is not to create a new set of 

20          problems, but rather to address the problems 

21          you so well described as happening for 

22          45,000 people.

23                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I think 

24          we share the same goal.  I think that we have 


 1          a different view of that language.  That 

 2          language doesn't apply in every case.  As I 

 3          read it, there's a limited universe of cases 

 4          that that would apply in.  It includes 

 5          domestic violence cases, it includes Class A 

 6          felony cases, cases of serious violence, 

 7          cases involving witness intimidation.  That's 

 8          not an exhaustive list, but I think it's 

 9          close to exhaustive.

10                 So as I read it, in that limited 

11          universe of cases, yes, if a DA moves, it 

12          would be up to five days until the judge 

13          could hold a hearing.  The judge -- you know, 

14          to the extent the court had the ability to 

15          hold the hearing before five days, that could 

16          be done.  They don't have to hold the person 

17          for five days.  But in the event it takes the 

18          court five days to get to the hearing, they 

19          would have up to that much time.

20                 So, you know, I'm sure that there will 

21          be discussions or negotiations over the 

22          language, and I look forward to those 

23          discussions.

24                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So I would urge that 


 1          you clarify that the language is designed for 

 2          a subset universe of people, because as it's 

 3          been confirmed to me by several others, that 

 4          that might be the intent but that's not the 

 5          language.  And so --

 6                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I just 

 7          read it again this morning, and I -- you 

 8          know, again, I respect -- you know, people 

 9          read the same laws and disagree.  I read it 

10          that way.  I think the language says it.  But 

11          certainly I'll take that back and it's 

12          something we'll look at.  

13                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  And again, I suppose 

14          just to reiterate, but I think you did say 

15          and highlight -- because sometimes we sit in 

16          these rooms and, you know, it's the Public 

17          Protection Day so we're talking about all the 

18          things people are worried about, and there 

19          are real worries.  Certainly gang violence is 

20          a real worry, and violent criminals are a 

21          real worry.  But again, just to emphasize, 

22          we're a safer state than we've been certainly 

23          in my lifetime.  And that I think that we 

24          all, to some degree, who are in government 


 1          and in public protection and the advocates 

 2          who are here should recognize that actually 

 3          we must be doing something right, because 

 4          we're clearly going in the right direction 

 5          here.

 6                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Not only 

 7          are we safer, but our prison population is 

 8          lower than it's been since -- it peaked in 

 9          '99, but it's incredibly low.  

10                 If you look at the number of people we 

11          have under total community correction 

12          supervision, we're the fourth lowest state in 

13          the country.  I think it's only New 

14          Hampshire, Maine, and one other small state 

15          that are below us.  

16                 So, you know, probation numbers have 

17          diminished considerably, prison numbers have 

18          diminished considerably.  At the same time, 

19          our index crime rate is at an all-time low, 

20          our homicides are at an all-time low.  

21                 So I really do appreciate your 

22          comments.  Thank you.

23                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you very much.

24                 Senator Marty Golden.


 1                 SENATOR GOLDEN:  Thank you very much.  

 2          I just have -- I got here late.  I'm not 

 3          going to go over some of the -- I was at an 

 4          another committee meeting.  So I too am not 

 5          going to go over the bail, I'm going to 

 6          listen to those in the audience that are 

 7          going to be testifying shortly.  I'm not sure 

 8          it's the right route to go, but we'll listen 

 9          to both sides and see what we can, to make 

10          sure that the constituency here in the City 

11          and the State of New York are safe.

12                 The area I want to deal with -- I 

13          think it may have been touched on -- is gang 

14          violence.  I know that we -- there's a budget 

15          cost of 500,000 to fund a plan to cut MS-13's 

16          recruitment pipeline.  Is DCJS engaging in 

17          other activities that would help stop that 

18          gang recruitment?  Because we don't see it 

19          just in Long Island, we see it across the 

20          state now, big time in Brooklyn.  So we need 

21          to hopefully have a good approach on dealing 

22          with that issue.  Is there other avenues that 

23          the -- that your agency is taking to curtail 

24          that?


 1                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I 

 2          believe two other programs that we have that 

 3          have received national recognition are 

 4          directly related to gang violence, and that's 

 5          our GIVE, or Gun-Involved Violence 

 6          Elimination Program, and the SNUG programs.  

 7                 And both of those look at the gang and 

 8          the violence issue from a different 

 9          perspective -- you know, GIVE more centered 

10          at the law enforcement perspective, so it 

11          provides about $14 million in funding to 

12          prosecutors, police departments, probation 

13          departments and sheriff's departments in the 

14          17 largest counties outside New York City, to 

15          focus on shootings and homicides.  And in 

16          many of our cities, those shooting and 

17          homicide issues are in many ways 

18          gang-related.

19                 The shootings and homicides are down 

20          significantly in GIVE jurisdictions in 2017.  

21          That money, in addition to providing funding, 

22          we provide extensive training and technical 

23          assistance on evidence-based efforts to 

24          attack those problems.  


 1                 And then the SNUG or street outreach 

 2          problems are looking at that same issue from 

 3          a public health perspective and attacking it 

 4          from a different angle.  And, you know, what 

 5          we've been working on doing is behind the 

 6          scenes getting those efforts to work hand in 

 7          hand.  In many of our jurisdictions, that's 

 8          starting to happen and happen successfully.  

 9                 So yes, we are very focused on the 

10          issue, both on Long Island and across the 

11          rest of the state.

12                 SENATOR GOLDEN:  Is DCJS obviously 

13          working with the feds here on this, and the 

14          local counties?  

15                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I would 

16          say it's the local law enforcement that works 

17          more with the feds in many of the efforts.  

18                 So for example, focused deterrence is 

19          one of the efforts that we support under 

20          GIVE.  Focused deterrence involves many 

21          different components, but one is an outreach 

22          directly to the people involved in this 

23          behavior, letting them know what the 

24          community feels about it.  But another piece 


 1          are enforcement actions when people violate 

 2          those community norms.  And many times those 

 3          enforcement actions do involve a combination 

 4          of the locals and the feds working together 

 5          to do, for example, a RICO takedown against a 

 6          gang or something to that effect.

 7                 So it's -- you know, DCJS is 

 8          supporting efforts behind the scene, but part 

 9          of those efforts we support do involve, where 

10          it's appropriate, supporting and encouraging 

11          ways that locals and feds can work together.

12                 SENATOR GOLDEN:  And the approach that 

13          you're now taking with MS-13, are we 

14          expanding these approaches into the organized 

15          crimes within the Russian and different 

16          organizations that are out there organized 

17          throughout the State of New York?  Are you 

18          taking some of those new approaches, are you 

19          applying them to organized crime?

20                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I think 

21          that in some ways each of these situations 

22          poses unique challenges and some of the 

23          challenges MS-13 poses are unique and are 

24          unique solutions.  You know, some of the 


 1          problems, for example, in places like 

 2          Rochester and Buffalo, which are more the 

 3          neighborhood-crew-type situation driving the 

 4          violence, call for different types of 

 5          solutions.  

 6                 So what we're really encouraging is 

 7          the local law enforcement in each of their 

 8          jurisdictions to, you know, from an 

 9          analytical perspective drill down and 

10          understand exactly what the issues are.  We 

11          assist in looking at national research to 

12          understand what is out there that's worked in 

13          the past for those specific problems, try and 

14          make the connections, and try and make sure 

15          that each locality is pursuing strategies 

16          that are appropriate for the particular 

17          issues or problems that they're facing.

18                 SENATOR GOLDEN:  We do see a spike in 

19          financial crimes, obviously, within the 

20          Russian, Asian and Hispanic gang culture.  

21          And I'm just wondering if we're expanding 

22          into that area to curtail some of those 

23          financial crimes that are going on, 

24          especially with our seniors and with our 


 1          institutions.

 2                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  I know 

 3          in our conversations -- and I think you may 

 4          have missed it, but I indicated that we were 

 5          in Suffolk and Nassau earlier this year 

 6          talking with the police commissioners there, 

 7          and they did mention some of the financial 

 8          crimes that they're seeing associated with 

 9          the gang activity.  And where we can support 

10          them in their efforts to fight that, we're 

11          certainly doing that.

12                 SENATOR GOLDEN:  Thank you for your 

13          service, sir.  Thank you.

14                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Thank 

15          you.  

16                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you very much, 

17          Commissioner.

18                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Thank 

19          you.

20                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  I believe all people 

21          have asked their questions.  Appreciate your 

22          time.

23                 EX. DEP. COMMISSIONER GREEN:  Thank 

24          you.


 1                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

 2                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Our next speaker is 

 3          Anthony Annucci, New York State Department of 

 4          Corrections and Community Supervision.

 5                 Good afternoon.  

 6                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Good afternoon.  

 7          Welcome.  We're glad to have your testimony, 

 8          Commissioner.

 9                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Thank 

10          you.  

11                 Good afternoon, Chairwoman Young, 

12          Chairwoman Weinstein, and other distinguished 

13          chairs and members of the Legislature.  I am 

14          Anthony J. Annucci, acting commissioner for 

15          the Department of Corrections and Community 

16          Supervision.  It is my honor to discuss some 

17          of the highlights of Governor Cuomo's 

18          Executive Budget plan.  

19                 Last year, New York appropriately 

20          raised the age of criminal responsibility in 

21          stages to 18.  Since then, we have worked in 

22          coordination with our state and local 

23          partners, and this year we will transition 

24          Hudson and Adirondack into Adolescent 


 1          Offender Facilities, to become operational by 

 2          October 1st.  In 2019, we will convert the 

 3          previously closed Groveland Annex to a 

 4          standalone Adolescent Offender Facility.  

 5                 Also, we will continue to reform the 

 6          use and conditions of solitary confinement 

 7          through the multiyear, comprehensive 

 8          settlement with the New York Civil Liberties 

 9          Union.  

10                 Since implementation in 2016, there 

11          has been an impressive 29 percent reduction 

12          in the number of inmates serving sanctions in 

13          a special housing unit (SHU) cell, and a 

14          25 percent decrease in the average length of 

15          stay of an inmate in a SHU cell.  During this 

16          same period, assaults on staff were reduced 

17          approximately 11 percent.  

18                 To continue building on this success, 

19          Governor Cuomo has directed DOCCS to 

20          consolidate SHU beds by closing one housing 

21          unit at Cayuga, Upstate and Southport 

22          Correctional Facilities.  Upon completion of 

23          these consolidations, and throughout the 

24          implementation of this historic agreement, 


 1          New York will have removed more than 1,200 

 2          SHU beds.  

 3                 Safety and security will again remain 

 4          a top priority.  Working with the unions, we 

 5          have implemented and will expand upon a 

 6          variety of technological enhancements, 

 7          training improvements, and policy changes. 

 8          The department will continue installing a 

 9          number of fixed camera systems.  After 

10          initially piloting the use of body cameras at 

11          Clinton and Bedford Hills, we will also 

12          expand their use to other facilities and our 

13          office of Special Investigations. 

14                 Lastly, since the department has 

15          successfully piloted the use of pepper spray, 

16          this year we will operationalize it 

17          statewide.  Thus far, among the results of 

18          the pilot at the four test facilities, there 

19          is an 11 percent reduction in the number of 

20          reported staff injuries associated with staff 

21          assaults.  

22                 As we continue to use technology to 

23          make our prisons safer, we will also leverage 

24          it to improve operations and interactions 


 1          with family and friends by expanding services 

 2          to our population.  The department plans to 

 3          move to an electronic Inmate Trust Account 

 4          Services system, which will allow family and 

 5          friends to more easily deposit money, as well 

 6          as provide quicker access to the funds for 

 7          the population.  Through this platform, 

 8          releasees will be issued debit cards that can 

 9          be transitioned to a bank account in the 

10          community.  

11                 In a groundbreaking move, the 

12          department will provide each incarcerated 

13          individual a tablet at no cost, with the 

14          ability to access free educational material 

15          and e-books, and to file grievances. 

16          Individuals will also have the option to 

17          purchase music and additional e-books, and to 

18          use a secure email system to communicate with 

19          family and friends.  

20                 We have also awarded a new inmate 

21          telephone system contract, resulting in a 

22          reduction in the per-minute call rate to be 

23          one of the lowest in the nation, while also 

24          securing the ability to make permanent our 


 1          SHU pilot tablet program, to provide easier 

 2          access to the telephone and preloaded 

 3          educational materials.  

 4                 The budget will also build upon proven 

 5          reentry initiatives with an expansion of the 

 6          merit time and limited credit time allowance 

 7          statutes, as well as a pilot to place up to 

 8          100 LCTA-eligible inmates into educational 

 9          release and work release.  Also, geriatric 

10          parole will be authorized for inmates over 55 

11          with debilitating age-related conditions; the 

12          parole supervision fee, which inhibits 

13          reentry, will be repealed; and the Board of 

14          Parole, in conjunction with Community 

15          Supervision staff, are engaging with the 

16          Governor's Reentry Council for a 

17          comprehensive review of parole revocation 

18          guidelines and practices.  

19                 Appropriate alternatives to 

20          incarceration for those technical violators 

21          who pose little risk to reoffend will be 

22          prioritized.  

23                 This year we will also expand our 

24          Veterans Residential Therapeutic Program to a 


 1          maximum-security prison.  This program 

 2          provides treatment services in a therapeutic 

 3          community setting to the veteran population, 

 4          to heal and restore them to a pro-social 

 5          state.  

 6                 For Community Supervision, we have 

 7          implemented a strategic plan to improve 

 8          outcomes for parolees to include monitoring 

 9          enrollment in substance abuse treatment, 

10          anger management, sex offender counseling, 

11          domestic violence programs, mental health 

12          services, and employment and vocational 

13          training programs.  

14                 Additionally, we continue to study our 

15          RESET initiative, which focuses on 

16          case-plan-driven techniques that concentrate 

17          on criminogenic risks and needs to enhance 

18          public safety.  This evidence-based approach 

19          continues to show indications of better 

20          outcomes by taking swift, certain and fair 

21          actions toward new delinquent behavior, while 

22          also acknowledging and rewarding positive 

23          achievements.  

24                 In conclusion, this year we will 


 1          embark on many exciting initiatives that will 

 2          have a positive impact throughout the entire 

 3          agency.  We will rely on new technologies to 

 4          deliver transformative programs and 

 5          initiatives, while our professional, 

 6          well-trained, and dedicated work force will 

 7          continue performing their daily and 

 8          oftentimes dangerous responsibilities in an 

 9          exemplary manner.  The Governor's proposed 

10          budget will build on criminal justice reform 

11          and place DOCCS in an ideal position to 

12          fulfill its expectations.  

13                 Thank you, and I will be happy to 

14          answer any questions.

15                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, 

16          Commissioner.  We appreciate that testimony 

17          very much.

18                 I'd like to start with a few 

19          questions.  And first of all, I have spent 

20          time visiting all the facilities that are 

21          either in my Senate district or surround it.  

22          And recently I had the opportunity to go back 

23          to Attica, which I hadn't visited since I was 

24          a reporter in my early twenties many, many, 


 1          many years ago.  

 2                 So the first question has to do with a 

 3          proposal by the Governor.  But could you 

 4          please explain what the purpose is of special 

 5          housing units?

 6                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Special 

 7          housing units is the means by which we 

 8          basically separate from the general 

 9          population those individuals whose 

10          misbehavior places other inmates at risk, 

11          such as a serious assault or possession of a 

12          large amount of contraband or drugs.  So they 

13          are separated from the general population 

14          pursuant to a disciplinary hearing and 

15          sanction that may impose placement in a 

16          special housing unit.

17                 Our system is different from others, 

18          in that we have a fixed system with penalties 

19          for periods of time in a special housing 

20          unit.  Once that is served, the person is 

21          released.  And we, as you know, are in the 

22          process of implementing a multiyear agreement 

23          with the New York Civil Liberties Union to 

24          transform our SHUs to basically provide more 


 1          services so that, consistent with where the 

 2          entire country is going, we can safely say 

 3          that you will not be at risk of harm when you 

 4          are placed in these SHUs with all of the 

 5          changes that we are making.

 6                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So with the SHUs, 

 7          they're designed to protect other inmates 

 8          from potential violence, protect a person 

 9          maybe from himself, protect the staff; 

10          correct?  

11                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Correct.

12                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So you mentioned 

13          something about a national trend.  But in the 

14          Governor's proposal, there's a section that 

15          proposes closing 900 special housing unit 

16          beds.  So where will those inmates that are 

17          currently residing in those beds be 

18          relocated?  

19                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  They're 

20          not currently residing in those beds, 

21          Senator.  Those are vacant beds.  We have 

22          that many vacancies in our -- 

23                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So in the system 

24          today there are 900 vacant beds.


 1                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Well, 

 2          there are vacant beds and there are beds that 

 3          we have put offline and filled with 

 4          alternatives.  

 5                 For example, the step-down unit at 

 6          Green Haven, the step-down unit at Wende are 

 7          providing out-of-cell time for individuals, 

 8          preparing them for release.  And so when 

 9          they're released into the community, we don't 

10          consider them to be traditional SHU beds.

11                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So today you're 

12          saying that those step-down and those other 

13          beds, those SHU beds are vacant.  Or is this 

14          going to be created?

15                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  I'm 

16          sorry, I didn't get the question.

17                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So you're creating 

18          this, it sounds like.  You're saying that 

19          there aren't --

20                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  It's a 

21          combination of two things.  It's a 

22          combination of the SHU population has 

23          dramatically been reduced, and at the same 

24          time we're putting online new programs that 


 1          are providing out-of-cell time and treatment 

 2          and therapy, and therefore we do not need 

 3          this many SHU beds.

 4                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  How long has DOCCS 

 5          been reducing the SHU beds?  

 6                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Since we 

 7          started the agreement and converted a number 

 8          of these.

 9                 You may also recall that when we 

10          enacted all the laws to deal with the 

11          seriously mentally ill, we took that RMH, the 

12          RMHU that's now at Marcy, that originally was 

13          a 200-bed S block.  We converted that to an 

14          RMHU for the seriously mentally ill.  And we 

15          have converted other units.  I can probably 

16          compile a master list, I just can't think of 

17          everything off the top of my head right now.

18                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay, thank you, 

19          Commissioner.  Do you envision closing more 

20          SHU beds in the future?  

21                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  I don't 

22          envision it right now.  But I'm really 

23          anticipating what the system will look like 

24          when everything is brought online.  And we 


 1          have yet to enact the centerpiece of the 

 2          agreement, which is the 252-bed step-down 

 3          program at Southport that's planned.  That's 

 4          going to take a bit of time to build up and 

 5          provide the necessary program space and group 

 6          recreation areas.  

 7                 Later this year we will implement the 

 8          step-down unit at Lakeview.  

 9                 So I am confident when all is brought 

10          online that we will retain the ability to 

11          safely segregate individuals but provide them 

12          the needed out-of-cell treatment and 

13          programming so that there is no potential 

14          risk of harm, keeping everybody safe.

15                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you for that 

16          answer, Commissioner.  

17                 So you just referenced Lakeview, which 

18          is in my Senate district.  Could you give 

19          more information on what's happening there?

20                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  I didn't 

21          quite get that, Senator.

22                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So, Commissioner, 

23          you just mentioned Lakeview, which is in my 

24          Senate district.  Could you please give more 


 1          information as to what's happening there.

 2                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  In terms 

 3          of what our plans are for that unit?  

 4                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Yes.

 5                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Yes, 

 6          that is going to be a program designed 

 7          primarily for the offenders that keep cycling 

 8          in and out of SHU because they keep taking 

 9          drugs and they have drug dependencies.  

10                 And so this is a special program 

11          that's going to be for them, it's going to 

12          focus on their substance abuse and hopefully 

13          get them to finally understand that they need 

14          to refrain from this.  And it will be very 

15          heavily focused on treatment.

16                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.  Well, thank 

17          you for that.

18                 Just switching gears, you referenced 

19          Raise the Age.  And it would be beneficial, I 

20          believe, to the Legislature to hear directly 

21          from you more information about what 

22          transformations DOCCS has undertaken since 

23          Raise the Age was enacted.

24                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Yes.  


 1          And obviously we got a head start because the 

 2          Governor issued his executive order a couple 

 3          of years ago which required us to remove all 

 4          16- and 17-year-olds from the adult system 

 5          and house them in Hudson.  And now with the 

 6          law, we are nicely positioned to transform 

 7          Hudson and make it into an adolescent 

 8          offender facility when that law takes effect.

 9                 It has been eye-opening for us.  We 

10          worked very closely with the Office of 

11          Children and Family Services to really 

12          develop age-appropriate programming for this 

13          cohort and also to properly train staff.  So 

14          we are now in the midst of doing physical 

15          rehabilitation at Adirondack and making 

16          individual rules for this population, and 

17          developing programs that are specifically 

18          aimed at the young.

19                 And it's a work in progress, to some 

20          degree.  For example, we just met with Hudson 

21          Link.  We want to bring a college program 

22          there.  We want to put the barbering program 

23          there.  We want to bring credible messengers, 

24          that people who have been through the system 


 1          and who have made it on the outside to come 

 2          and speak to this cohort.  

 3                 So they're very, very challenging.  

 4          The number of females we have are only one or 

 5          two at a time.  I was just there a week ago 

 6          for the graduation of one who received her 

 7          high school diploma.  She was the first one 

 8          from that facility to get a high school 

 9          diploma, but I wanted to be there, 

10          congratulate her.  She stood up, thanked the 

11          facility and said "If it's not for this 

12          facility, I would not have turned my life 

13          around."  So that was very gratifying.  We 

14          took some pictures with her mother and 

15          family.  And we're definitely moving in the 

16          right direction there.

17                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you for 

18          sharing that.

19                 How many youth are at Hudson right 

20          now?

21                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  We have, 

22          I think, 50 at Hudson and six at Coxsackie.  

23          Coxsackie is now where we house the 16- and 

24          17-year-olds that require maximum security 


 1          placement.  But we are going to have 

 2          everybody stay at Hudson when the law changes 

 3          since there's no more maximum security.

 4                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So there was 

 5          $30 million spent, I believe, so far to 

 6          retrofit Hudson.  Can you give us a little 

 7          bit more information as to how that money was 

 8          spent?  

 9                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  A lot of 

10          it had to do with, you know, upgrading and 

11          being able to construct the rec areas, the 

12          juvenile separation unit that is there.  

13          Obviously there will be times when inmates 

14          will fight with each other, youth will fight 

15          with each other, and we have to be able to 

16          separate them.  But we also want to give them 

17          group recreation, if needed.  We also, if we 

18          have to use what we call the restart chair so 

19          that -- to prevent them from fighting.  

20                 So there's a lot of different 

21          upgrades.  As well as the fact that we had to 

22          add a whole separate area for the females.  

23          That was always a male facility except many, 

24          many, many years ago.  But to be able to do 


 1          all those things and secure the perimeter, 

 2          et cetera, is a lot of work.  

 3                 But we can -- I can get you the full 

 4          rundown on those costs, Senator, if you wish.

 5                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  That 

 6          would be helpful.  

 7                 What about OCFS?  You referenced them 

 8          just a few minutes ago.  And what do you see 

 9          OCFS's role being moving forward as far as 

10          working with DOCCS?  

11                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  They've 

12          been our partners from day one.  And we 

13          really value their experience, their 

14          knowledge, advising us on what the 

15          appropriate curriculums should be, and 

16          programs.  

17                 They in turn have admired some of the 

18          things we have.  They were very complimentary 

19          of the vocational programs that we have there 

20          as well.

21                 We studied their educational programs.  

22          They actually have coed classrooms for some 

23          of their college programs, I believe at 

24          Columbia.  


 1                 So we'll certainly keep an open mind 

 2          and be able to communicate regularly and take 

 3          their input.

 4                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you for that.  

 5                 You mentioned Groveland.  Could you 

 6          tell us about that?  


 8          Groveland had an annex that we closed a 

 9          number of years ago when we were downsizing 

10          in general.  And that is an ideal location -- 

11          with a lot of rehab work, obviously, to make 

12          it as the third adolescent offender facility.  

13                 Even though the numbers are low, what 

14          we anticipate is that once the laws have 

15          changed and once you have someone who is, 

16          let's say, a week from their 18th birthday 

17          and gets sentenced to, you know, a state 

18          imprisonment sentence, at a minimum we have 

19          to hold on to that person for two years.  

20                 Right now when a 16- or 17-year-old 

21          turns 18, we're transferring them to the 

22          adult system.  But going forward, we will 

23          hold on to those people for at least two 

24          years, even if they're only a week shy of 


 1          their 18th birthday.  

 2                 So we feel with these three 

 3          facilities -- and again, it's hard to predict 

 4          exactly what the numbers will be -- this will 

 5          give us the latitude.  Because in effect, 

 6          this is going to be a system within a system, 

 7          separate and distinct, entirely, from the 

 8          adult system.

 9                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  One of the things I 

10          wanted to ask about -- so we have three 

11          facilities.  It's Coxsackie -- right, you 

12          said -- Hudson and Groveland.  Those are the 

13          three?  

14                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  No.  

15          Coxsackie is right now used in accordance 

16          with the Governor's executive order for those 

17          16- and 17-year-olds that require maximum 

18          security placement.  But that is going to 

19          stop, obviously.  Probably in the very near 

20          future we'll just have anybody coming in on 

21          the current law, we feel confident we can 

22          handle them safely at Hudson.

23                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  At Hudson.

24                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  So 


 1          that's just going to just phase out, and 

 2          we're going to use Coxsackie for a different 

 3          purpose.

 4                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay, so --

 5                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  But the 

 6          three facilities will be Hudson, Adirondack, 

 7          and then Groveland.

 8                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.  Thank you 

 9          for clarifying that.

10                 So I wanted to ask about transporting 

11          the youth population.  Who is responsible for 

12          that?  So, say, for example in Chautauqua 

13          County, which I represent, there has to be a 

14          youth who's transported from Chautauqua 

15          County to Hudson.

16                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  That's 

17          what happens now, Senator.  That is right now 

18          the sole reception place, in accordance with 

19          the Governor's executive order, for any 16- 

20          or 17-year-old that's sentenced.  

21                 And the counties from around the 

22          state, they've arranged -- sometimes they 

23          coordinate with one another, and someone will 

24          pick up one of their youth and drive them.  


 1          But they take them to Hudson, because that's 

 2          the only place that we currently use as a 

 3          reception location for the 16- and 

 4          17-year-olds.  

 5                 Which is another thing that we had to 

 6          rehab.  We had to make it a reception center 

 7          as well.

 8                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So who is 

 9          responsible for the cost of transporting 

10          these young people?  

11                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Local 

12          officials have always been responsible for 

13          transporting them.  

14                 They have applied to us for 

15          reimbursement under a statute that the 

16          Governor is now proposing to amend.  Instead 

17          of continuing to reimburse them for a portion 

18          of their salaries, they will be reimbursed, I 

19          believe, for regular mileage.

20                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So there is some 

21          reimbursement to the local governments?  

22                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  It's the 

23          sheriff, I believe, that submits the requests 

24          for reimbursement.


 1                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.  So if it's 

 2          not based on the salaries, is that actually a 

 3          drop in reimbursement to the local 

 4          governments?  And the reason I ask that is 

 5          because Senator Gallivan, Senator Lanza and I 

 6          negotiated with the Governor on the Raise the 

 7          Age proposal, and part of the deal, for lack 

 8          of a better word, was that there wouldn't be 

 9          costs imposed on local governments.

10                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  I think 

11          we're mixing a little bit of apples and 

12          oranges.  The change I talked about in the 

13          law that the Governor is proposing is a 

14          change for all the counties in the state, 

15          however they're delivering to us individuals 

16          that are state-ready, whether they're 

17          adolescent offenders or whether they're 

18          adults.  

19                 Right now under the law they apply for 

20          reimbursement, and in that bill to us is a 

21          portion of their salaries.  And that's pretty 

22          much an antiquated statute.  So across the 

23          board, we are making that change and treating 

24          everybody uniformly.  They'll get reimbursed 


 1          for their travel.  

 2                 And part of the thinking, Senator, I 

 3          should point out is that we have been very 

 4          accommodating, my agency, to the needs of the 

 5          local counties when they have someone in 

 6          their custody that requires extraordinary 

 7          mental health care or medical care.  And 

 8          under a provision of the law that's called 

 9          Section 504 of the Correction Law, they've 

10          come to me and they've said, Would you, 

11          instead of us having to have this individual 

12          with us and pay enormous outside hospital 

13          costs, can you take them into one of your 

14          regional medical units?  And I have done that 

15          repeatedly and saved a lot of counties a 

16          fortune.  And we always get thanked by the 

17          sheriffs, by the Sheriffs Association, we 

18          always get that feedback that they are 

19          extraordinarily appreciative of us doing 

20          that.

21                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  No, and I think 

22          that we're appreciative of that also.  But I 

23          just want you to give me an answer to my 

24          question.  Does the Governor's proposal 


 1          included in the budget actually reduce 

 2          funding to local governments for the 

 3          transportation costs?  Is it going to net out 

 4          to be less to the local governments or more 

 5          to the local governments?  How is it going to 

 6          net out?  

 7                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Well, 

 8          the statute that I'm talking about that's 

 9          been changed, obviously there will be less 

10          reimbursement going back to the sheriffs for 

11          the transportation costs.

12                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

13                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Assemblyman 

14          Weprin, Assembly chair of Corrections.

15                 ASSEMBLYMAN WEPRIN:  Thank you, Madam 

16          Chair.

17                 Good to see you, Commissioner.  I just 

18          want to say, on a personal note, this is my 

19          second year as chair of Corrections and 

20          you've been very open and responsive to my 

21          office last year and this year.  And I think 

22          we have a very good working relationship, and 

23          I appreciate that.  And hopefully that will 

24          continue.  


 1                 And I've also enjoyed many, many 

 2          programs that we've witnessed together, 

 3          including the most recent performance that we 

 4          were at at Green Haven, and want to keep that 

 5          going, obviously, and look forward to that.

 6                 I also am happy to see the Governor's 

 7          proposal on geriatric parole.  It's something 

 8          that I've been pushing for for a while.  And 

 9          I'm actually -- I'm going to be amending my 

10          bill, if I haven't already done it, to go 

11          from 60 to 55 based on your proposal, and I 

12          thank you for making my bill stronger.

13                 Can you give me an indication about 

14          how many inmates currently are over 55 in 

15          facilities in the state?

16                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  I had 

17          that number, Assemblyman.  I don't remember 

18          it off the top of my head.  

19                 But what I can tell you is in looking 

20          at, according to our bill, the number of 

21          individuals who meet the criteria crimewise 

22          and who either today are housed in a unit for 

23          the cognitively impaired or a regional 

24          medical unit, which means they would have 


 1          difficulty functioning, taking care of 

 2          themselves in a general confinement setting, 

 3          that number is somewhere around -- a little 

 4          below 200, I believe, about 195.  

 5                 But I can separately get to you the 

 6          number that are 55 and older.  And it is a 

 7          population that has slowly and steadily 

 8          increased, which has also driven, you know, 

 9          our hospital costs.  Even though we had 800 

10          less hospital days than the year before, the 

11          costs of hospital treatment go up, obviously.  

12          And obviously we're looking -- this is a 

13          humanitarian gesture, but obviously we'll 

14          also save the state money.

15                 ASSEMBLYMAN WEPRIN:  I appreciate 

16          that.  I know the geriatric parole proposal 

17          creates a health standard of a chronic or 

18          serious condition, disease, syndrome or 

19          infirmity exacerbated by age that has 

20          rendered the person so physically or 

21          cognitively debilitated or incapacitated that 

22          the ability to provide -- and I'm quoting 

23          from the bill -- self-care within prison is 

24          substantially diminished.  


 1                 Could you define what that means?  And 

 2          generally, what kinds of illnesses are we 

 3          talking about?

 4                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  We 

 5          carefully sat down with all of the people 

 6          involved in making -- in writing the statute.  

 7          In particular, we got a lot of feedback from 

 8          my chief medical officer, Dr. Carl 

 9          Koenigsmann.  And he was very clear that 

10          there's no per se definition of conditions 

11          that are only applicable to people at a 

12          certain age.  That you can have some of these 

13          conditions at any age, as we know, whether 

14          it's cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, 

15          et cetera.  But we do know that many people 

16          who, when they get these conditions at 

17          advanced ages, it is more debilitating for 

18          them.

19                 So we are looking at the individual as 

20          a whole.  Not just his age per se, but what 

21          the conditions are and, most importantly, his 

22          ability to self-ambulate and take care of 

23          himself in a correctional facility setting.  

24                 And the other important thing is that 


 1          this statute nicely bifurcates the 

 2          responsibility for determining dangerousness.  

 3          It's no longer incumbent upon my chief 

 4          medical officer, and he needs the 

 5          commissioner to approve it, to determine 

 6          whether or not the individual is capable of 

 7          presenting a risk of harm to the public.  

 8          That responsibility will now solely fall to 

 9          the Board of Parole.  Which I think is a 

10          better way of handling things, because they 

11          do it as a face-to-face interview.  

12                 Dr. Koenigsmann was more or less doing 

13          this on a paper review of the medical records 

14          he gets.  He then passes it up to me, and 

15          99 percent of the time I sign off.  My office 

16          will then, as is the current practice, send 

17          out the letters to the judge, DA, district 

18          attorney, on behalf of the Board of Parole, 

19          to get input, as the case is being then 

20          referred to the Board of Parole for a final 

21          determination.

22                 ASSEMBLYMAN WEPRIN:  Okay, staff has 

23          given me a calculation of 5,610 inmates 

24          currently incarcerated over 55.  Would that 


 1          sound like a good number?  

 2                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Yeah, 

 3          that sounds fair.

 4                 ASSEMBLYMAN WEPRIN:  Okay, moving on 

 5          to a couple of other topics, merit time and 

 6          limited credit time allowance expansion.  

 7          I've strongly supported that, but I have a 

 8          question.  Why continue to have different 

 9          criteria and time reductions for the two 

10          programs?  Shouldn't achievement in good 

11          behavior be rewarded the same way regardless 

12          of the class of the offense?

13                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Yeah, 

14          there's a real history to this.  The merit 

15          time statute goes back to I think 1997 or 

16          '98, and that's the time when the state 

17          wanted to differentiate significantly between 

18          what would happen with violent felony 

19          offenders and what would happen with the 

20          nonviolent felony offenders.  And so there 

21          was a recognition that nonviolent offenders, 

22          and particularly since we had so many drug 

23          offenders, that we would allow them the 

24          ability to potentially earn an earlier 


 1          release.

 2                 And so it was based upon a formula, 

 3          the benefit being one-sixth off the minimum 

 4          sentence.  If you serve six to 18 years, you 

 5          qualify for merit time by doing one of those 

 6          programs -- whether it's substance abuse 

 7          treatments, whether it's get your GED, a 

 8          vocational program, or performing 400 hours 

 9          or more of community services as part of a 

10          work group -- plus a positive disciplinary 

11          record, you would get the benefit.

12                 Now, after the passage of time and the 

13          sentencing commission that was chaired by 

14          then Director of Criminal Justice Denise 

15          O'Donnell, there's a recognition that we also 

16          need to look at a lot of people that may be 

17          in prison for serious offenses, but they're 

18          in for a long time and they've changed their 

19          lives around.  And having nothing that 

20          enables them to get any kind of time 

21          reduction was counterproductive.

22                 So after discussing this issue for a 

23          while, we came up with an agreement that 

24          there should be some ability to earn a 


 1          reduction of time.  And rather than make it 

 2          formula-driven by taking a percentage, 

 3          et cetera, we recognized why not make it just 

 4          a neat, clean six-month reduction.  

 5                 In the case of anybody serving an 

 6          indeterminate sentence without a life term 

 7          maximum, that would be six months off the CR 

 8          term.  In the case anybody with a life term 

 9          maximum, it would be six months off the 

10          minimum sentence.  So if it's 15 to life, 

11          it's -- you'd get out after -- potentially, 

12          with Board of Parole approval -- after 

13          14½ years.

14                 But there was a recognition that 

15          because these are serious offenses, the bar 

16          had to be raised higher.  So generally 

17          speaking, this is a list of pretty 

18          significant programs.

19                 It's a lot easier to get a GED than to 

20          get your master's degree from, you know, the 

21          theology school that is present at Sing Sing.  

22          If you look through all the different program 

23          listings, I believe there's 12 of them now, 

24          they're pretty demanding.  So there's a 


 1          recognition, and it's consistent with their 

 2          recommendations, yes, give them a benefit, 

 3          but make it much more demanding.  And I think 

 4          the new ones that we're proposing are very 

 5          good.  The cosmetology, we just got an 

 6          agreement with the Department of State, the 

 7          Department of Education, that we can 

 8          license -- an inmate that passes the test can 

 9          actually receive her license while 

10          incarcerated, and then go out and potentially 

11          get a job in that business.  So we wanted to 

12          do that, we wanted to do barbering.  And of 

13          course the third thing is the T4C plus one 

14          year of work release.

15                 ASSEMBLYMAN WEPRIN:  I have actually 

16          personally visited a number of those programs 

17          and was very impressed.  So I hope you 

18          continue in those veins of adding more 

19          programs.  And I appreciate the work that you 

20          and the Governor have done in that area.

21                 When I first became chair of 

22          Corrections last January, one of the issues 

23          that was obviously a problem were the 

24          vacancies in parole commissioners.  I'm very 


 1          happy to see that the Governor filled those, 

 2          including one of our staff members that you 

 3          know.  So that's positive.  And I'm very 

 4          happy to see your proposal to add three new 

 5          commissioners.  

 6                 How many parole commissioners do we 

 7          have now?  I've heard different numbers.  

 8          I've heard 16, 17, and then --


10          think -- we're funded for 17, but I think 

11          there was one vacancy recently created.  

12          Including the chairwoman.

13                 ASSEMBLYMAN WEPRIN:  So there will be 

14          17.  And then the additional three is 

15          included in that, or it would be on top of 

16          that 17?  

17                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  It 

18          includes the three that were recently 

19          appointed.  So we're funded for 17.

20                 ASSEMBLYMAN WEPRIN:  No, but I'm 

21          saying the three that are proposed.  In 

22          the current budget, there's a proposal to add 

23          three new.

24                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  No, 


 1          that's the current.

 2                 ASSEMBLYMAN WEPRIN:  That's the 

 3          current.  So a full complement will be 17.


 5          believe.  Let me double-check on that, 

 6          though.  I'm not a hundred percent sure.

 7                 ASSEMBLYMAN WEPRIN:  Okay, if you 

 8          could let me know.  

 9                 The other thing that I've been a 

10          strong supporter of, and I know you have as 

11          well, is the video visitation.  Not to 

12          supplant regular visitation -- as you know, 

13          I've been a strong advocate for regular 

14          visitation -- but as a supplement to regular 

15          visitation.  

16                 Can you give us an update on how many 

17          facilities have the video conferencing 

18          visitation and how that's working?  

19                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  I know 

20          we have arrangements, contracts, with the 

21          Osborne Association, the Children's Center, I 

22          think another entity called Jericho.  I think 

23          it's the Child's Center that has Bedford 

24          Hills and Albion.  And I forget the sites; 


 1          there might be one in the Bronx, one in 

 2          Brooklyn.  Osborne I think had Clinton and 

 3          one other.  And I can't remember everyone.  I 

 4          will get you all of that.  I had it all 

 5          written out in my notes.  

 6                 But I know they're looking to expand, 

 7          including we want to put it at the youth 

 8          facility in Hudson as well.

 9                 ASSEMBLYMAN WEPRIN:  Okay, great.  

10                 And just one last question.  I know we 

11          went through that whole issue with the 

12          package program which was rescinded.  But 

13          during that process when I was contacted by 

14          many advocacy groups, it was either a rumor 

15          or something that people had mentioned that 

16          there were certain commissary facilities that 

17          were going to be closed or not taking place 

18          in different facilities because of, you know, 

19          this new package program which is no longer 

20          in existence.  

21                 Are there any facilities contemplating 

22          removing commissary privileges and --

23                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  No.

24                 ASSEMBLYMAN WEPRIN:  So there's no 


 1          truth to that.

 2                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  That was 

 3          never part of the secure package vendor 

 4          program, to close commissaries.  We always 

 5          want to have commissaries, we always want to 

 6          have the ability for inmates to purchase what 

 7          they want.

 8                 ASSEMBLYMAN WEPRIN:  Well, I'm happy 

 9          to hear that, because I have gotten favorable 

10          comments, you know, on commissaries.  And 

11          there was that rumor going around during that 

12          program, so I'm happy to hear that that is 

13          not in fact the case.

14                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  No.

15                 ASSEMBLYMAN WEPRIN:  Thank you, Madam 

16          Chair.  I'm okay for now.

17                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  Our 

18          next speaker is Senator Gallivan.

19                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you, Madam 

20          Chair.  

21                 Good afternoon, Commissioner.

22                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Good 

23          afternoon, Senator.

24                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thanks for your 


 1          patience.

 2                 I too would like to thank you for your 

 3          cooperation as our offices have worked 

 4          together over the past number of years.  And 

 5          I look forward to that continuing, of course.  

 6                 I want to pick up on a couple of 

 7          things discussed already.  First we'll start 

 8          with SHU, special housing.  And I know that 

 9          you described it.  Is it fair to say, though, 

10          that the use of special housing is among the 

11          tools that helps provide for the safety, 

12          security and order in a facility?  

13                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Yes.

14                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Can you describe 

15          the specific cell?  And how does the cell 

16          itself where the inmate resides, how does it 

17          differ than the normal cell in regular 

18          housing?  

19                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Well, 

20          for starters, compared to a normal cell 

21          there's basically no property.  And it's also 

22          removed to a remote part of the facility, so 

23          there's not access or travel by other 

24          inmates, not a lot of contact with other 


 1          people.  

 2                 But there is a fair amount of contact 

 3          when people make rounds, when the supervisors 

 4          make rounds, the sergeants, the ORC, or the 

 5          offender rehabilitation coordinator.  The 

 6          chaplain may make site visits and check on 

 7          people.  Depending upon if it's an OMH-level 

 8          facility, the clinician will make rounds.  So 

 9          there's that kind of activity. 

10                 But in terms of its physical location, 

11          it's physically removed from the 

12          general-confinement aspects of the facility.

13                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  How about its 

14          physical size as compared --

15                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  The 

16          cells vary, but generally speaking they're 

17          pretty much comparable to what you'd find in 

18          a normal general-confinement cell.

19                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Are you able to 

20          distinguish it from what -- sometimes the 

21          general public gets a view of it from 

22          television or the movies, like Orange is the 

23          New Black, Shawshank Redemption, that -- 

24          where it's dark and it's very small.  I mean, 


 1          can you distinguish it from that?

 2                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  No, I 

 3          don't think they're quite that small.  But 

 4          it's -- you know, the problem is, and the 

 5          experts tell us, that 23 hours a day 

 6          confinement over a long period of time does 

 7          potentially cause a risk of harm.  

 8                 So all of these programs that we 

 9          developed -- and I see us moving in a very 

10          similar path to what we did when we enacted 

11          all these programs for the mentally ill.  We 

12          provided all these programs or all these 

13          special beds that provide out-of-cell 

14          treatment and programming.  And that's a lot 

15          of what we're going to be doing going 

16          forward.  

17                 As well as the amenities that are 

18          being provided while they're in their SHU 

19          cells, such as we have presently rolling 

20          telephone carts where they now, as part of 

21          the PIMS system, can make I believe a 

22          once-per-month phone call to family.

23                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  So that's a move 

24          you're referring to inmates in SHU would 


 1          ultimately --

 2                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Yes.

 3                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  -- for what they 

 4          don't have now, would ultimately have that 

 5          whole menu of programs available to them, 

 6          with the movement that -- or where you're 

 7          moving to.

 8                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  I'm 

 9          sorry --

10                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  I'm not sure if I 

11          understood you correctly.  So what you just 

12          described, you talked about making a movement 

13          towards or what you're working towards.  And 

14          that is offering that full range of programs 

15          to the inmates that are housed in the special 

16          housing.

17                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Yes.  

18          Yes.

19                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  All right, thank 

20          you.

21                 So we talked about the safety and 

22          security of the facility.  And I know that 

23          that always is a concern of yours, based on 

24          our discussions.  And in your testimony you 


 1          talked about some of the pilots that were 

 2          started that work towards that.  Some of them 

 3          came about as a result of the Inspector 

 4          General report, obviously --

 5                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Correct.

 6                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  -- and some of them 

 7          were things that you had been working on and 

 8          trying to implement for years.  

 9                 Is it ultimately your intention, these 

10          various programs -- you talked specifically 

11          about pepper spray and in those four 

12          facilities you had a reduction of assaults on 

13          staff.  Is it ultimately your intention to be 

14          expanding these various programs statewide?  

15                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Pepper 

16          spray, it's our intention to make that 

17          statewide.  

18                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Contraband is 

19          always a concern, and we still have sky-high 

20          levels of assaults, inmate on inmate, inmate 

21          on staff.  Are there other tools that you 

22          haven't implemented yet that could be used?  

23          Such as -- one of the things that we are 

24          trying to provide the ability to use in 


 1          legislation, and then obviously funding has 

 2          to follow -- would be the use of body 

 3          scanners.  

 4                 Rikers Island used them for several 

 5          months.  They used them for the most part 

 6          following visitation -- inmates would go 

 7          through them -- and they saw a significant 

 8          reduction of violence inside the facility.  

 9                 So have you considered other things 

10          that you're not doing to date --

11                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Well, I 

12          can tell you that we've done a lot to try and 

13          combat contraband.  I've added significantly 

14          to the canine units.  We have nine in special 

15          ops and we have two more in our OSI unit.  

16          And together, we have made hundreds of 

17          arrests.  They have really been 

18          extraordinarily effective.  Our partnership 

19          with the State Police, who also come in and 

20          allow their teams to work as well.  They're 

21          very good at detecting illegal substances.  

22          And so we will continue to do that, 

23          potentially expand in the future as we go.

24                 With respect to body scanners, my 


 1          understanding -- and you and I briefly had a 

 2          conversation about that -- is that it may 

 3          either violate the Public Health Law or may 

 4          violate one of the regulations that --

 5                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  That's exactly what 

 6          the legislation would provide for.  Currently 

 7          there's a limitation on who can use the body 

 8          scanners.  There's been some question of 

 9          safety, but we'll treat that as a separate 

10          issue for now.  But it is the authority to 

11          use it under the Public Health Law.

12                 However, if we assume that that 

13          obstacle is overcome, is that something that 

14          you've considered using?  Or would it be 

15          valuable to use?  

16                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Well, 

17          Senator, there's a lot to consider there.  

18          These are -- the overwhelming majority of 

19          families that come, young children that come, 

20          we're trying to make an atmosphere where they 

21          can maintain family connections, because that 

22          is critical for reentry.  And I don't want to 

23          make a final determination because obviously 

24          I keep an open mind about everything.  But I 


 1          certainly don't want to create another 

 2          problem and make people feel that, you know, 

 3          this is -- I have to see it in operation.  Is 

 4          it a humiliating experience, et cetera.

 5                 What I can also tell you that we've 

 6          done --

 7                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Excuse me, 

 8          Commissioner.  Commissioner, if I may, this 

 9          would only be -- the use at Rikers and the 

10          use that I would propose would solely be for 

11          the inmates to pass through after they leave 

12          the facility or after they follow a visit.  

13          It would not be the visitors themselves.

14                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Okay, 

15          well that's different.

16                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  I understand your 

17          concern over visitors.

18                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Okay.  

19          But the problem is once drugs get into the 

20          facility, right, they can be left in a 

21          restroom and people have elaborate ways to 

22          get it out.  So the best defense is to 

23          prevent it from coming in in the first place.

24                 I will also say that we have 


 1          completely implemented our visitor processing 

 2          identification system so that when a visitor 

 3          has been identified as trying to bring in 

 4          drugs at one facility, should that person try 

 5          and enter another facility under a different 

 6          name with different identification, we now 

 7          know who they are and can prevent their 

 8          entrance.

 9                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you.  The 

10          last area right now for the sake of the time 

11          that I have, the secure vendor package 

12          program.  I know that was a goal for years 

13          and years, and it's recognized as a best 

14          practice nationwide.  There were some 

15          problems with it, and the Governor responded 

16          by pulling that back.

17                 Now, I think I have the correct 

18          understanding of that, that the Governor's 

19          action was to pull it back until you work out 

20          the problems.  Do I have that correctly --

21                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Yes, 

22          Senator, it clearly was the right decision to 

23          make.

24                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  But is that the 


 1          correct understanding, that this is not pull 

 2          it back and get rid of it --

 3                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Right, 

 4          this is --

 5                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  -- this is pull it 

 6          back and fix it.

 7                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  The term 

 8          "suspended" was used, so that we can have an 

 9          opportunity to take into consideration all 

10          the feedback that we've received thus far, 

11          sitting down with the unions, getting their 

12          input, sitting down with our superintendents, 

13          particularly at the three facilities where it 

14          was a pilot, listening to the advocates, 

15          listening to the inmates.  Perhaps talking 

16          further with the vendors that we had 

17          enlisted.  

18                 And I'm confident that at some point 

19          in the future we can craft a proposal that 

20          will still accomplish the security things 

21          that we need accomplished but balance those 

22          other considerations.  There are pilots that, 

23          you know, work well, and unfortunately this 

24          was one that right out of the block generated 


 1          a lot of problems.  And I will take 

 2          responsibility for some of that, in that I 

 3          should have better prepared and explained, 

 4          because there was some misinformation about 

 5          what was going on as well.

 6                 Lesson learned.  I think we can go 

 7          forward in the future.  I can't give you a 

 8          timetable, because we have that and we have 

 9          so many other things that we're doing at the 

10          same time.  But it remains an important issue 

11          for us.

12                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  All right, 

13          Commissioner, thank you.  And thank you again 

14          for your efforts across your agency with like 

15          25, 30,000 -- a very difficult, challenging 

16          job from top to bottom.  I understand that.

17                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Thank 

18          you, Senator.  I'm very proud of the 

19          29,000-plus people.  They never cease to 

20          amaze me, every one of them, what they do.

21                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  With good reason.  

22                 Thank you, Commissioner.  Thank you, 

23          Madam Chair.  

24                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.


 1                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Assemblyman 

 2          Palmesano.

 3                 ASSEMBLYMAN PALMESANO:  Thank you, 

 4          Madam Chairwoman.  

 5                 Commissioner, I just wanted to kind of 

 6          touch on a few areas.  First, I know when we 

 7          were talking about the special housing units 

 8          that's going on in the budget -- and I know 

 9          part of this is to comply with the NYCLU 

10          settlement.  You know, in full disclosure, I 

11          was not supportive of that when I saw that.  

12                 I think, as one of my colleagues up 

13          here mentioned, the use of the SHU is a tool 

14          that is used to keep our correction officers 

15          that are in our facilities safe, but not just 

16          our correction officers but the inmates that 

17          are trying to do their time and not trying to 

18          be a part of the problem.

19                 So in the budget I know there's about 

20          $6.8 million in savings, 110 FTEs that are 

21          going to be -- they said they can be 

22          transferred.  And I know part of that NYCLU 

23          settlement, there's a lot of money that's 

24          being invested to comply with that.  But like 


 1          for some of these workers who might be 

 2          dislocated and might have to travel hundreds 

 3          of miles away to another facility, away from 

 4          their families, is there going to be any 

 5          accommodations for them for housing or for 

 6          travel to make their lives a little easier 

 7          when they might be losing their job?  

 8                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  We're 

 9          very confident that we can accommodate as 

10          best as possible the staff that are at these 

11          units.

12                 I attrit every pay period, I believe, 

13          something like 54 or 55 staff.  So there's 

14          always vacancies being created.  As these 

15          units get emptied, the staff will work with 

16          them to get them other jobs in that facility.  

17          And I believe we're going to leave them there 

18          till May, when there's a reranking list and 

19          so they'll have better options to pursue.

20                 So my system changes very quickly.  

21          There's a lot of attrition, there's a lot of 

22          new demands for correction officers.  And in 

23          fact, we are predicting that we will need, in 

24          the upcoming fiscal year, as many as eight 


 1          academy classes to fill the vacancies in our 

 2          system that are created.

 3                 ASSEMBLYMAN PALMESANO:  Because one of 

 4          the areas -- and not physically in my 

 5          district, but nearby, is Southport.  So I 

 6          definitely have some concerns relative to the 

 7          employees that are there.  I know there's 

 8          going to be changes being made to the 

 9          facility, and I think anything that would be 

10          able to allow those individuals who have been 

11          there for a number of years to stay there, 

12          where they have their families, I think would 

13          be a positive thing and also would send a 

14          positive message to them through this 

15          transition.

16                 I want to get into the issue of -- you 

17          know, one of the big issues we know is drugs 

18          that are a big problem in our prisons.  And 

19          from some of the information I'm getting -- 

20          and I would hope that maybe you can clarify 

21          for us statewide the number of drug tests 

22          that are going on in the prisons, how many 

23          people are testing positive, what are the 

24          results of those tests.  Because I think you 


 1          mentioned in your statement that you would 

 2          rather see us get to them before they get in 

 3          the prison than afterwards.  

 4                 And I think on that front, you 

 5          mentioned the use of the canine drug dogs.  

 6          And we have 54 correctional facilities across 

 7          the state, and I think I heard you say we 

 8          have 11 that we're using.  I think the 

 9          success of the canine drug dogs is well 

10          known.  Why not make that investment and put 

11          them in every facility across the state, 

12          another tool that's given to our law 

13          enforcement so if people are coming with 

14          drugs, we can catch them before it gets 

15          there.  And that will help relieve the 

16          powder-keg environment that quite frankly I 

17          think is going on in our facilities, whether 

18          they're maximum or medium security prisons.  

19                 Any plans on your part, in addition to 

20          the millions of dollars that are being 

21          invested for the NYCLU settlement, to give 

22          our officers, our COs, and our prisons more 

23          drug dogs in the facilities to keep them out 

24          when they get in.  You know, because the 


 1          package program was put aside.  Some people  

 2          thought it was a bad idea, some people 

 3          thought it was a good idea.  But the drug 

 4          dogs I think everyone can recognize is a good 

 5          idea.  Let's get to them before they get into 

 6          the prisons and put them in every facility -- 

 7          it can't cost that much money -- and we'd 

 8          make a significant impact on addressing the 

 9          drug problems.  

10                 Because I've heard some statistics, 

11          2500 annually just in one region of drug 

12          tests.  And that's something we have to 

13          address.  Because with the gangs that we know 

14          are in our facilities, with the assaults that 

15          are rising dramatically, and from your own 

16          numbers from 2012, probably 40 percent 

17          inmate-on-staff assaults and inmate-on-inmate 

18          assaults up 70 percent, if you looked at the 

19          numbers, that's a powder-keg environment.  

20                 And I don't know about anyone else -- 

21          and I'm sure they do -- every so often 

22          there's an article in the paper about an 

23          inmate getting attacked -- or a correction 

24          officer getting attacked by an inmate.  And I 


 1          think we need to do more to give them the 

 2          tools they need to protect themselves, 

 3          because they have a very dangerous job.  

 4                 And the NYCLU settlement I think takes 

 5          tools away from them.  I think the canine 

 6          drugs could be an issue to help them.  So is 

 7          there anything you can do to give us the drug 

 8          result tests?  And what's your plans on 

 9          expanding the canine units statewide to all 

10          our facilities to address this problem?  

11                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Well, 

12          there's a lot you said there, Assemblyman.  I 

13          certainly respect everything that you said.  

14          I couldn't agree more that our staff have a 

15          tough job.  And I'm very proud of the job 

16          that they do.  

17                 I don't think at this point we're 

18          ready to expand the canine units, but I can 

19          tell you that I really stepped up our OSI 

20          narcotics unit.  We have phenomenal means of 

21          intelligence that we learn of who's 

22          potentially smuggling drugs in.  We work with 

23          outside law enforcement, we seek criminal 

24          prosecutions.  Because anybody trying to 


 1          smuggle drugs into a correctional facility is 

 2          a felony, dangerous drugs should raise it to 

 3          a felony.

 4                 So I can tell you that we are open to 

 5          expanding this.  I don't know if putting a 

 6          team, a canine in every facility would still 

 7          be a hundred percent effective.  But back to 

 8          your earlier question as to the percentage of 

 9          individuals that test positive by random 

10          urinalysis, it's -- I checked it a while ago, 

11          but it's not nearly as high as you might 

12          think.  It's --

13                 ASSEMBLYMAN PALMESANO:  Could you 

14          provide those figures?  

15                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Yeah, I 

16          can definitely get those.  Now I can't 

17          remember off the top of my head, but I'll get 

18          that for you.

19                 ASSEMBLYMAN PALMESANO:  That's fine.  

20                 I have another question on one of the 

21          issues that, you know, we've talked about in 

22          the past, and that is the issue of double 

23          bunking and double celling.  And again, with 

24          the NYCLU settlement there's millions of drls  


 1          being invested into the correctional 

 2          facilities to address that.  But by I think 

 3          our own statistics, we still have in the 

 4          neighborhood of 6,494, a combination of 

 5          double bunks and double cells in our 

 6          facilities both at maximum and medium 

 7          facilities.  

 8                 Certainly that's an environment that I 

 9          believe, a lot of my colleagues believe, is a 

10          dangerous environment -- not just for the 

11          corrections officers who are in these 

12          facilities, but for the inmates.  I've been 

13          to a facility where it was in a dormlike 

14          setting -- because I too have toured all the 

15          facilities in and around my district, and you 

16          would have 60 inmates in a room, not a big 

17          room, and they were a cubicle, double-bunked, 

18          and not much bigger space than me to 

19          Mr. Weprin.  

20                 And I don't think that's a positive 

21          environment.  I know the administration and 

22          the Governor has gone around touting the 

23          closure of prisons and is proud of it, but we 

24          should get rid of these double bunks and 


 1          double cells as quick as possible to make for 

 2          safer environment, not just for our 

 3          corrections officers but for the inmates that 

 4          are in these facilities.  And I think we 

 5          should have a plan in place, because there's 

 6          a lot of plans to deal with the NYCLU 

 7          settlement, but not a lot of plans to deal 

 8          with the double bunking and double celling.  

 9                 And I think between the drugs and the 

10          double bunking and double celling -- and we 

11          know the assaults are up dramatically.  I 

12          know you said there's an decrease, but if you 

13          look from 2012 to now, dramatic increase in 

14          the assaults on corrections officers and a 

15          dramatic increase in assaults on inmates.  

16                 And we're in a powder-keg environment.  

17          And I'm very concerned about what's going to 

18          happen in these facilities.  It's not enough 

19          just to go around saying we're closing 

20          prisons, we've got to give our corrections 

21          officers the tools they need to do their job, 

22          but to do it so they can be safe, so they can 

23          get home to their families.  

24                 And for the other inmates in the 


 1          facility who are just trying to do their 

 2          time, we have to be able to get the bad guys 

 3          out of there and separate them from those 

 4          instances.  And that's where I'm concerned 

 5          where some of these settlements are taking 

 6          away important tools to keep everyone else 

 7          safe in that facility.  

 8                 I'd like to know your comments on that 

 9          relative to double bunking and double 

10          celling, and your plans on that.  

11                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Just to 

12          clarify, when we were overcrowded, we had to 

13          take 5 percent of our maximum security space 

14          and convert that to double cells.  And these 

15          were very small cells that were built to just 

16          hold one person.  You know, we did that at 13 

17          of our then existing 14 maximum-security 

18          facilities.  Southport was the only 

19          exception.  So 5 percent.

20                 And I have basically a few years 

21          ago -- it started under my predecessor, but I 

22          continued it -- we've taken down basically 

23          every cell in a max that had originally been 

24          converted, was originally a single and 


 1          converted to double, with very few 

 2          exceptions -- I think just the depot at 

 3          Auburn and I think a few double cells at 

 4          Downstate.  So there's just a small number of 

 5          double cells still being operated that were 

 6          originally single-cell construction.

 7                 The new construction was double cells, 

 8          and those are all 105 square feet.  So those 

 9          cells at Upstate and at Five Points, those 

10          are new maximum-security facilities, all 

11          double-celled, with 105 square feet.  And I 

12          believe the Cadre Unit at Southport also was 

13          double-celled.  Again, those cells were built 

14          large enough for two.  And of course all the 

15          S blocks were built for two inmates.  So 

16          there's ample space there -- at least, it's 

17          not crowded.  

18                 With respect to the dorms, there's a 

19          maximum under the standards allowed by the 

20          SCOC of 60 in a multiple-occupancy unit.  And 

21          in order to fit 60 in, you have to double the 

22          back 10 against the wall.  And that's where 

23          the double bunks are.  And I get it that, you 

24          know, people would say, Well, if we put only 


 1          54 in instead of 60 -- because when we opened 

 2          them, that's exactly what we put in there.  

 3          We put 54 because we put two beds on each 

 4          end.  

 5                 So each cookie-cutter facility, when 

 6          it opened, had 54.  We added six more, 

 7          consistent with an SCOC standard that allowed 

 8          as many as 60.  And to do it in such a way 

 9          that the officer would have a full panoramic 

10          view of the dorm, we double-bunked the back 

11          10.  So spacewise, it's just six more than 

12          what we originally had when they opened many, 

13          many years ago.

14                 But I understand your concerns.  And 

15          again, I couldn't agree with you more that 

16          the officers have a tough job and we should 

17          do everything possible to make them as safe 

18          as possible.  

19                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.  

20                 Senate?  

21                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  

22                 Senator Ritchie.

23                 SENATOR RITCHIE:  Good afternoon, 

24          Commissioner.  I would like to start by just 


 1          following up on a couple of questions that 

 2          Senator Gallivan had on the packaging policy.  

 3                 Just recently I had the opportunity to 

 4          tour once again the five facilities that I 

 5          represent, and one of the main issues was the 

 6          contraband or drugs coming into the facility.  

 7          And they were looking forward to the 

 8          packaging policy just because it's so hard to 

 9          screen and make sure that they're keeping the 

10          drugs out.

11                 So just for clarification, the 

12          packaging policy is suspended, it is not 

13          suspended indefinitely?

14                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Well, 

15          it's suspended until we can come back and 

16          create what we think is an acceptable policy.  

17          And of course I will sit down with my 

18          principals when we get to that point and 

19          carefully lay out what we think is the 

20          reasonable alternative, and then a decision 

21          will be made where we go from there.  Right 

22          now, it's just suspended.

23                 SENATOR RITCHIE:  So do you have any 

24          time frame for that?  Because this is 


 1          something that's been in the works for years.

 2                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Yeah, I 

 3          can't give you any time frame, Senator.

 4                 If you were to ask me today or any 

 5          time in the last two years what is the single 

 6          overriding challenge I have, I would answer 

 7          today and any time in the past two years 

 8          there's no single challenge.  The challenge 

 9          is that we are doing so many things, so 

10          quickly, in the system.  All of the changes 

11          that came about as a result of the Clinton 

12          escape, all the security enhancements, the 

13          deescalation training, the new 

14          responsibilities we have to house adolescent 

15          offenders, the geriatric parole, studying the 

16          parole revocation guidelines -- so many 

17          initiatives that we're doing so quickly.  

18                 When you have a pilot like this that 

19          immediately stumbled, it takes away from our 

20          ability to make sure all the other things 

21          that we're doing are happening appropriately.

22                 So my intention is yes, we're going to 

23          take our time, we're going to sit down 

24          carefully, we're going to look at what we 


 1          had.  But I can't take away from all these 

 2          other things that are also very important as 

 3          well.  And lot of them go to safety and 

 4          security, such as expanding statewide the 

 5          pepper spray program.

 6                 SENATOR RITCHIE:  So I certainly 

 7          understand what you're saying, that you have 

 8          a number of moving parts.  But the contraband 

 9          and the drug issue is something that I heard 

10          at all five facilities -- and not just at the 

11          five that I represent, but pretty much every 

12          facility across the state -- that the 

13          situation is getting to a really dangerous 

14          level because of the drugs getting into the 

15          facility.

16                 So I would ask that -- I understand 

17          it's complicated -- that this doesn't just 

18          get put by the wayside for another couple of 

19          years, that this is something that's 

20          extremely important as a safety tool.  

21                 And along with that, the pepper spray 

22          that you mentioned earlier.  I know that I've 

23          had facilities who have reached out and asked 

24          for pepper spray and have not been able to 


 1          get that.  So that is something that is a 

 2          priority at this point?  

 3                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Yes, 

 4          it's a priority.

 5                 SENATOR RITCHIE:  And recently I 

 6          reached out to you with a letter on the 

 7          personal alarms, where there was an issue 

 8          that they weren't working in a couple of the 

 9          facilities.  And I did receive a response 

10          back that that was going to be a priority.  

11          So I'm just wondering what the status of 

12          making sure that the personal alarms for the 

13          civilians working at the facility -- where 

14          are we at with that?

15                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Yeah, 

16          I'm trying to remember from my notes because 

17          there's a lot of things I had to go over.

18                 But I know we just -- we are replacing 

19          them.  I don't know the exact schedule.  They 

20          have -- some of these systems are quite 

21          dated.  I forget the two facilities that we 

22          just finished.  But what I'll do, Senator, is 

23          I'll go back and I'll look at the schedule 

24          and I'll give you a written reply as to what 


 1          our plan is going forward with that.  Because 

 2          it is very important, civilian alarms.

 3                 SENATOR RITCHIE:  And my next couple 

 4          of questions are on staffing levels.  Just 

 5          recently I learned that several months ago 

 6          there was an incident with a generator and 

 7          the facility was in the dark for most of the 

 8          night.  Luckily, it happened at shift change, 

 9          so there were extra officers who were 

10          available to stay over.  

11                 But one of the staffing issues seems 

12          to be at critical level from -- for the later 

13          shift, from 11:00 to 7:00, that there are not 

14          enough officers who are able to rove or make 

15          the rounds on the grounds if in fact 

16          something does come up.  

17                 Is that an issue that you think we 

18          need to look at staffing-wise?

19                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Well, as 

20          you know, Senator, we added 268 additional 

21          staff in the last two years after a review of 

22          two-thirds of the facilities.  So our ratio, 

23          when compared to every other prison system in 

24          the country, is very favorable.  It's 


 1          basically one to three.  

 2                 I'm not sure what facility you're 

 3          talking about.  And certainly when an 

 4          emergency happens where a generator fails and 

 5          there's housing units in the dark, yeah, 

 6          we're pressed.  And we -- you know, the 

 7          initial solution would be mandating overtime 

 8          for the existing staff that are there to make 

 9          sure we're under control.  

10                 But I'm not aware of any complaints 

11          that have been brought to our attention in 

12          central office about insufficient staff on 

13          the late shift at any facility.  But if you 

14          have something in particular, let me know and 

15          we'll certainly take a good look at it.

16                 SENATOR RITCHIE:  Okay.  And along the 

17          staffing lines, the issue of the number of 

18          officers who are retiring.  Recently I 

19          sponsored the bill that would allow an 

20          officer's family to collect the pension if 

21          something were to happen, and it was vetoed 

22          by the Governor.  

23                 So it's a concern from a number of 

24          officers that I've met with and their 


 1          families.  And as we get more and more 

 2          inexperienced guards at the facilities, those 

 3          that are retiring in pretty big lots is a 

 4          real concern.  

 5                 Can you tell me how you're going to 

 6          address the attrition issue?

 7                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Well, 

 8          everybody has free choice.  I can't not allow 

 9          staff to retire.

10                 I think the best thing I can do is 

11          everything humanly possible to make it a safe 

12          environment, and at the same time recognize 

13          the difficult job they have.  

14                 One of the things I worry about a lot 

15          is the rates of suicide among security staff.  

16          And I don't think it's just a problem in 

17          New York; I know California is concerned and 

18          they've commissioned a study on it.  And I've 

19          asked my mental health staff to really take a 

20          good look at the resources that are available 

21          and how we can connect people to help that 

22          they need before it's too late.

23                 It's a tough job, there's a lot of 

24          stress on the job.  And I think part of the 


 1          problem is a reluctance to come forward and 

 2          admit you're feeling the stress or it's 

 3          affecting you.  And it's not easy to go home 

 4          at night and then become a normal family man 

 5          and a normal parent when you've had the 

 6          stress of perhaps an assault, perhaps 

 7          witnessing the suicide of an inmate.  It's a 

 8          very tough, tough job.

 9                 So my goal, among others, is to try 

10          and make the working environment -- not just 

11          for our security staff, but for all our 

12          civilians -- as safe as possible.

13                 And I'm more than happy -- we meet 

14          regularly with the unions.  If they have 

15          suggestions, things that we can do that might 

16          be positive -- wellness programs, nutrition 

17          programs -- we've partnered in the past with 

18          them, and it's a valuable relationship.  

19          Anything to be done to make it a better, more 

20          healthy working environment for them I think 

21          in turn would help with our attrition rate.

22                 SENATOR RITCHIE:  Well, I think one of 

23          the issues that would have kept more officers 

24          on the job is the fact that if this bill 


 1          would have been signed.  It's a real risk for 

 2          their family if they stay on past the time 

 3          that they're able to retire.  If something 

 4          does happen to the officer, the family is not 

 5          entitled to the retirement benefits.  And I 

 6          think that's something that should be 

 7          addressed.

 8                 I understand I'm over my time, so I 

 9          have one last question for you.  You know, as 

10          we're looking for ways to make sure there are 

11          resources in place for a safe staffing level, 

12          I really don't understand the mental health 

13          transport issue, especially when it has to do 

14          with the hub that I represent.  

15                 We actually have a correctional 

16          facility, two of them, within sight of a 

17          psychiatric center.  But when an inmate needs 

18          a mental health evaluation, they are 

19          transported over two hours to a facility.  

20          Many times the officers have to come back 

21          just to find out the next day they go back to 

22          pick the inmate up and bring them back.

23                 If we're looking for a way to save 

24          money for the state as a whole and be more 


 1          efficient, I really don't understand, with a 

 2          psychiatric facility, you know, a stone's 

 3          throw away, why we can't put some kind of 

 4          resources in place so that an inmate who 

 5          needs an evaluation can be just transported 

 6          across the street, saving two officers back 

 7          and forth on multiple days, times five 

 8          prisons.

 9                 So I would ask -- we brought this up 

10          in the past.  You know, I understand there's 

11          a couple of agencies that would have to work 

12          on this.  But if we're looking for a way to 

13          save money and be more efficient, this looks 

14          like it would be something that would be very 

15          easy to do.

16                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  I'll 

17          certainly look into that, Senator.

18                 SENATOR RITCHIE:  And just to close, I 

19          would like to just take a moment to thank you 

20          but also thank the men and women who work in 

21          our correctional facilities.  I think when 

22          you go and tour the facilities and you see 

23          what they're up against, it gives you a 

24          greater appreciation for how dangerous their 


 1          jobs are.  Thank you.  

 2                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

 3                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Assemblyman 

 4          Jones.

 5                 ASSEMBLYMAN JONES:  Thank you, Madam 

 6          Chair.  

 7                 And Commissioner, thank you.  And I'd 

 8          like to extend my thanks to your office.  

 9          You've always been very accommodating to me 

10          in anything I've reached out with, so thank 

11          you.

12                 I have a little bit of experience; 

13          I've been -- in my previous life I was a 

14          correction officer for over 20 years and 

15          dealt with these things on a day-to-day 

16          issue.  I think -- or I know the number-one 

17          thing we need to do is keep contraband out of 

18          these facilities, because we know anytime we 

19          introduce contraband into these facilities, 

20          it puts our hardworking men and women that 

21          work in those facilities, and the inmates 

22          that want to go to programs and do the right 

23          thing, it puts everybody in jeopardy.

24                 So I just want to, on top of the 


 1          Senator's point, and the Assemblyman, my 

 2          colleagues, we need to seriously take a look 

 3          at the secure package program again.  I think 

 4          we were on the right path.  If we have to 

 5          make a few adjustments to it, I think it's 

 6          one way, one tool we can use to keep 

 7          contraband out of the facilities.  We need to 

 8          do that.

 9                 I also want to associate with 

10          Assemblyman Palmesano, because double bunking 

11          needs to go, it's just got to go.  No ifs, 

12          ands, or buts about it.  It still exists.  We 

13          can call it by any other name, but just -- I 

14          would like to see it go.

15                 I do have a question here, I'm not 

16          going to grandstand the whole time.  The 

17          implementation of pepper spray, we're doing 

18          it on a pilot basis.  I know the Senator 

19          touched on it.  Could you give me a time 

20          frame on when statewide implementation of 

21          that would be?

22                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  We hope 

23          to have it complete in 2018.

24                 ASSEMBLYMAN JONES:  2018 for statewide 


 1          implementation?  Okay, great.

 2                 I'm going to keep it brief.  I want to 

 3          thank you again, your office, for everything 

 4          you've done.  But I really do need to stress 

 5          that we need to do everything we can to keep 

 6          our hardworking men and women, COs and 

 7          civilians in those facilities, safe.  And I 

 8          would -- please explore and go and take a 

 9          look at the implementation of the secure 

10          vending program again.  

11                 I'm happy to hear from you that we're 

12          not just canceling it, we're taking another 

13          look at it.  But I think we need to do that.  

14          You get the reports in your office every day 

15          about contraband.  I get reports.  I have 

16          five correctional facilities in my Assembly 

17          district also.  We need to help protect our 

18          hardworking men and women that work in those 

19          facilities.  Please take a look at that 

20          policy.  If we can make some tweaks to it, we 

21          can make everybody in the correctional 

22          facilities safe.  Thank you.  

23                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  

24                 Senator Savino.


 1                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you.  

 2                 Commissioner, good to see you.

 3                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Good to 

 4          see you, Senator.

 5                 SENATOR SAVINO:  I just have one or 

 6          two questions for you.  

 7                 As you know, for the past several 

 8          years whenever you've come before us, we had 

 9          to address the issue of overtime and its 

10          effect on the budget.  I didn't see anything 

11          about it in your testimony or even in the 

12          Governor's budget.  If you can tell us a bit 

13          about the staffing levels now and whether or 

14          not you're still relying on overtime to the 

15          extent that you used to be.

16                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Well, 

17          overtime is driven by a number of things.  

18          And some of the things that have changed in 

19          the last two years are we seem to see more 

20          one-on-one watches for people that are at 

21          risk, the mentally ill, and those are ordered 

22          by OMH.  Outside hospital trips are costly, 

23          unplanned for. 

24                 And at any one time, I have a 


 1          significant number of officers that are out 

 2          on workers' comp, which we're not really 

 3          funded to cover that.  Those are 

 4          unanticipated expenses.  So we have, as of 

 5          last week, 986 or so officers out on comp.  I 

 6          think that needs to be looked at.  The 

 7          overall majority have nothing to do with 

 8          inmate contact.  And obviously I would be 

 9          able to really make a dent in the overtime if 

10          more staff were present at work.  So that's 

11          subject to negotiations, and I can't really 

12          comment much further on that.

13                 SENATOR SAVINO:  I think that nurse at 

14          Bedford Hills, Mercy -- I think she finally 

15          retired.  She probably has a pension worth 

16          $500,000.  But God bless her, she worked hard 

17          for it.  

18                 But I want to return back to the issue 

19          of double bunking, make sure I understand 

20          this.  Because, you know, for years the 

21          corrections officers would come up and do a 

22          visual, they would bring a model of what 

23          double bunking looked like.  And quite 

24          frankly, it looked inhuman.


 1                 So let me just see.  So before the 

 2          massive increase in the prison population in 

 3          the 1980s, it used to be 50 beds to a dorm, 

 4          right?  And then after that, because of the 

 5          explosion in the inmate population, we went 

 6          up to 60.

 7                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  We 

 8          really never had 50.  It was 54, really.  Now 

 9          it's 60.

10                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Then we allowed it to 

11          go up to 60.  But the inmate population is 

12          now at the lowest it's been in several years.

13                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Correct.

14                 SENATOR SAVINO:  In fact, we've closed 

15          prisons.  So if we were to eliminate double 

16          bunking, we wouldn't have any empty beds, 

17          then, in the prison system at all, would we?  

18          And why not do that, since we know that --

19                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Because, 

20          Senator, this is a difficult fiscal year.  

21          We're facing enormous challenges.  We have so 

22          much uncertainty out of Washington.

23                 To the extent that we continue to 

24          downsize in our population, the responsible 


 1          thing to do, in the absence of closures, is 

 2          for me to do consolidations.  And that is you 

 3          have a facility, let's say, with 14 dorms but 

 4          you only need really 11, then you consolidate 

 5          three of them.  And the other 11 may be 

 6          filled close to 60, but at least you're 

 7          saving the staffing for those dorms.  And I 

 8          think we do owe a responsibility to the 

 9          taxpayers.

10                 If it was a question of this 

11          presenting an unsafe situation, then that 

12          would be different.  But we have operated 

13          under that standard for years.  And I think 

14          everybody overfocuses on the fact that it's a 

15          bunk bed.  It's two beds, one on top of 

16          another.  That's what you see in many college 

17          dorms, and maybe a lot less.  So --

18                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Different population.

19                 So if what you're saying is that the 

20          double bunking is not a problem, why is it 

21          routinely pointed out to us by those who work 

22          in the prison system, the corrections 

23          officers, former corrections officers, that 

24          it creates problems?  It creates, you know, 


 1          issues between the inmates and between the 

 2          corrections officers.  I mean, are they just 

 3          misrepresenting it, or is it really a 

 4          problem?  

 5                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  I don't 

 6          think it's really a problem.  But it's a 

 7          question of if it was less inmates, there 

 8          would be less issues to worry about.  So I 

 9          get where they're coming from.  And, you 

10          know, the argument that take down all the 

11          double bunks in the back and you would have 

12          less inmates in the dorm to worry about.

13                 But the real concerns, the real 

14          incidents that I'm concerned about most of 

15          all aren't in my medium security facilities.  

16          Right?  They're in my maxes.  That's where 

17          the long-termers are, that's where most of 

18          the gang violence is.  And that's really 

19          where the rubber meets the road.  

20                 So for the most part, the mediums are 

21          running very well even with, you know, 60-man 

22          dorms and other dorms that have double bunks.

23                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Well, I'm glad to 

24          hear they're run very well, and I guess we've 


 1          got to give some credit to the staff that 

 2          works there, the corrections officers and the 

 3          nonuniformed staff and, of course, yourself.  

 4                 I just want to thank you for your 

 5          testimony and the comments you've just made.  

 6          Thank you, Commissioner.  

 7                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Thank 

 8          you, Senator.

 9                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Senator Krueger.

10                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Good afternoon.

11                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Good 

12          afternoon.

13                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.  I'm 

14          sorry I had to leave for a little while.

15                 So sexual harassment is a hot topic in 

16          the world we live in right now.  And I'm 

17          wondering what you are doing to decrease the 

18          chances of an inmate being raped in one of 

19          your prisons.  I have found any number of 

20          rape accusations in the last year by women 

21          who are inmates in state prisons, and I'm 

22          wondering whether there's some kind of change 

23          in policy that you're implementing or can 

24          implement to try to decrease the number of 


 1          incidents.  

 2                 And I don't know that they're all 

 3          against women, by the way, so I don't want to 

 4          be sexist, they're just the cases that I 

 5          found.

 6                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Well, 

 7          first of all, Senator, we are moving fast and 

 8          furious to be fully compliant with the Prison 

 9          Rape Elimination Act.  Those are standards 

10          that were promulgated by the feds that we 

11          have to comply with.  We've had 45, I 

12          believe, or 46 of our 54 facilities 

13          accredited under PREA.  Those are strict 

14          standards.  Outside auditors come in and walk 

15          through the entire facility.  It's required 

16          us to make changes here and there -- privacy 

17          curtains for the showers, mirrors so that 

18          blinds spots are eliminated.  A lot to do 

19          with the LGBT community, how you respectfully 

20          communicate with them, et cetera.  So many, 

21          many changes there.

22                 With respect to our female facilities, 

23          I've taken a number of additional steps.  

24          First we are adding, I believe -- and there 


 1          are already fixed cameras at Bedford, but I'm 

 2          adding something like I'm going to say 800 -- 

 3          I hope I'm wrong on that number, I'll 

 4          double-check that.  So we're really expanding 

 5          our fixed camera system there.  

 6                 I've instituted body cameras and 

 7          requiring staff to wear them.  To the best of 

 8          my knowledge, no other correctional system in 

 9          the country is even close to what we're 

10          doing.  When it's fully implemented, we will 

11          have ordered, I believe, 650 body cameras for 

12          staff to use, particularly when they're in 

13          areas of the facility where there are not the 

14          fixed cameras.

15                 I've also instituted a number that the 

16          inmates can call to make a direct complaint 

17          to our Office of Special Investigations.  I 

18          think it's just star 44 or star 45, they hit 

19          that, and they're connected directly to our 

20          OSI.

21                 I've also had our OSI make unannounced 

22          visits there, walk through the units, and 

23          allow -- get the feedback directly from the 

24          offender population.


 1                 So while obviously the Prison Rape 

 2          Elimination Act applies to all of our 

 3          facilities and all individuals have to be 

 4          protected, I'm especially mindful of the 

 5          potential vulnerability of female staff.  And 

 6          when we have successfully identified and 

 7          obtained the evidence, we go for criminal 

 8          prosecution.  We have a strong partnership at 

 9          Bedford Hills with the Westchester DA and 

10          with the U.S. Attorney's office.  And then we 

11          hold up as examples of deterrence what 

12          happened.  And one individual recently was 

13          convicted and is serving time in a federal 

14          prison.  

15                 And in my training video, which all 

16          staff listen too, I warn them in very stark 

17          terms, think about for a moment what it would 

18          be like to one day being a person employed by 

19          the department, and the next day being a 

20          person confined by the department.

21                 And we absolutely have to have a zero 

22          tolerance policy for that.  Inmates deserve 

23          to be protected.  I pushed years ago to 

24          change the law so that as a matter of law, an 


 1          inmate cannot consent to a sexual 

 2          relationship, given the power differential in 

 3          the relationship.  And I was glad years ago 

 4          that the Legislature acted on that.  So just 

 5          like a 15-year-old can't consent, an inmate 

 6          confined in a correctional facility cannot 

 7          consent.

 8                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.  I 

 9          appreciate you're doing this.

10                 I'm just curious because we're rolling 

11          out body cameras in police forces as well, 

12          and there seems to be a little bit of 

13          discussion about then who has access to 

14          review the tapes and can they be used as 

15          evidence by people who may file the 

16          complaints.

17                 What will be your policy with the body 

18          cameras?  

19                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  We 

20          absolutely would use them as evidence if we 

21          need to.  

22                 And we haven't had any problem that 

23          I'm aware of reviewing them and turning them 

24          over.  Some minor problems, initially; some 


 1          of them didn't work properly.  But that's to 

 2          be expected with any pilot.  

 3                 And we are going forward with that, 

 4          and the next facility I believe is Taconic.  

 5          And a number of our other max facilities, 

 6          males.

 7                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So when an inmate 

 8          comes forward through the phone number to the 

 9          inspector general, are they then provided 

10          representation in some way?  What happens?

11                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  No, we 

12          open an investigation.  They've officially 

13          lodged the complaint.  

14                 And the reason that we did this is we 

15          wanted to give another means by which, if a 

16          female feels that it's unsafe to either write 

17          a letter or, you know, ask to meet with OSI, 

18          this is a direct connection, they can make 

19          that complaint and hopefully feel safe doing 

20          it, and we will then open an investigation 

21          and go see what's involved.

22                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So my time is up.  

23          But are they moved or the person they accuse 

24          moved during the investigation?  


 1                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  It 

 2          depends.  It depends on the facts and 

 3          circumstance.  

 4                 I mean, number one, if there's any 

 5          potential credibility there, our number-one 

 6          priority is keep her safe.  And whatever we 

 7          have to do to do that, we'll make sure that 

 8          happens.

 9                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you very much.  

10                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  

11                 Our next speaker is Senator Robach.

12                 SENATOR ROBACH:  Yes, thank you.  

13                 Very quickly, I'll get to it, we 

14          talked a lot about inmates, a lot about 

15          people that work in that.  I'd like to just 

16          touch a little -- a couple of things here 

17          about the other population group, the public 

18          we're trying to protect.  I'll get right to 

19          it, because we have limited time.  

20                 I'm a little concerned with, you know, 

21          more merit time and credit time allowance.  

22          We have had a lot of recidivism in Rochester, 

23          which I know you're aware of.  There have 

24          been horrendous cases.  And the statement 


 1          keeps being made by DOCCS that a hundred 

 2          percent of the time, violent felons do 

 3          80 percent of their time.  I don't think 

 4          that's true.  But I'd like us to work toward 

 5          it.

 6                 So I guess my question would be is, do 

 7          you really think we need to be letting more 

 8          people -- or would some of these violent 

 9          people be eliminated from the pool of merit 

10          time and/or credit time allowances?  You 

11          know, I do think it's a very small percentage 

12          of the people.  But I do think we've had too 

13          many, I'll say, for a lot of nefarious 

14          reasons, slip through the cracks.  And I 

15          think we could do both things and address 

16          that, with some work.

17                 I'm just wondering what your 

18          thoughts are on that.

19                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Senator, 

20          I appreciate your remarks.  And I think part 

21          of our problem is we use the term "violent 

22          felony offender" and we paint a very broad 

23          brush.  And I'm very mindful of the very bad 

24          cases that happened in your area and deeply 


 1          regret that they did happen.

 2                 But I think, starting with day-to-day 

 3          operations in a correctional facility, having 

 4          meaningful incentives for inmates to 

 5          behave -- and this is two-pronged.  It's not 

 6          just that you do this program and you'll get 

 7          the benefit, you also have to have a very 

 8          positive institutional record.  And if you 

 9          don't meet that criteria, you're not getting 

10          the benefit.

11                 And for the limited credit time, it 

12          means you can't, for example have had a 

13          recommended loss of good time in the prior 

14          five years or you can't have maintained an 

15          overall poor institutional record.  And it 

16          also means you can't have filed a frivolous 

17          lawsuit.

18                 And it's the same thing with merit 

19          time.  Different category of offender that's 

20          eligible, but he has to maintain the record.  

21          If he has a total amount of either SHU or 

22          keeplock sanctions in excess of 60 days, he's 

23          not eligible to get it.  

24                 So these are very important 


 1          incentives, I think, and help make our 

 2          prisons safer because there's a strong 

 3          incentive to behave.

 4                 And I think the people that commit the 

 5          offenses that were committed in Rochester, 

 6          they wouldn't get the benefit of that kind of 

 7          program while they were incarcerated with us.  

 8          I really doubt that they would be able to 

 9          meet these standards.

10                 SENATOR ROBACH:  What I would hope as 

11          you move forward, I think there should be a 

12          standard -- that was the sentence or the line 

13          I got from DOCCS, I like that.  I would like 

14          80 percent time served for violent felons.  

15          And I think they should be defined by, you 

16          know, people that do inflict bodily injury -- 

17          shooters, rapists, murderers.  I mean, some 

18          of people that have been let out early are 

19          very concerning to me.

20                 And just real quickly -- 

21                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Sex 

22          offenders are not eligible.  By law, they 

23          would not be eligible for limited credit 

24          time.


 1                 SENATOR ROBACH:  Okay.  Well, I think 

 2          we ought to put more people in that category, 

 3          too, just for my two cents.

 4                 And then I'd be remiss if I didn't say 

 5          it too -- and I don't want to make it 

 6          personal -- while I get that, I'd like to 

 7          know what the definition is of debilitating 

 8          age release.  What would constitute 

 9          debilitating?  Would that mean they couldn't 

10          be physically able to get up and attack 

11          somebody else?  What would define that?

12                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Well, 

13          our job is to look at somebody with these 

14          conditions, whatever it may be -- it may be 

15          advanced arthritis, it may be a severely 

16          weakened heart that the person has difficulty 

17          moving from point A to point B -- and us 

18          making an assessment and understanding this 

19          person now has severe limitations in caring 

20          for themselves.

21                 The whole reason why we have regional 

22          medical units, among others, and a unit for 

23          the cognitively impaired, is these 

24          individuals cannot function on their own.  In 


 1          fact, were we to release them, many of them 

 2          would have to be placed in some kind of 

 3          hospital-like setting, a hospice setting or a 

 4          nursing home placement.

 5                 Now, can they possibly pose a danger 

 6          to others?  That's a judgment that you have 

 7          to make.  And I think you make that in three 

 8          ways.  Number one, you know what the whole 

 9          history is, right?  You look at his original 

10          crime, you look at how long he's been 

11          incarcerated, you look at the amount of time 

12          remaining on his sentence, and then you make 

13          an assessment during the interview.  And 

14          that's what the Parole Board is going to do 

15          going forward.

16                 SENATOR ROBACH:  Well, good.  Because 

17          I -- you know, again, we had another one in 

18          Rochester, a 59-year-old.  I saw the tape, he 

19          was very, very capable of being very, very 

20          violent.  And you know, again, I don't know 

21          if the right answer is quantify the 

22          conditions or raise the age, or maybe some 

23          combination.  

24                 But I would say this.  I mean this 


 1          sincerely.  You have a very, very hard job.  

 2          But I think some of the things that are being 

 3          suggested, if they are not implemented 

 4          correctly, I really believe they're going to 

 5          put more of the public in danger, who has 

 6          done nothing.  And so I hope, I really do -- 

 7          I know there's a push for a lot of reforms, 

 8          and some of them are good.  But I hope -- 

 9          you're in an influence of power -- that 

10          you'll even talk to the Governor directly and 

11          hopefully, when we get to the end of this, 

12          some of those loopholes or some of those 

13          things will be diminished greatly.  I really 

14          think if we don't take that opportunity, 

15          we'll be doing the wrong thing.

16                 So I appreciate you considering those.

17                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Sure, 

18          Senator.

19                 SENATOR ROBACH:  Thank you.

20                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.  Thank you, 

21          Senator Robach.

22                 Our next speaker is Senator Rivera and 

23          then Senator Little.

24                 SENATOR RIVERA:  Thank you, Madam 


 1          Chair.  

 2                 Commissioner.

 3                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Senator.

 4                 SENATOR RIVERA:  So I have a few 

 5          things.  And I apologize that I had to be in 

 6          and out, so some of the stuff you might have 

 7          already covered.  I did want to start where 

 8          Senator Robach just ended, geriatric parole.  

 9                 The current proposal -- and I'm sure 

10          that in the line of questioning that you had 

11          with Senator Robach, you did discuss it.  But 

12          if you could give me just in a minute the 

13          overall -- I certainly get the reasoning, but 

14          tell me how it's structured currently as far 

15          as the proposal is concerned.

16                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Okay.  

17          So this is in addition to the current medical 

18          parole types, one for the terminally ill, one 

19          for the severely debilitated though they're 

20          not terminal.  And this is looking at a 

21          cohort of individuals who are 55 and older 

22          and who are suffering from some conditions 

23          that when coupled with their advanced age, 

24          severely limits their ability to care for 


 1          themselves in the correctional facility 

 2          setting.  

 3                 And as a starter, we're looking at the 

 4          individuals who meet that criteria and are 

 5          either in our unit for the cognitively 

 6          impaired or one of our regional medical units 

 7          which provide skilled nursing care.  

 8          Obviously these individuals aren't able to 

 9          function on their own.  So those would be, 

10          without knowing any individual cases, the 

11          potential pool that you'd start with, that 

12          you'd look at carefully and perhaps refer to 

13          the Board of Parole.  

14                 My determination and my doctor's 

15          determination is solely to whether or not 

16          they have those conditions debilitating them.  

17          It's then up to the Board of Parole to decide 

18          whether or not their release is incompatible 

19          with the welfare of society.

20                 SENATOR RIVERA:  There you go.  So 

21          since time is limited, so first on the issue 

22          of debilitating.  Right, that's the -- is 

23          that the word or the terminology that's used 

24          in the proposal, debilitating?  And is there 


 1          a clear definition of what debilitating 

 2          means?  

 3                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Other 

 4          than the dictionary definition?  If it's not 

 5          written in that statute, I don't think so.

 6                 But I think it's more the result 

 7          that's happening, you know, to the 

 8          individual.  What is their condition, what 

 9          are they able to do?  Can they help 

10          themselves?  Do they require help for 

11          activities of daily living?  

12                 SENATOR RIVERA:  And then once you 

13          make that determination, you have the -- the 

14          person has to be above 55 and fit the 

15          criteria of debilitating, of having a 

16          debilitating condition.  Then they are 

17          eligible.  

18                 But this does nothing to change the 

19          statute that currently exists, which 

20          particularly as it relates to instant 

21          offense, in many instances people who have 

22          paid their debt to society 15, 20, 30 years, 

23          they have been rehabilitated in all sorts of 

24          different ways, but yet are not paroled.  So 


 1          basically this changes nothing of that, 

 2          correct?

 3                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Correct.

 4                 SENATOR RIVERA:  Okay.  I wanted to 

 5          talk a little bit about overdoses.  

 6          Particularly, what is the protocol currently 

 7          when an incarcerated person overdoses inside 

 8          a facility?  

 9                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  So we 

10          have a standing order where our nurses, 

11          without a doctor's order -- this is an 

12          arrangement by the Department of Health -- 

13          can, if they suspect an overdose, can inject 

14          Narcan to bring somebody back.  We have 

15          Narcan kits available, we don't have to wait 

16          for the medical -- 

17                 SENATOR RIVERA:  So but after, let's 

18          say, that that happens, the person is 

19          stabilized, there are -- I've heard some 

20          reports, and they've been very troubling, 

21          that as part of the protocol in some 

22          facilities, that somebody, after they have 

23          survived an overdose, that they're put in 

24          SHU.


 1                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  No, no.  

 2          No, no.  First things first.  We have to save 

 3          lives.  And somebody who's in an overdose 

 4          situation, we have to bring them back right 

 5          away.  So it's routine, without us knowing if 

 6          the person took drugs or not, if they are 

 7          unresponsive -- and this happens a lot -- we 

 8          will administer Narcan immediately, right, 

 9          and hopefully bring them back.

10                 But there have been, you know, periods 

11          where we've had to rush 25 people, different 

12          times during the week to outside hospitals 

13          for opioids.  Now, after that, when they come 

14          back, obviously they violated our 

15          institutional rules, they may be charged with 

16          an act of misconduct and they may be placed 

17          in segregated confinement.  I don't know that 

18          that's been done in any specific case, but 

19          it's a logical follow-up for that.

20                 SENATOR RIVERA:  I would want to have 

21          further conversations with you at some other 

22          point, because it is -- as we've had this 

23          ongoing conversation talking about addiction 

24          as a public health issue, obviously this is a 


 1          slightly different situation because we're 

 2          talking about somebody that's already 

 3          incarcerated.  But it seems that this is 

 4          obviously a punitive action that is taken 

 5          about something to someone.  I'd want to talk 

 6          with you about that further.

 7                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Sure.

 8                 SENATOR RIVERA:  Just one more thing, 

 9          since I've run out of time but I have one 

10          more question that I quickly want to ask, and 

11          that is about the -- how many people 

12          currently incarcerated are there for 

13          technical parole violations?  If you have any 

14          sense of that.  And I might come back for a 

15          second round.

16                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Sure.  

17          Sure.  I mean, first of all, the Governor has 

18          directed my Community Supervision staff and 

19          the Board of Parole to work with the Reentry 

20          Council to look at the parole revocation 

21          guidelines.  Those guidelines were created 

22          back in the '90s, and they're very much 

23          dependent upon the original crime of 

24          commitment.  If the original crime of 


 1          commitment was violent, then the penalty for 

 2          a technical violation is longer.  

 3                 That doesn't make sense anymore.  That 

 4          needs to be changed.  And I've internally 

 5          been looking at that with my staff and coming 

 6          up with some potential ideas.

 7                 We take very seriously what the 

 8          Legislature wanted when you directed us to 

 9          merge and you wanted us to use graduated 

10          sanctions.  And so, for example, we have a 

11          lot of alternatives that didn't exist five 

12          years ago.  Our parole diversion programs -- 

13          we have it at Edgecombe and Hale Creek and 

14          Orleans, it's a 45-day program.  Instead of 

15          sending someone up to a regular facility for 

16          two years, they successfully complete that 

17          program, they return to the community, they 

18          still are eligible for a merit discharge of 

19          sentence.  

20                 We have the Reset Initiative, where we 

21          have a grid of responses to both negative 

22          behavior and good behavior.  The negative 

23          behavior might be just one day or two days, 

24          you're placed back in a facility.  But it's 


 1          done up front.  We know that the parolee 

 2          signs a contract:  If I do this, this will 

 3          happen.  If I do that, that will happen.  But 

 4          I think there's a lot more room to be had.  

 5                 And I know there was a report, I 

 6          didn't read the report, but I know that last 

 7          week there were 130 people in Rikers Island 

 8          that were our parolees on a technical warrant 

 9          only.  So I think there was a lot of 

10          misleading things about what that report 

11          claimed.

12                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  

13                 Senator Little.

14                 SENATOR LITTLE:  Okay, thank you.  And 

15          thank you, Commissioner, for being here.

16                 A lot of topics have been touched on 

17          today, but I'd like to begin by thanking you 

18          for your leadership and many of these 

19          programs that you mentioned today -- the 

20          veterans programs, all of those, the tablets 

21          that you're now providing, and also to your 

22          staff.  I have nine facilities in my 

23          district, state facilities and one federal, 

24          and wonderful people working day and night, 


 1          24 hours a day, seven days a week, in these 

 2          facilities.

 3                 I just also can touch upon the double 

 4          bunking.  Have seen the difference that 

 5          eliminating the two to a cell has made at 

 6          Great Meadow.  Recently toured there again, 

 7          and there was a big difference in what went 

 8          on.  And I'm sure it's a lot safer for the 

 9          correction officers working there.

10                 But I do want to mention one facility 

11          that I was at just recently, Moriah Shock.  

12          And I know that you had a great deal to do 

13          with forming the program way back.  But 

14          nevertheless, it -- I just couldn't say 

15          enough about it, how commendable the 

16          superintendent was, the counselors that were 

17          there, the people that were there.  

18                 And I guess my biggest question, there 

19          were only 170 inmates there when there's a 

20          capacity of 300.  Two questions, actually.  I 

21          wonder if there's a way that rather than 

22          bringing inmates from other parts of the 

23          state out to Lakeview for intake and then 

24          bringing them back to Moriah, if there's a 


 1          way to do the intake at Moriah, it might save 

 2          on some transportation.  

 3                 And secondly, how do we get more 

 4          inmates to benefit from this program?  

 5          Because you could see just -- you know, we 

 6          spent quite a few hours there -- that this is 

 7          a program that's very beneficial to them.  

 8          And then as well, I'm sure your agency 

 9          wouldn't be in charge of it, but when they 

10          get out, something that's going to help them 

11          get through, whether it's military or some -- 

12          some way.

13                 And we talked about some more training 

14          and workforce training, like maybe volunteer 

15          fire squadrons or basic EMS training that 

16          could take place among them and help them 

17          out.

18                 But they do a great job in their work 

19          programs, and I can't say enough about it.  I 

20          wish everybody got a chance to see this 

21          place.  It is -- it's just really 

22          commendable, and I thank you very much for 

23          that.  But some questions of how to make it 

24          bigger.  So thank you.


 1                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Thank 

 2          you, Senator.  And I appreciate your 

 3          questions very much.  I'm very proud of the 

 4          Shock program in general.  It's saved 

 5          taxpayers, since it was created, over 

 6          $1.5 billion in prison cost avoidance.  I 

 7          think it really builds character in the 

 8          individuals that graduate.  It's amazing the 

 9          difference when you see when they first start 

10          the program and when they end up.  And it's 

11          basically a lot of dedication by staff.  And 

12          Moriah in particular has a wonderful 

13          superintendent.  And I'm always getting 

14          letters, acknowledgments from the community, 

15          appreciation when the work crews help out, 

16          helping put out fires sometimes, you know, 

17          and various other things.

18                 What we did was originally we made 

19          Lakeview the reception center because we 

20          wanted more inmates to volunteer, and we 

21          wanted them to get them out at reception and 

22          see what a real program was like and be 

23          interested in signing up for it.  

24                 Many years ago we had so many more 


 1          drug offenders than we have now.  We had at 

 2          one time like 24,000, and now we have about 

 3          6700.  So there's a lot less from the pool to 

 4          apply for that program.  But we can recruit 

 5          from general population when they become 

 6          within three years or less of their release 

 7          date.

 8                 And I know the superintendent has some 

 9          ideas to maybe market the idea that you can 

10          spend your last three years in a shock 

11          facility and get out by serving six months.  

12          We can certainly, I think, up enrollment 

13          there.  Someone suggested that this process 

14          for Lean might be appropriate to do that.  

15          And I might, you know, revisit having central 

16          office play more of a role as to, you know, 

17          who goes to Lakeview, who goes to Moriah.  

18                 The program is wonderful, they do a 

19          great job at Moriah.  And if there are 

20          creative ways to get more inmates to 

21          volunteer, I think it's a win/win all around 

22          for public safety.  They're better for it.  

23          It's just a very good program.  

24                 SENATOR LITTLE:  There is a YouTube 


 1          "Prison With No Walls" that you can just go 

 2          on YouTube and watch, it gives you a good 

 3          example.

 4                 But the counselors, the amount of 

 5          investment they have in the inmates and 

 6          working with them and -- I can't say enough 

 7          about it.  But thank you, and I just hope 

 8          more people can benefit from that program.

 9                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Thank 

10          you.

11                 SENATOR LITTLE:  Thank you.  Thanks 

12          for all you do.

13                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator.  

14                 Senator Bailey.

15                 SENATOR BAILEY:  Thank you, Madam 

16          Chair.  

17                 Good afternoon, Commissioner.  Thank 

18          you for your patience and your testimony thus 

19          far.

20                 I was looking over the comments 

21          concerning the merit time -- excuse me, your 

22          testimony concerning the merit time statutes, 

23          and I look at it as generally positive.  How 

24          many people would you estimate would benefit 


 1          from the merit time expansion?

 2                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  How do I 

 3          think people would benefit from it?

 4                 SENATOR BAILEY:  No, how many people.  

 5          Approximately how many people would benefit 

 6          from that?  

 7                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Under 

 8          the new change?  

 9                 SENATOR BAILEY:  Yes, under the new 

10          change, sir.

11                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  It's not 

12          going to be big numbers.  And I know that we 

13          have a number that was given for the budget, 

14          I just can't remember.  It's not huge.

15                 Basically, you know, it's individuals 

16          who would, for example, not need any of the 

17          other criteria -- not be in need of substance 

18          abuse treatment, you know, not need a GED, 

19          someone who's already got a high school 

20          diploma.  But there's some number of them, 

21          you know, that would qualify and meet it.  So 

22          I think -- I'm pretty sure it was a low 

23          number, but I think we still need to assess 

24          what's out there to come up with a firm 


 1          number.  I'll try and do that and get back to 

 2          you on that.

 3                 SENATOR BAILEY:  All right, I thank 

 4          you for that.

 5                 Within that potential expansion, is 

 6          there a possibility of -- and I know you just 

 7          said you're not sure about the numbers, but 

 8          is there a possibility of expanding 

 9          vocational or college programs within that?  

10                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Well, we 

11          have a huge college program expansion.  I'm 

12          very grateful what the Governor did, arrange 

13          with the Manhattan DA's office DANY funding 

14          that is going to allow, when it's fully up, 

15          an additional 2400 college slots.  We already 

16          have Pell grants.  We'll have college at 26 

17          of our facilities.  

18                 So we're very proud of that, and I 

19          think it's really transformative in what it 

20          does safety-wise and for the rest of the 

21          population.

22                 The voc programs we have -- and we 

23          have 28 of them, and they are really good 

24          programs.  And what I've had program staff do 


 1          is they're making a DVD and they've had our 

 2          voc instructors and inmates from each of our 

 3          programs speak on camera, the voc instructor 

 4          talking about, well, this is what you first 

 5          train a new arrival at.  At first they're a 

 6          little skeptical and what am I going to do 

 7          with this, and then you have the inmates 

 8          speak and say, yes, I was a little shy, but 

 9          now I understand this is a great trade to 

10          learn.  

11                 And once this is all done, we're 

12          hopefully to perhaps give that to some 

13          employers outside.  Because it's one thing to 

14          have someone present with a piece of paper, 

15          This is a skill I learned when I participated 

16          in the culinary arts; it's another thing to 

17          hear the person who trains them, where they 

18          also learn the soft skills, the importance of 

19          showing up to work on time, putting your 

20          tools away, being respectful, et cetera, and 

21          the actual trade they're learning.

22                 So when this DVD is finished, I think 

23          it really will showcase about 28 different 

24          voc programs that we have.  And I think a 


 1          prospective employer who looks at this will 

 2          really be enticed to potentially hire 

 3          someone.

 4                 SENATOR BAILEY:  That's excellent.  

 5          Because one of the goals that we obviously 

 6          have in restorative justice is to restore 

 7          people to a place where they can productive 

 8          once they reenter society.  So I do thank you 

 9          for that.

10                 One final question concerning the 

11          temporary release programs, the pilot 

12          programs.  I know that certain offenses are 

13          excluded, but it says that for inmates who 

14          would otherwise be ineligible for other 

15          release programs.  Can you walk me through 

16          that a little bit?

17                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Yeah, 

18          it's a long story and it's very complicated.  

19          The statute is 851 of the Correction Law.

20                 Basically what we're doing is the same 

21          cohort of inmates that are eligible for LCTA, 

22          right, which basically is you're not eligible 

23          for merit time -- you know, people that are 

24          serving longer sentences except for sex 


 1          offenders -- would be eligible.  It's a very 

 2          small number.  It's 50, which in a population 

 3          of 50,000 is one-tenth of 1 percent.  So 50 

 4          for work release, 50 for educational release.

 5                 And it's a pilot, you know.  We have 

 6          basically walled off whole cohorts of 

 7          offenders from these programs.  These are the 

 8          best transitional services programs you have, 

 9          because you gradually acclimate to living in 

10          the community.  So when you're in a work 

11          release facility, yes, you're still serving 

12          your sentence but you're able to leave the 

13          facility, get a job, you're able to furlough 

14          to an approved residence.  So instead of 

15          going from confined in a correctional 

16          facility 24 hours a day, you gradually get 

17          used to being released in the community.  

18                 And I can tell you, if you've been in 

19          the system for a long time -- you know, 20 

20          years -- it's overwhelming when you get out.  

21          It's just -- the technology has changed.  

22          People get intimidated just crossing the 

23          street.  They end up in tears because they 

24          lose sight of their wife in Walmart.  That's 


 1          a real story.  

 2                 So having people gradually get 

 3          released into the community who have proven 

 4          themselves over time.  And our 

 5          superintendents, our facility staff have a 

 6          good sense of who's good, who's a safe risk.  

 7          We do that for work release.  

 8                 For educational release, the 

 9          possibilities are endless.  We have all these 

10          individuals that are participating in college 

11          programs.  And I can tell you when we brought 

12          outside students into our correctional 

13          facilities to share a classroom, it's been an 

14          extremely positive experience.  I got this 

15          absolutely glowing letter from a colonel with 

16          West Point because we allow their cadets to 

17          come in and share a classroom with inmates in 

18          Eastern, a maximum security facility, or 

19          Woodbourne, and the letter thanked me for 

20          having, you know, the foresight to allow this 

21          to happen.  

22                 And this is going to build better 

23          cadets.  The future military leaders are 

24          going to defend this country because they are 


 1          now exposed to individuals that they never 

 2          would see before.  When you put people with 

 3          differences in the same setting -- common 

 4          purpose, educational learning -- everybody 

 5          all of a sudden has their eyes opened.

 6                 So this would take it to the next 

 7          step.  Instead of bringing the outside 

 8          students into our facilities, a limited 

 9          number, 50, would be able from a work release 

10          facility like Lincoln and maybe Rochester, a 

11          couple of others, to go into the college 

12          program, and the colleges would accept them.  

13          John Jay, for example, has a presence, they 

14          teach in Otisville, they're going to teach at 

15          Queensborough.  They are champing at the bit 

16          to have this happen because they see this -- 

17          everybody's concerned about how do we break 

18          the cycle, and education is so key to 

19          breaking the cycle.

20                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

21                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Assemblyman 

22          Palmesano.

23                 ASSEMBLYMAN PALMESANO:  Yes, thank 

24          you.  And I appreciate the indulgence of my 


 1          colleagues for a follow-up.  

 2                 Commissioner, I appreciate your time.  

 3          I know it's been a long day.  Something in 

 4          your comments kind of caught my attention and 

 5          I just kind of wanted to follow up on it.  I 

 6          know when we were talking about the issue of 

 7          double bunking, I thought, if I heard 

 8          correctly, you said some more of the issues 

 9          are around our maximum security prisons.  

10                 I kind of want to disagree with you on 

11          that from the perspective of when we look at 

12          the violence, when we talk about the violence 

13          statistics that are going on in our 

14          facilities, inmate on assault.  And we talk 

15          about, generally, the broad numbers, just 

16          total -- 2012, it was 524.  In 2017, it was 

17          798.

18                 But if you look at the medium security 

19          facilities, in 2012 there was 114 assaults by 

20          inmates on correction officers, on staff.  In 

21          2017, it was 198.  That's nearly a 75 percent 

22          increase in assaults going on in our medium 

23          security facilities.  

24                 And I've been to -- you know, the most 


 1          recent assault happened in Groveland, nearby 

 2          my district.  I've been to Groveland and 

 3          Livingston.  When I went into that facility, 

 4          the double bunks, they weren't just the ones 

 5          in the back, they were the whole corridor.

 6                 And I think with the closures, I think 

 7          this has kind of expanded this problem.  The 

 8          violence in our mediums are going up.  The 

 9          reclassification of prisoners, the increase 

10          of gangs into drugs -- I think this is a 

11          growing problem.  And I know you mentioned in 

12          your testimony about, you know, we have a 

13          responsibility -- you know, when someone asks 

14          why can't we just get rid of them all, we 

15          have a responsibility to taxpayers.  

16                 The only thing I would say in that -- 

17          I can't speak for everyone -- but the 

18          taxpayers I represent would want us to make 

19          sure we're spending the proper resources to 

20          make sure that the men and women who go to a 

21          dangerous job every day have the resources 

22          they need to do their job, and would rather 

23          see it spent on them, to protect them, than 

24          maybe some of these -- you know, the 


 1          settlement we talked about taking away 

 2          tools -- some of these other things that are 

 3          going for those in the facilities.  

 4                 We have to have a balance.  I'm not 

 5          saying we can't do everything, but we have to 

 6          have a balance.  And I think it's important 

 7          that we're making sure that we let our 

 8          corrections officers and our people working 

 9          in these dangerous environments, that we have 

10          their backs.  And I'm not sure they feel we 

11          have that way.

12                 So if it means revisiting the 

13          packaging program that the Governor rescinded 

14          right away, we should do that.  If it means 

15          drug dogs in every correctional facility, 

16          then we should do that.  If it means pepper 

17          spray statewide, then we should do that.  If 

18          it means more staffing in our facilities, 

19          then we should do that.  If it means getting 

20          rid of the double bunks and the double cells 

21          once and for all, we should do that.  If we 

22          need to lower the threshold on the number of 

23          beds in a dorm setting, then we should do 

24          that.  


 1                 And I've heard that there's been 

 2          situations in a double bunk, double cell, 

 3          where there's been -- an inmate murdered his 

 4          inmate.  So there's definitely a problem.  

 5                 But when I look at those statistics 

 6          from 114 assaults in a medium security prison 

 7          to 198 in just five years, we have a problem 

 8          in our facilities that needs to be addressed, 

 9          and we need to make sure that these officers, 

10          these people who go to work every day know we 

11          have their back.  A 75 percent increase is 

12          unacceptable, and we need to find out and get 

13          at the root of that problem.  The drugs, the 

14          gangs, all of that.  And we need to send a 

15          clear message.  

16                 The Governor could send a real clear 

17          message to the corrections officers, the men 

18          and women who work in these facilities, that 

19          we have their back.  And I just haven't heard 

20          it from him, Commissioner.  And I know you 

21          speak very highly of the men and women who 

22          work in our facilities, but we need the 

23          Governor to walk the walk as well as talk the 

24          talk.  


 1                 And I have a concern on this issue, 

 2          and I'm going to continue to speak out.  A 

 3          lot of colleagues will.  But when I see those 

 4          statistics, you can't dismiss them because 

 5          they're from your website.  It's a 75 percent 

 6          increase of inmate on correction officers, on 

 7          staff assaults -- increase, in five years.  

 8          And I think the double bunking, the double 

 9          celling, the prison closures are a part of 

10          that.  And I just wanted to make sure you 

11          understood that from my perspective, and 

12          hopefully that's something we can address 

13          when we're making investments and changing 

14          our correctional facility operations.  

15                 So anything you want to comment on 

16          that?  Otherwise, I appreciate you just 

17          taking my comments into consideration.

18                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Briefly.

19                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  I'll be 

20          very, very brief.  

21                 The only thing I will say is with the 

22          assault numbers, remember, this is not the 

23          Penal Law definition of assaults.  We have a 

24          very low threshold.  If you just reach out 


 1          and grab an officer's hand, you've laid your 

 2          hands on an officer, that's an assault.  So 

 3          to understand the level of violence, you also 

 4          have to look at what kind of injuries are 

 5          involved.  And you promulgated new standards 

 6          for us years ago, and we agreed to them.  We 

 7          have four different definitions.  The 

 8          overwhelming majority, like 74-something 

 9          percent, no injury at all.  And couple that 

10          with the minor injuries, it's something like 

11          90-something percent.  Only a very small 

12          percentage are actually moderate, and I don't 

13          think we've had any severe.  I'd have to 

14          double-check.  

15                 Again, I don't condone ever putting 

16          your hands on an officer.  But in terms of 

17          the violence, you have to look at those 

18          numbers as well, and the increase.  

19                 The increases bother me, but the 

20          increase this year is still less than what we 

21          had, the total number, in 2015.  So I'm not 

22          sure there's a dangerous trend there, as 

23          you're concerned.

24                 And also I will say -- just one 


 1          anecdotal story that I think really 

 2          epitomizes the Governor's care for our 

 3          correctional staff.  It was Memorial Day 

 4          weekend, I think two years ago, when we got 

 5          the word that a correction officer at home 

 6          was severely burned when a bomb blew up in 

 7          his face.  And we had no idea where that came 

 8          from.  The original thought, it could be an 

 9          inmate.  That was on, you know, Sunday 

10          morning.  That Monday, he was in the hospital 

11          to visit with that family.  He couldn't see 

12          the officer, he was so severely burned.  

13          Thank God he's recovered, and thank God it 

14          had nothing to do with the inmate population.  

15                 But I'm sure on a Memorial Day weekend 

16          he had better things to do than to drop 

17          everything and get out to that hospital and 

18          check on that officer's condition.

19                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, 

20          Commissioner.  

21                 And Senator Rivera has a 60-second 

22          question, and we would ask you that you 

23          answer within 60 seconds.  Thank you.  

24                 SENATOR RIVERA:  I got 60, you have 


 1          60, so I'm going to do -- sir, I look forward 

 2          to following up on all the things that we 

 3          talked about in the first round.  But just 

 4          really quickly, do you know a gentleman by 

 5          the name of Rick Raemisch?  Rick Raemisch is 

 6          the corrections commissioner for the State of 

 7          Colorado.

 8                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Oh, 

 9          yeah, yeah, I know him.  Yeah, Colorado.

10                 SENATOR RIVERA:  So I would suggest -- 

11          and I still have 50 seconds -- one thing that 

12          I would suggest, as he did, he actually spent 

13          24 hours at a SHU --

14                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Yes, I 

15          know that.

16                 SENATOR RIVERA:  And I would suggest 

17          that's one of the things that maybe you 

18          should do as well.  If we're going to be 

19          ahead of the curve in this state as far as 

20          progressive policy, we should move in that 

21          direction.  

22                 And I didn't even use the whole 

23          60 seconds.  Thank you, Madam Chair.

24                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  That 


 1          would probably be the best night's sleep I'd 

 2          had in a long time.  

 3                 (Laughter.)

 4                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, 

 5          Commissioner.

 6                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.

 7                 ACTING COMMISSIONER ANNUCCI:  Thank 

 8          you.

 9                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Our next speaker is 

10          Superintendent George Beach II, New York 

11          State Division of State Police.  

12                 Welcome, Superintendent.  

13                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Thank you, 

14          Chairman.

15                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  I look forward to 

16          your testimony.

17                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Thank you.  

18                 Chairman, do you want me to summarize 

19          my testimony?

20                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Yes.  That would be 

21          very helpful.

22                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  I'll be more 

23          than glad to.

24                 Chairman Young and Chairman Weinstein, 


 1          I would like to take this opportunity to 

 2          thank the Legislature for its significant 

 3          efforts in understanding our agency's 

 4          missions and, in doing so, for your enduring 

 5          support of the New York State Police.  That 

 6          support enables the New York State Police to 

 7          advance the public safety needs of the state 

 8          and to continue as one of the leading law 

 9          enforcement agencies in the nation.

10                 New Yorkers expect effective public 

11          service from a stable, professional and 

12          adequately resourced State Police.  I am 

13          proud to say that New Yorkers can be 

14          confident their expectations are being met. 

15          It is the integrity, knowledge, dedication 

16          and quality of our men and women that 

17          distinguishes the New York State Police.  I 

18          am honored and privileged to be a part of 

19          this agency as we move forward in our second 

20          century of service to the public in this 

21          great state. 

22                 Once again, I thank you for your 

23          support of the State Police and for the 

24          opportunity to address you this afternoon.


 1                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  That was brief.  

 2          Very good.

 3                 We do have some questions, though, 

 4          Superintendent.  First of all, I want to say  

 5          thank you to you and your members for your 

 6          outstanding service to the people of 

 7          New York.

 8                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes, ma'am.

 9                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  There are several 

10          items in the budget that I had some questions 

11          about.  The first one has to do with the 

12          Executive Budget proposing to send 26 FTEs to 

13          Long Island to combat MS-13.  In what 

14          capacity will these FTEs be serving?

15                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Senator, those 

16          FTEs include five investigators -- four 

17          investigators, one senior investigator -- to 

18          work as part of the FBI-led Safe Streets 

19          Eastern Long Island Task Force directed at 

20          MS-13 activity.  That also includes 10 

21          members of what we are calling a Gang 

22          Violence Prevention Unit who will work 

23          closely with the county police departments in 

24          outreach to educators and students -- not as 


 1          SROs, but as an adjunct to the Suffolk County 

 2          Police Department.  

 3                 In addition to that, we have deployed 

 4          some additional uniformed patrols in areas 

 5          which have been identified to us as areas 

 6          problematic for MS-13.  And so those are the 

 7          positions that we have asked to be replaced 

 8          in the budget.

 9                 The additional uniformed patrols would 

10          constitute what we are calling a community 

11          stabilization team --

12                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.

13                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  -- the 

14          assistance team.  This is not a new proposal, 

15          it is one that we have made in the past and 

16          have actually requested that consideration be 

17          given to staffing each of the troops in the 

18          state with this specialized unit to address 

19          directed problems.

20                 Our first effort at this would be on 

21          Long Island, and it would be targeted towards 

22          heightened levels of criminal and gang 

23          activity associated with MS-13.

24                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, and 


 1          we're very glad that you're addressing that 

 2          very serious and very significant issue.  I 

 3          know Senator Croci probably has some more 

 4          questions, but I was just wondering -- 

 5          obviously, you have been working on this 

 6          somewhat before this year's budget.  Is this 

 7          situation stabilizing, getting worse, getting 

 8          better?  What's your assessment?

 9                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  I believe the 

10          situation is stabilizing because there have 

11          been significant resources committed.  Prior 

12          to this, the State Police, through a 

13          combination of resources, has devoted 25 FTEs 

14          to directed patrols in areas identified to us 

15          as MS-13-problematic.  

16                 As I said, we did resource the FBI-led 

17          task force with the five investigatory 

18          personnel, so this would be an effort for us 

19          to actually formalize in our budget those 

20          positions.  But we have gone ahead and 

21          committed those resources because of the 

22          problem as it exists now.

23                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Well, thank you.  

24          And I know -- as I said, Senator Croci's been 


 1          a leader on this issue, so I look forward to 

 2          his questioning.

 3                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes, ma'am.

 4                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  The enacted budget 

 5          from this year provided for an additional 

 6          150 troopers for Troop NYC.  In what capacity 

 7          do these additional troopers serve?  So those 

 8          are the ones stationed in New York City.

 9                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes, ma'am.  

10          Our total number actually, by the time I'm 

11          speaking to you now, is 207 uniformed 

12          personnel.  

13                 We have very highly defined missions 

14          in New York City.  The majority of the 

15          troopers and supervisors are assigned to 

16          assist the MTA Bridge and Tunnels 

17          police officers on the nine state-owned and 

18          controlled facilities, crossings, and tunnels 

19          in the city.

20                 In addition to that, we commit some 

21          resources on a much smaller scale to 

22          patrolling Penn Station, Grand Central 

23          Station, and the 9/11 Museum properties.  And 

24          in addition to that, we have a presence now 


 1          in the John F. Kennedy Airport and LaGuardia 

 2          Airport, which is staffed by members of 

 3          Troop NYC but is augmented by out-of-troop 

 4          resources as well.

 5                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  How do you 

 6          interface with the other law enforcement 

 7          agencies that are tasked with patrolling 

 8          these areas also?

 9                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  I'm sorry, how 

10          do --

11                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  How do you 

12          interface with the -- note, my mic is not 

13          good -- how do you interface with the other 

14          law enforcement entities that are also tasked 

15          with protecting New York City?

16                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Right.  We 

17          enjoy an outstanding relationship, 

18          particularly with the New York City Police 

19          Department.  They have been absolutely 

20          supportive of our efforts.  Our command 

21          staffs are in constant contact with the 

22          command staffs not only of the New York City 

23          Police Department, but the Metropolitan 

24          Transportation Authority, with the Port 


 1          Authority.  We also augment our numbers with 

 2          National Guard folks.  

 3                 And one of the main things that we do, 

 4          particularly where there are many police 

 5          departments operating, is we deconflict the 

 6          space so that the police departments that we 

 7          operate cooperatively with know what our 

 8          commitment is on a daily basis, know pretty 

 9          much down to the person who is working what 

10          post.  

11                 We also avail ourselves of utilizing 

12          their communication system and -- so that we 

13          can all speak on the same radio network.  And 

14          that's to ensure not only the safety of the 

15          public but to ensure the safety of our 

16          members who are operating in these 

17          environments where there are multiple police 

18          departments working.

19                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you for that, 

20          Superintendent.  

21                 Now just switching gears a little bit, 

22          in January of 2017 the Governor signed a law 

23          that was passed both by the Senate and the 

24          Assembly -- Senator Hannon's bill -- that 


 1          deals with untested sexual assault kits, 

 2          evidence kits.  

 3                 And after that happened, I was curious 

 4          about whether there was an influx of untested 

 5          kits sent to the state's forensic lab that 

 6          required more for FTEs in addition to the 

 7          26 added in the fiscal year enacted budget 

 8          this year.  So we put jobs in last year, in 

 9          this current budget, and now you're asking 

10          for more.  So could you give us an update on 

11          that situation?

12                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes, ma'am.  We 

13          anticipated as a result of the enacting of 

14          the law that we would have a 100 percent 

15          increase.  What we have actually seen is a 

16          161 percent increase in submissions to our 

17          Forensic Investigation Center.

18                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  What do you 

19          attribute that to?

20                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  

21          Operationalization of the law, and I believe 

22          that when outside laboratories finally became 

23          aware that they should be sending these in, 

24          many of them did so all at once.  To be 


 1          honest, in the past month we received 215 

 2          from Onondaga agencies alone.  So we've had 

 3          this very rapid expansion of submissions to 

 4          the Forensic Investigation Center.

 5                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  How is that 

 6          impacting solving crimes?

 7                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  We are doing 

 8          everything we can to move as quickly as 

 9          possible.  We have been given the authority 

10          to hire and deploy 30 additional scientists 

11          in the analysis of these kits.  That is a 

12          lengthy process.  Nonetheless, we have -- 

13          from internal promotions and reassignments we 

14          have filled 19 of those positions, and we are 

15          in the process of filling the other 11 as we 

16          speak.

17                 Bearing that in mind, it takes us, on 

18          average, 12 to 18 months to have a scientist 

19          up to speed, able to do the analysis, and 

20          qualified to testify in court.  So this is a 

21          challenge for us.  

22                 In addition to that, obviously we are 

23          creating additional space needs within the 

24          laboratory, where we are already a very 


 1          cramped -- and what we have done is we have 

 2          moved some units out of the laboratory.  Our 

 3          computer crime units have come out of there 

 4          to create additional space.  

 5                 So I would say to you we are doing 

 6          everything we possibly can as quickly as we 

 7          can to get up to speed on this.

 8                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So the lab is 

 9          required to test the kits within 90 days.  

10          Has there been any issue in complying with 

11          this now?

12                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  We have 

13          encountered some issues, yes.

14                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.  Have you 

15          seen the report that was required to be sent 

16          to the Legislature by March 1, 2017?  Because 

17          I'm not sure we've received that yet.

18                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  I did not.

19                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  When can we expect 

20          it?

21                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  I will 

22          certainly check into that, though.

23                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  That would be very 

24          helpful to us.


 1                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes, 

 2          absolutely.

 3                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

 4                 I wanted to switch gears now.  Many of 

 5          us represent districts where people are 

 6          concerned about the pistol permitting --

 7                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes.

 8                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  -- requirement that 

 9          the State Troopers have been in charge of it.  

10          And we've heard from a lot of our 

11          constituents that they never were notified.  

12          For example, we've heard that there are 

13          issues with the pistol permit being linked to 

14          a person's driver's license.  I want to get 

15          into that, but I had several questions.

16                 So what measures did the State Police 

17          take to notify pistol permit holders of their 

18          need to recertify?

19                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Senator, we 

20          sent out, in January of 2017, 395,000 

21          letters.  

22                 In addition to that, we've engaged in 

23          a year-long media campaign which includes 

24          notices through the media, on our web page.  


 1          Through our partners at the county and local 

 2          level, we have placed forms, brochures.  We 

 3          use our social media accounts from the State 

 4          Police to periodically advertise the fact 

 5          that the deadline is approaching.  In fact, 

 6          as you know, it's tomorrow.  

 7                 So we have engaged in a year-long 

 8          campaign to get the word out.

 9                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Well, many of us 

10          were opposed to the SAFE Act for many reasons 

11          and still are.  But can you provide an update 

12          as to how many permits have been recertified 

13          to date?

14                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes.

15                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Tomorrow's the 

16          deadline, and where are we at?

17                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes.  I'm 

18          please to be able to report to you that we 

19          have been able to recertify about 70 percent 

20          of the submissions at this point, which is 

21          about 277,000 permits.  We have 30 percent 

22          remaining outstanding at this point.  

23                 I have to tell you that we have 

24          received over 40,000 in the last two weeks, 


 1          and we anticipate each day getting more and 

 2          more and more as the deadline comes close.  

 3          Many people did wait apparently to the last 

 4          minute to either send the mail form in or to 

 5          access our website.  But we have been able to 

 6          recertify 277,000 to date.

 7                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Several of our 

 8          constituents have reported problems with the 

 9          State Police website where there's no 

10          verification that they actually have been 

11          recertified, and so they're very nervous 

12          about have I really been recertified or not, 

13          are the state troopers going to come after me 

14          because I tried to do it on the website and 

15          I'm not sure it works.  

16                 So how are you going to let people 

17          know that they actually are recertified?

18                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  I would have to 

19          check with my technical people.  I have not 

20          been apprised of any issues related to the 

21          web site and the certifications, but I'll 

22          certainly look into that and make sure that 

23          if there's a problem that it's corrected 

24          immediately.


 1                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So 70 percent of 

 2          the people who were pistol permit holders 

 3          have been recertified.  But what happens to 

 4          the 30 percent who don't?  Is there a 

 5          revocation process, and how would that work?

 6                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  We intend to 

 7          continue outreach to the 30 percent and make 

 8          every effort to get them to recertify.

 9                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.  And is there 

10          any timeline that the State Police have put 

11          on that effort?

12                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  No.

13                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.  And I've 

14          heard from some people that they're concerned 

15          that the pistol permits are somehow being 

16          linked to a person's driver's license.  Could 

17          you address that?

18                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  It's the other 

19          way around.  The easiest way to verify the 

20          very basic descriptor information that we 

21          need to verify the permit is through means of 

22          a driver's license.  That's our quickest way 

23          to do it.  Or a non-driver ID.  So we have 

24          required that for people who are 


 1          recertifying.  That takes many of the 

 2          investigative steps out for us in terms of 

 3          having to verify an actual address, a legal 

 4          name, to associate that with an existing 

 5          permit.  Otherwise it literally becomes a 

 6          hand search for us.  

 7                 So in order to make this as efficient 

 8          and as easy for the public to recertify, we 

 9          did require that people use either a driver's 

10          license or a non-driver's ID to access into 

11          the system.

12                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Is that linked in 

13          the system somehow together now?  Is that -- 

14          so for example, if a trooper pulls somebody 

15          over and they check their driver's license, 

16          does the status of a pistol permit 

17          recertification show up?

18                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  No.  No, it 

19          does not.

20                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.  Thank you.  

21          I'll come back.

22                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  You know, in 

23          the budget the Governor proposed to remove 

24          firearms from people charged with domestic 


 1          violence offenses and revoke or suspend those 

 2          firearm licenses.  This information is then 

 3          reported to the State Police and also DCJS, 

 4          presumably for inclusion in the statewide 

 5          licensing record database established in the 

 6          SAFE Act.  

 7                 However, it's my understanding that 

 8          this database and the ammunition database are 

 9          still not operational now, four years out.  

10          Is that in fact true?  And how does the 

11          failure to have those databases available 

12          impact the effectiveness of the Governor's 

13          proposal regarding suspension and revocation, 

14          and just when do you think those databases 

15          will be operational?

16                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Well, it's my 

17          understanding that the first is a proposal, 

18          Chairman, and we would have to wait until 

19          that's operationalized.  But with reference 

20          to the databases, the ammunition database -- 

21          it continues to be problematic for us from a 

22          technology standpoint.  

23                 We have in furtherance of the law 

24          registered all sellers of ammunition at this 


 1          point, and we continue to work with IT 

 2          people.  I don't have any more IT people at 

 3          the State Police, so we are dependent upon 

 4          Information Technology Services to assist us 

 5          in this process.  

 6                 The truth of the matter is that -- and 

 7          I can only report, I'm not an IT expert -- 

 8          but I can only report to you what is being 

 9          told to me is the impediments, and I will do 

10          so, but the summary point is that we haven't 

11          found one technology that addresses the 

12          issues.  And what I am told is that there are 

13          a combination of circumstances that make it 

14          difficult to establish this database.  That 

15          includes the sheer volume of people who sell 

16          ammunition, the remoteness of many of those 

17          locations, and the associated connectivity 

18          issues with those.  

19                 Nonetheless, I want to assure you that 

20          this remains a priority to the State Police.  

21          It is a part of our Technology Working Group 

22          discussion with ITS, and it occurs at 

23          least -- they're at least talking twice a 

24          month, trying to work their way through some 


 1          of these issues.  But those are problematic 

 2          issues that they have to address to assist 

 3          us.

 4                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  And obviously 

 5          there are current laws regarding in a 

 6          domestic violence situation where a court -- 

 7          where a judge can order firearms suspended.  

 8          Is there a mechanism that the State Police 

 9          are notified of that event taking place, that 

10          order?

11                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes.  And that 

12          would trigger an investigation on our part to 

13          secure all the weapons that a person may hold 

14          if there's a court order to that effect.

15                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  And how do 

16          you -- how are you notified about the court 

17          order?

18                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Our local 

19          barracks would be notified from the court as 

20          part of the process that this has occurred.  

21          And I will tell you that there are oftentimes 

22          plaintiffs who will go into a Family Court 

23          situation and secure a order of protection 

24          which includes taking weapons or securing 


 1          weapons, and they will sometimes notify us as 

 2          well before we get a court notification.

 3                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.

 4                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Senator Gallivan.

 5                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you, Madam 

 6          Chair.

 7                 Good afternoon, Superintendent.

 8                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Senator.

 9                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you for your 

10          patience as well.

11                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Mic.

12                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  How's that working?

13                 Good afternoon again.

14                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Thank you.

15                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Senator Young had 

16          touched upon the recertification, so for the 

17          sake of time I will move past that.  

18                 You testified also pursuant to her 

19          questions about your deployment in New York 

20          City.  Could you address again -- not the 

21          deployment in New York City, I thought you 

22          thoroughly covered that.  The question 

23          becomes what about the rest of the state 

24          where we've had -- where we know that some of 


 1          the deployments to New York City have been on 

 2          overtime, and the backfilling has been on 

 3          overtime, which is something we wouldn't 

 4          financially be able to sustain.  But how do 

 5          we ensure coverage for all of those upstate 

 6          areas where the State Police is the primary 

 7          patrol or provides that specialized 

 8          assistance for all the local police 

 9          departments?

10                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Both of which 

11          are obviously priority missions for the 

12          New York State Police.

13                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Yes.

14                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  And I can tell 

15          you that our sworn strength now is the 

16          highest that it has ever been.  And when the 

17          Governor and I discussed the deployment to 

18          New York City, one of the things that I asked 

19          is that under no circumstances should that be 

20          made at the expense of staffing upstate 

21          troops, and the Governor has been true to his 

22          word.  

23                 And so we have had back-to-back 

24          academy classes -- also through the good 


 1          graces of this Legislature to fund those 

 2          resources to us -- and that has permitted us 

 3          to -- it has allowed us to maintain our 

 4          staffing levels upstate and to do the 

 5          footprint expansion in New York City.  We 

 6          have been fortunate.

 7                 As you did say, from time to time the 

 8          New York State Police has to respond with 

 9          large numbers of troopers to emergency 

10          situations, as you are well aware.  Our 

11          budget gives us the flexibility to do that.  

12          In those instances we, as you also know, 

13          routinely will -- if we have to -- hire to 

14          maintain staffing in patrol levels in the 

15          upstate regions of the state.  That is a core 

16          mission that is not negotiable to us, and we 

17          have to maintain that because so many of the 

18          upstate communities depend upon us and so 

19          many police agencies depend upon us for 

20          support services.  And the Governor is well 

21          aware of that and has made that commitment to 

22          us.

23                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  All right, thank 

24          you.


 1                 I know that we've talked about this in 

 2          the past, but it's been a little while since 

 3          we talked about the State Police fleet.  

 4          Could you comment on the fleet, separating 

 5          out the uniform vehicles and separately the 

 6          BCI vehicles.

 7                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yeah, I have 

 8          the actual statistics, Senator.  

 9                 We have been the beneficiary of having 

10          dedicated budget lines for the past several 

11          years, $15 million which has been 

12          appropriated to us.  The goal has been to 

13          reduce the number of vehicles in the fleet 

14          that have more than 125,000 miles on them.  

15          We've been largely successful in that.  To 

16          this very minute, we have been able to reduce 

17          that down this fiscal year to 24 vehicles 

18          that have more than 125,000 --

19                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Is that uniform or 

20          BCI?

21                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Let me just -- 

22          let me get the breakout for you here.  Hang 

23          on, just one second, because I have the 

24          actual statistics.  I have the actual 


 1          statistics on both.  Just one second, let me 

 2          get that for you.

 3                 Overall, we've been able to reduce the 

 4          incidence -- again, because of that -- those 

 5          expenditures of those monies, BCI vehicles 

 6          decreased by 9 percent and 33 percent 

 7          respectively, so the average mileage has 

 8          decreased in BCI vehicles 9 and 33 percent.  

 9          That left us 24 vehicles out of compliance at 

10          this point.  That would be 17 patrol 

11          uniformed concealed identity and seven BCI, 

12          so 24 total.  

13                 And I would just add that there are 

14          some variables in there that money sometimes 

15          can't address, and that would be 

16          manufacturer's schedule and acquisition 

17          dates that we picked the vehicles up.  We do 

18          everything we can to do a capital plan to try 

19          and avoid this, but unavoidably sometimes 

20          delivery schedules are held up, and that 

21          causes us to have some vehicles that are out 

22          of compliance with the policy.

23                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  And obviously the 

24          goal is to have everything in compliance.


 1                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes.

 2                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Is that something 

 3          that would be possible this fiscal year with 

 4          what the Governor --

 5                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes.

 6                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  -- is proposing?

 7                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  I believe it 

 8          will be.  Yeah.  Speaking to the 

 9          administration with the dedicated line, 

10          budget line item, we believe that we're going 

11          to be able to do that.

12                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Yeah.

13                 The last area that I wanted to 

14          cover -- and it's actually timely.  It was in 

15          the Governor's budget proposal, but he 

16          actually sent out a release on it today, and 

17          it has to do with the State Police's ability 

18          to investigate internet crimes against 

19          children and specifically deals with 

20          administrative subpoenas.

21                 Could you tell us about that?

22                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes.  The 

23          purpose of the legislation would be to give 

24          the State Police administrative subpoena 


 1          power in very limited circumstances to obtain 

 2          internet provider subscriber information for 

 3          people who are suspected of internet crimes 

 4          against children.  

 5                 The reason for this is that to date we 

 6          have had to depend upon the subpoena power of 

 7          prosecutorial agencies, either federal or 

 8          county.  That slows us down considerably and 

 9          ties up their resources in securing those 

10          subpoenas for us.  

11                 And I want to make a very important 

12          distinction.  The acquisition of the 

13          subscriber information for IP addresses has 

14          not been held to require a warrant.  And the 

15          distinction I want to draw for you is that 

16          once we get that subscriber information, 

17          should we deem it necessary to look at 

18          content from that point on, then we would 

19          obtain a search warrant to do so.  

20                 So this would be an administrative 

21          process which many other law enforcement 

22          agencies, including the New York City Police 

23          Department, already has the authority to do.  

24          This would allow us to move as quickly as 


 1          possible, which is necessary in investigation 

 2          of these crimes.  

 3                 So I would tell you that the process 

 4          by which we have to go, as I said before, to 

 5          outside prosecutorial agencies is 

 6          inefficient, and it hinders our ability to 

 7          move quickly.  To be frank, we are facing 

 8          ever-increasing incidents of internet crimes 

 9          against children.  One of the greatest 

10          growths that we've seen is in our computer 

11          crime units handling these types of crimes.  

12          Given that being the case, we would ask the 

13          Legislature to authorize us to have this 

14          subpoena power.  But again, it is only to 

15          obtain subscriber information.

16                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  And only for these 

17          types of cases.

18                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes.

19                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you.

20                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes.

21                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you, Madam 

22          Chair.

23                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

24                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Mr. Oaks.


 1                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Yes, thank you.

 2                 Senator Young, I believe, spoke some 

 3          on the recertification of pistol permits.  I 

 4          just wanted to follow up with that.  I know 

 5          that you gave her some numbers -- what I was 

 6          trying to clarify is do you have a sense of 

 7          the -- what the number is who have filed?  

 8          What percent of the total number of permit 

 9          holders have sent in their recertification, 

10          and do you have those?

11                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  About -- yes, 

12          sir, about 70 percent.

13                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  So 70 percent of 

14          everyone has sent theirs in.  And that number 

15          is what?  Sorry -- again, I apologize, I had 

16          to step out.

17                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  It's -- our 

18          records reflect that that's about 277 

19          people -- uh, 277,000.

20                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  277,000.  And that 

21          is 70 percent of the total.  And then of 

22          those, the numbers that have been 

23          processed -- and people have received their 

24          information back yet?  Or those all -- 


 1          already have been processed, everyone's who's 

 2          somewhere in the process?  

 3                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Some are in the 

 4          process of still being verified for accuracy.  

 5          One of the things that we are confronting is 

 6          that at the county level there are 

 7          actually -- because this goes back many 

 8          decades, there are many records which are 

 9          kept on paper.  And the recertification 

10          process will come in, we literally will have 

11          to check that against existing county records 

12          and to reconcile differences which may exist.  

13                 And these are not criminal 

14          differences.  It could be that someone has 

15          moved to a new address --

16                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Sure.

17                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  -- and failed 

18          to report it, you know.  In other words, it's 

19          administrative recordkeeping.  

20                 For us, the focus of this is as a 

21          recordkeeping exercise.  That's the tasking 

22          we've been given in the law, and so that's 

23          what we're working towards now.  But the 

24          process is cumbersome and it does slow us 


 1          down.  Each one of those has to be researched 

 2          by our people in the pistol permit bureau.

 3                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  And just a few 

 4          weeks ago we heard some numbers as low as 30 

 5          or whatever, so your office, it would appear, 

 6          has received quite a few within the last few 

 7          weeks as we approached the deadline.

 8                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  As of this -- 

 9          the stats I'm giving you are probably about a 

10          month old.  I know as of two weeks ago, in a 

11          two-week time period, we have received about 

12          41,000 in a two-week time period.  So it's 

13          evident to us that there are a number of 

14          people, thousands, who have waited until the 

15          end of the recert process to send that in.  

16          And we don't anticipate those numbers slowing 

17          down at all.  So we're --

18                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  So -- I'm sorry -- 

19          but those numbers that -- is this 277 and the 

20          70 percent, is that pretty much up-to-date, 

21          or does that not include that late rush?

22                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  It's hard to 

23          say.

24                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Yeah, yeah, okay.


 1                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  It would be 

 2          difficult for me to say.

 3                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  The latest 

 4          numbers -- yeah -- understood.

 5                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  We're very 

 6          pleased that that many people actually 

 7          accessed the system and sent their 

 8          information in.  And now it's a matter of us 

 9          assembling the recordkeeping appropriately.

10                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Thank you very 

11          much.

12                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes.

13                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Senator Croci.

14                 SENATOR CROCI:  Thank you, Madam 

15          Chairwoman.

16                 Superintendent Beach, thank you again 

17          for being here.  And again, my compliments to 

18          you and to the organization that you lead, 

19          which I believe is one of the premier law 

20          enforcement organizations in the country by 

21          necessity, but also because of some pretty 

22          stellar leadership at the ranks throughout 

23          the years.  So I want to compliment you on 

24          that.


 1                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Thank you.

 2                 SENATOR CROCI:  I do want to dovetail 

 3          off of what Senator Young had raised with 

 4          regard to the proposed FTEs and the MS-13 

 5          gang prevention proposal.  

 6                 I sort of was following the math, I 

 7          heard 10 uniformed patrols.  Could you just 

 8          one more time detail for me the other -- the 

 9          billets involved?  I hate to make you go 

10          through it again, but it would be very 

11          helpful.

12                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Sure.

13                 We -- and again, Senator, some of 

14          these actually reflect actual deployment of 

15          personnel already.

16                 SENATOR CROCI:  Already on the scene.

17                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes.

18                 SENATOR CROCI:  Do we have an idea -- 

19          if you can't tell me the exact number, that's 

20          fine, understood.

21                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  No, I can tell 

22          you -- we put a senior investigator and four 

23          investigators in the FBI-led task force.

24                 SENATOR CROCI:  So they respond -- 


 1          their day-to-day operational control is the 

 2          FBI.

 3                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes.

 4                 SENATOR CROCI:  Okay.  So they're 

 5          detailed to be --

 6                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  As a -- as a 

 7          part of that -- towards MS-13 gang violence.

 8                 SENATOR CROCI:  Okay, so I'm at like 

 9          15 or 16 right now.  Ten are uniformed 

10          patrols --

11                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes.

12                 SENATOR CROCI:  And six --

13                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  And another 10 

14          are part of what we are calling the Gang 

15          Violence Prevention Unit, which will act in 

16          concert with existing school resource 

17          officers in Suffolk County.

18                 SENATOR CROCI:  Are these uniformed 

19          troopers --

20                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  They are.

21                 SENATOR CROCI:  -- or are these 

22          civilians?

23                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  No, they are 

24          uniformed troopers.


 1                 SENATOR CROCI:  So they are all 

 2          uniformed --

 3                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes, sir.

 4                 SENATOR CROCI:  -- troopers.  Okay.  

 5          Understood.

 6                 I just to want talk a little about 

 7          uniformed patrols recognizing that troopers 

 8          don't grow on trees, they're assets that cost 

 9          money to produce, to train, and to maintain.  

10          Are they doing patrols in concert with the 

11          task force?

12                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  In some cases, 

13          yes.  For the most part, we are augmenting 

14          patrols which are being done by the county 

15          police departments --

16                 SENATOR CROCI:  Okay.

17                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  -- in Nassau 

18          and in Suffolk County, in areas which have 

19          been identified to us by the police 

20          departments as having a high incidence of 

21          MS-13 gang activity.

22                 SENATOR CROCI:  Does that include the 

23          state parks in Brentwood and Central --

24                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes, sir, it 


 1          does.

 2                 SENATOR CROCI:  Okay.  Very good.

 3                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  So we are 

 4          working cooperatively with the Parks Police, 

 5          but that does include the parks.

 6                 SENATOR CROCI:  Okay.  Very good.

 7                 These patrols -- I'm looking at an 

 8          executive order that the Governor signed in 

 9          September about what law enforcement may or 

10          may not do with individuals who are in this 

11          country illegally, and there's a little bit 

12          of legal gymnastics in here.  But if two 

13          troopers pull over somebody for a traffic 

14          stop -- the way a very wise and sharp state 

15          trooper did in Oklahoma City in 1995, and 

16          caught Timothy McVeigh for a traffic 

17          violation -- would then that information be 

18          relayed to federal law enforcement for 

19          further followup?

20                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Senator, the 

21          New York State Police does work cooperatively 

22          with all of our federal law enforcement 

23          partners.  We have a well-defined policy 

24          which guides the actions of New York State 


 1          Troopers, and there are contacts and inquiry 

 2          regarding persons who are potentially 

 3          undocumented.  The guiding principle on that 

 4          is that New York State Troopers do not 

 5          enforce federal civil law when it comes to 

 6          immigration.  

 7                 Having said that, our policy -- the 

 8          trigger for further inquiry is evidence of 

 9          criminality.  In cases where State Police 

10          troopers encounter a situation with a person 

11          who -- where there is evidence of criminality 

12          and in the investigation which occurs -- 

13          ensues into criminality, if it is determined 

14          that they are here as an undocumented person, 

15          that would trigger on our part a notification 

16          to the federal authorities.

17                 SENATOR CROCI:  So a traffic stop 

18          subject to further probable cause or other 

19          evidence at the scene would then -- the 

20          unlawful activities which would then enable 

21          you, under this executive order, to talk to 

22          federal law enforcement.

23                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  That's correct.

24                 SENATOR CROCI:  Okay.


 1                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  We did add one 

 2          more thing that I would like to bring to your 

 3          attention to ensure that we're fully 

 4          compliant out on the road.  

 5                 We did add -- I added this year that 

 6          in situations where the troopers encounter 

 7          one of these circumstances, that they are to 

 8          contact a supervisor, and a supervisor will 

 9          walk through the fact pattern with them and 

10          help them in making a determination about 

11          whether a notification is appropriate under 

12          those circumstances.

13                 SENATOR CROCI:  Is this supervisor 

14          sitting in like a mini-JTTF where they're 

15          with federal law enforcement?

16                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  No.  This would 

17          be our road supervision people, our sergeants 

18          and our zone supervision staff.  We have 

19          trained carefully on the policy, we have 

20          refreshed on the policy, to the extent that 

21          when things are brought to our attention, 

22          they're carefully studied after the fact to 

23          see if they're in compliance with the policy 

24          and to see if there are course corrections 


 1          that we might need to make.

 2                 SENATOR CROCI:  Okay.  That works for 

 3          me.  Thank you.

 4                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes, sir.

 5                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Senator Krueger.

 6                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Hi.

 7                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Hi, Senator.

 8                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So in the Enough is 

 9          Enough legislation that was part of last 

10          year's budget, the State Police was given I 

11          think $4 million or $4.5 million --

12                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes, ma'am.

13                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So there's been a 

14          recent audit saying there hasn't been pickup 

15          by all the college campuses in the state for 

16          the program -- I think it was a State 

17          Comptroller's audit a few days ago, I don't 

18          know if you've had a chance to take a look at 

19          it.  But it's consistent with some complaints 

20          I've gotten that college campuses are not 

21          implementing and may not even know what their 

22          responsibilities are.  

23                 So can you help me understand what 

24          you've done and what you're going to be 


 1          continuing to do to make sure --

 2                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Senator, I got 

 3          as far as reading the executive summary --

 4                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Okay.

 5                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  -- and the --

 6                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Good.  You get 

 7          points for that.

 8                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  -- and the 

 9          State Police were found to be in compliance.

10                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  I'm sorry.  The 

11          second sentence?

12                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  The State 

13          Police were found to be in compliance with 

14          our requirements under the law.

15                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  But if the campuses 

16          are not in compliance, because I think that's 

17          actually the bigger problem, what might -- 

18          and you're sort of -- you're the agency who's 

19          tasked with making sure that we are in 

20          compliance.  

21                 So what are you going to be doing in 

22          Year 2 to make sure that there's broader 

23          knowledge about this and more compliance on 

24          the college campuses?


 1                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Well, obviously 

 2          our CSAVU unit works collaboratively with 

 3          persons from the State Education Department.  

 4          To the extent that we can assist in 

 5          addressing the issues which have been 

 6          identified in that, we will certainly do so, 

 7          because it is a collaborative effort.  

 8                 So first I would say we would have to 

 9          analyze what needs to be done.  And then, as 

10          I said, we'll assist, if we possibly can, the 

11          State Education Department in finishing out 

12          what they need to.

13                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  And the $4.5 million 

14          is continued again in this year's budget?

15                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes.

16                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So how do you use 

17          that?  How many staff do you have?

18                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  We have -- let 

19          me get to it, I have the exact numbers for 

20          you.

21                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Sure.

22                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  The CSAVU unit 

23          is staffed with 15 people statewide.  We have 

24          a technical lieutenant in Albany who 


 1          supervises the effort statewide.  We have 11 

 2          senior investigators who work regionally to 

 3          handle the campuses in their area.  We have 

 4          an administrative senior investigator.  We 

 5          have two civilian support staff, and we have 

 6          a public information officer who handles our 

 7          outreach campaign and keeps CSAVU in the 

 8          media so that we can get the attention to 

 9          keep the word out there.

10                 You know, obviously we're going to 

11          keep the unit going at the same staffing 

12          levels at this point which we feel is 

13          appropriate to the demand being made on them.  

14          We did last year 5,500 hours of outreach 

15          training, both on and off campus, 1,689 hours 

16          of specialized training for our people and 

17          for campus police and for local police 

18          departments.  And in addition to that, we 

19          obviously handled casework which was reported 

20          to us or in which we provided assistance to 

21          campus or local police departments that had a 

22          crime reported to them.

23                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  And in this year's 

24          budget the Governor talks about changing the 


 1          protocol of how to handle sexual offense or 

 2          rape kits, and I believe gives you money to 

 3          do something different there as well.  I'm 

 4          curious what is going to change and how the 

 5          State Police are going to deal with my 

 6          understanding of hospitals actually throwing 

 7          out rape kits after 30 days and no one ever 

 8          testing them and not having a consistent 

 9          protocol to make sure chain of evidence is 

10          not violated with --

11                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Boy, I hope 

12          that's not the case.  They're supposed to be 

13          coming to us, under the law, the rape kits, 

14          for analysis.  

15                 The money will be used to augment our 

16          personnel resources for scientists.  As I 

17          indicated previously, the goal is to hire 30.  

18          We've filled 19 of those positions already, 

19          but we critically need the money to expand 

20          both storage and infrastructure to allow us 

21          to set up workstations for our scientists so 

22          that they can process these cases.

23                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  When you say they're 

24          supposed to come to you, your understanding 


 1          of the law is that "they" being the 

 2          hospitals?

 3                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  No.  Law 

 4          enforcement agencies that get them.  In other 

 5          words -- or outside laboratories.  

 6                 In other words, if the Onondaga County 

 7          laboratory receives one of the kits, it's 

 8          supposed to be chain of custody, it's 

 9          supposed to be sent to State Police --

10                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So I'm going to ask 

11          you to look earlier in the process.  But my 

12          understanding is that the kits don't get out 

13          of the hospitals to go to law enforcement if 

14          perhaps the victim didn't check a box and 

15          say, Yes, the night of.  And it's not 

16          something they're necessarily going to go 

17          back and revisit.

18                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Right.

19                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So we supposedly 

20          have a large number of rape kits that never 

21          get to law enforcement, never get tested --

22                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Okay.

23                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Which I would argue 

24          is probably important -- even if this victim 


 1          chooses not to go forward at this time, it's 

 2          still valuable to have that evidence kit 

 3          available. 

 4                 And you're telling me I'm at zero, 

 5          so --

 6                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  And I can 

 7          assure you that if it's a State Police 

 8          investigation, that our investigators will 

 9          make sure that the evidence is secured.

10                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  I don't have time, 

11          but I would ask you to follow up to help me 

12          understand --

13                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  I will.

14                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  -- why things aren't 

15          getting processed to you ever.

16                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes, ma'am.  I 

17          will do that.

18                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.

19                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Senator Savino.

20                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you, Senator 

21          Young.  Good afternoon -- early evening, 

22          Superintendent.  How are you?

23                 I'm not going to go over some of the 

24          things that other people have asked, but I 


 1          just want to make a couple of -- get at 

 2          points of clarity.

 3                 So on this -- on the -- the budget 

 4          projects that the number of full-time 

 5          equivalents by the end of FY2019 will be 

 6          5,741, with an increase of 30 FTEs.  You are 

 7          also -- and some of them -- along with the 

 8          additional 26 FTEs for the MS-13 initiatives.  

 9          So we're looking at roughly 5,741.  

10                 You're also requesting, or you've 

11          requested and the budget allocates for two 

12          new academy classes this year, with about 100 

13          candidates for each class.  Is that correct?

14                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes.

15                 SENATOR SAVINO:  How many people do 

16          you anticipate, though, are going to be 

17          retiring this year?  Do you not think it's 

18          going to exceed 200?

19                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes.

20                 SENATOR SAVINO:  You do?  It will?

21                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  What we've been 

22          running on, a five-year average, is about 220 

23          per year.  So when Budget looks at our 

24          request to run academy classes, it is first 


 1          baselined --

 2                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Mm-hmm.

 3                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  It is what -- 

 4          the actual number who will attrit, and that's 

 5          considered a baseline calculation.

 6                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Is it possible more 

 7          might retire?  I mean, do we have a sense of 

 8          how many members are approaching that 20-year 

 9          mark?  And on that, do they generally retire 

10          at 20 years from the State Police?

11                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  They generally 

12          do not.  But as a cautionary note -- and I 

13          have let our budget staff people, our public 

14          safety cluster -- the State Police was 

15          expanded exponentially in the years 1986 and 

16          1987.

17                 SENATOR SAVINO:  So they would all be 

18          approaching retirement age now?

19                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Well, they're 

20          going to have 32 years on this year.

21                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Yeah.

22                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  And that's -- 

23          you max out on your pension.  So we're 

24          anticipating that there will be a significant 


 1          departure by a significant number of those 

 2          people.  

 3                 We're still trying to calculate that 

 4          at this point in terms of how many people 

 5          left, where they are, and to take some 

 6          educated guesses at how many will leave.  We 

 7          know it will be a high number.

 8                 SENATOR SAVINO:  So we could 

 9          conceivably have a bunch of new state 

10          troopers soon driving old cars with a lot of 

11          miles on them.  I know you touched on the 

12          issue of the vehicles.  I would hope, though, 

13          that we could do better, because the last 

14          thing we want is people driving cars with 

15          200,000 miles on it.

16                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes.

17                 SENATOR SAVINO:  I want to touch on 

18          something about the number of state troopers 

19          who are placed downstate in the City of 

20          New York.  Now, I am one of those people who 

21          actually likes them around because they 

22          helped us maintain the traffic on the Staten 

23          Island Expressway, making sure people don't 

24          abuse the HOV lane.  


 1                 But I know they were there, they were 

 2          on the Belt Parkway, they were also, I 

 3          believe, at the bridges and tunnels still?

 4                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes.

 5                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Can you give me an 

 6          idea of how many are there and are -- do we 

 7          anticipate they're going to stay?

 8                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yes.  

 9          They're -- we are -- those are permanent 

10          staff positions on the nine MTA bridges and 

11          tunnels.

12                 SENATOR SAVINO:  And the troopers that 

13          have been assigned downstate, do they 

14          generally live downstate?  Or has it created 

15          a hardship for some of them having to 

16          relocate or travel long distances?

17                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  It's a mix.  I 

18          was pleasantly surprised when we canvassed -- 

19          which we do as a matter of protocol and in 

20          compliance with our union contracts to see 

21          who might be interested in the assignment -- 

22          the first 55, all but one requested 

23          assignment down there.

24                 Then too, we attract a significant 


 1          number of candidates from Troop L on the 

 2          Island.  Troop L is a difficult troop to get 

 3          into.  Once people go back home to 

 4          Long Island, they stay for extended periods 

 5          of time, and often our younger troopers are 

 6          sent distant in-state, maybe Troop B or 

 7          Troop D in the Syracuse area.  And so a 

 8          number of them, when I spoke to them, said 

 9          that's as close as they could get to 

10          Long Island, they were going to take the 

11          assignment for now.

12                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Do you have any 

13          troopers that come from the city, that are 

14          New York City residents?

15                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Oh, yes.  Yeah.  

16          Yes, we do, many.  Many.

17                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Well, again, I'm one 

18          of the few people that likes them.  Other 

19          people complain, they think you're bigfooting 

20          the NYPD.  From what I've seen, the State 

21          Police and the NYPD tend to work fairly well 

22          together.

23                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Yeah, I can 

24          assure you that we're not.  I personally talk 


 1          with Jim O'Neill on a very frequent basis.  

 2          We have an excellent working relationship 

 3          with them.  They have been very supportive of 

 4          us.

 5                 SENATOR SAVINO:  And again, they've 

 6          been a great help to those of us on 

 7          Staten Island.  We spent many years trying to 

 8          get a HOV lane that would take us across the 

 9          bridge onto the Gowanus Expressway.  The 

10          minute it opened, people just abused it 

11          terribly.  And it wasn't until the Governor, 

12          at our request, sent state troopers down that 

13          we were able to get a handle on that.  So I 

14          want to thank you and thank your members for 

15          their work.

16                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator.

17                 Anybody else?

18                 Superintendent, I just wanted to ask 

19          you -- we had a brief conversation during the 

20          hearing last year about the Olean Barracks 

21          and the lab.  Can you give an update on that?

22                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  We don't have 

23          any intention of moving them, I want to 

24          assure you of that.  We are experiencing 


 1          significant -- as you're aware, significant 

 2          structural difficulties with the barracks 

 3          which we have to address.  And in this year's 

 4          budget we have requested and been granted a 

 5          line item for capital expenditures, including 

 6          construction.  Olean would be one of our 

 7          priority projects because of the difficulties 

 8          we're having.

 9                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Great.  But it 

10          would still be in the Olean vicinity?

11                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  That is our 

12          intention, yes.

13                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Very good.  Okay, 

14          thank you.

15                 I think that's it.  So we really 

16          appreciate all that you do and all that your 

17          troopers do and everyone at the department, 

18          so thank you so much.

19                 SUPERINTENDENT BEACH:  Thank you for 

20          the opportunity.

21                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Our next speaker is 

22          Director Bill Leahy, New York State Office of 

23          Indigent Legal Services.

24                 Can I ask that you summarize your 


 1          testimony, please?  I'm sure you'll be glad 

 2          to after all this time.

 3                 DIRECTOR LEAHY:  Thank you, Senator 

 4          Young and Assemblywoman Weinstein.  I want to 

 5          try to keep this relatively simple and give 

 6          you three major points that I'll try to make 

 7          in relatively brief remarks, and then I hope 

 8          we'll have an opportunity for a little 

 9          conversation.

10                 The first point in kind of bullet 

11          fashion is that we urge your support of the 

12          funding that the Governor has recommended in 

13          his Executive Budget for the statewide 

14          extension of the Hurrell-Harring reforms 

15          pursuant to legislation enacted in the 

16          current-year budget.

17                 The second point is that I need to 

18          speak to you about the neglect of the 

19          parental representation responsibility in 

20          Family Court that we have.  That has gone 

21          unaddressed through all the various reforms, 

22          the important reforms that have taken place 

23          and are taking place with respect to criminal 

24          defense.  


 1                 And then a final point I want to make 

 2          is about other funding streams that also 

 3          support public defense, and in particular the 

 4          New York State Defenders Association, which 

 5          plays such a vital role in maintaining the 

 6          quality of public defense in New York and is 

 7          only partially addressed in the Executive 

 8          Budget.

 9                 So let me take the first first.  For 

10          almost 50 years, New York was mired in an 

11          unconstitutional and fractured system of 

12          providing public defense, under County Law 

13          18B and the county-based public defender 

14          systems, with virtually no state oversight 

15          and very little state financial support.  

16          That led to a long series of caustic reports 

17          and assessments, culminating in 2006 with 

18          Chief Judge Kaye's commission, which 

19          excoriated the system and said it failed 

20          New York's duty to comply with the right to 

21          counsel under the Sixth Amendment and under 

22          the Gideon case and under the New York 

23          Constitution.

24                 Let me not get ahead of myself into 


 1          parental representation, let me just say that 

 2          ultimately that led, in 2010, to the 

 3          legislation that created the Office of 

 4          Indigent Legal Services, and in 2011 we began 

 5          operations, just about this time of year -- a 

 6          little later, because I missed the budget 

 7          hearing.  I came into town on the 22nd of 

 8          February, I missed a lot of the fun.  I 

 9          didn't know what I had missed.  

10                 But I was here in time for that 

11          raucous last month of the budget when our 

12          funding that was proposed by the Governor 

13          that first year was cut in half and when our 

14          intended staffing was cut in half, so I got 

15          here in time for that.

16                 So much has happened in the seven 

17          years that we've been in operation.  We are 

18          still very small.  We just this month added 

19          three staff members, for a grand total of 23 

20          staff.  But what has happened over the seven 

21          years is really quite an amazing story.  Some 

22          of you know all of it, some of you know some 

23          of it.  First, with the support of this 

24          Legislature, we were able to get funds out to 


 1          the counties, particularly the upstate 

 2          counties, to begin to reduce excessive 

 3          caseloads and to begin to comply with the law 

 4          that requires counsel at arraignment in 

 5          criminal cases.  We will always be grateful 

 6          for your support in those early years.  

 7                 Then in 2014 came the settlement of 

 8          the Hurrell-Harring lawsuit, and that 

 9          settlement required the state to fund counsel 

10          at arraignment, to fund caseloads that were 

11          not set in the settlement but were delegated 

12          to my agency to set.  And then they were set 

13          in December 2016, at new lower levels, even 

14          lower than the levels that had been set in 

15          New York City earlier in 2010.

16                 And thirdly, quality improvement 

17          initiatives, meaning that lawyers did not 

18          have to do everything on their own, they 

19          could have access to investigators, they 

20          could have access to support services, they 

21          could have access to expert witnesses -- all 

22          at state expense, but only in the five 

23          counties of Onondaga, Ontario, Schuyler, 

24          Suffolk, and Washington.


 1                 So you know the story from there.  

 2          Assemblywoman Fahy stepped up, Senator 

 3          DeFrancisco stepped up.  This Legislature 

 4          unanimously stepped up and passed a bill that 

 5          went to the Governor, and then we've been 

 6          through a long process -- it's only been 

 7          13 months since the Governor's New Year's Eve 

 8          veto, a couple of hours before the New Year's 

 9          Day of 2017, his promise in that veto message 

10          to file a bill to have the state extend the 

11          Hurrell-Harring reforms statewide.  Three 

12          weeks later, in January 2017, he fulfilled 

13          that promise.  Several months after that, 

14          this Legislature signed on, and that law was 

15          changed to put the state in the responsible 

16          position.  

17                 And again -- and we feel very blessed 

18          and very fortunate -- our agency was chosen 

19          to implement the now statewide reform.  And 

20          that was April whatever it was, 7th or 8th or 

21          so.  And we were given a huge responsibility 

22          by December 1st to produce plans for 

23          statewide implementation.  We were able to do 

24          that.  


 1                 And we did it I think so well that in 

 2          the Governor's Executive Budget there is the 

 3          full $50 million appropriation, recommended 

 4          appropriation that we requested and that is 

 5          Phase 1 of a five-year plan to make the 

 6          entire State of New York compliant with its 

 7          constitutional responsibilities with respect 

 8          to criminal defense.  So no county will have 

 9          to worry about being sued, as the five 

10          counties were.  The state will not have to 

11          worry about being sued.  We won't have to 

12          worry about a heightened risk of wrongful 

13          convictions.  

14                 New York has gone from very close to 

15          the bottom of states in their compliance with 

16          the right to counsel in criminal cases to, in 

17          just a few short years, we'll be very near 

18          the top.  And all of you in this room deserve 

19          a tremendous amount of credit for that.

20                 So that's the very good news.  And I 

21          urge your full-hearted support of the 

22          Executive Budget request with respect to 

23          criminal defense.

24                 Now, I mentioned I would talk about 


 1          parental representation.  That's the missing 

 2          25 percent, about 25 percent of the cases for 

 3          which representation is legally required if a 

 4          person is eligible, financially eligible.  

 5          It's equally mandated by law, but it was -- 

 6          there's a little footnote in that Kaye 

 7          Commission report in 2006, and it says all 

 8          the problems we're addressing in this report 

 9          are equally applicable to parental 

10          representation, but that is not part of our 

11          mandate.  

12                 So when that report came out in 2006, 

13          that's pretty much all that was said.  And 

14          when the plaintiff's Civil Liberties Union 

15          lawsuit came in 2007, it also was not 

16          included.  And so in 2014 the settlement did 

17          not include it.  And the legislation that is 

18          so wonderful with respect to criminal defense 

19          also does not include it.

20                 Now, I will tell you two very hopeful 

21          things, and I will make an ask of you with 

22          respect to this budget.  The hopeful things 

23          are that, number one, the board which employs 

24          me and which guides me and my staff -- 


 1          chaired, of course, by Chief Judge Janet 

 2          DiFiore -- has spent a lot of time examining 

 3          the deficiencies in the area of parental 

 4          representation.  And Chief Judge DiFiore 

 5          personally, and the board, are very involved 

 6          and intend, I think, to be very active in 

 7          this area.  Our director of parental 

 8          representation, Angela Burton, and I have met 

 9          with Judge Marks, with the Family Court 

10          judges.  We know there is a tremendous 

11          recognition within the Judiciary, and we hope 

12          that that recognition of the problems with 

13          parental representation will soon spread to 

14          the Legislature and to the Governor.

15                 My specific ask is that there's a 

16          $3 million Aid to Localities request in our 

17          budget request which did not find its way 

18          into the Executive Budget.  I would ask that 

19          the Legislature add that $3 million.  It 

20          would give us a jump-start on the reforms 

21          that are to come and that frankly are legally 

22          required.

23                 The second piece besides the judicial 

24          involvement I want to mention is the State 


 1          Bar Association Committee on Families and the 

 2          Law.  Very active on this area.  They are 

 3          preparing a resolution that we expect will 

 4          receive State Bar Association approval urging 

 5          the state to step in and take this burden 

 6          from the counties.  So that's another area 

 7          that we look forward to working with our -- 

 8          both our friends at the State Bar Association 

 9          and our allies at the New York State 

10          association of counties to make parental 

11          representation reform a reality in 2018.  

12                 The third thing I do want to mention, 

13          as I said, is the other accounts.  What we're 

14          doing with respect to public defense in 

15          New York is building upon a structure.  Now, 

16          some of that structure is not adequately 

17          funded in the Executive Budget.  The 

18          Institutional Parole Program is not funded, 

19          and that's a $600,000 -- I'm going to have to 

20          go from memory here because I've misplaced my 

21          notes.  The Aid to Defense, cut by $441,000.  

22          The Prisoners Legal Services is short about a 

23          half a million, and Karen Murtagh will be 

24          addressing that.  And most importantly, the 


 1          New York State Defenders Association, 

 2          including their Veterans Defense Program.  

 3                 I hope you understand -- and I know 

 4          Susan Bryant will be speaking to you, I hope 

 5          soon, about their -- they've got about a 

 6          million in the Executive Budget.  They are 

 7          funded now at 2.5 million -- just under 2.6, 

 8          I believe.  They provide essential backup 

 9          center services for 150 public defense 

10          providers all across the State of New York.  

11          Mark Williams, the soon to be outgoing public 

12          defender of Cattaraugus County, speaks all 

13          the time about how often his office and other 

14          offices in rural counties, particularly, rely 

15          upon NYSDA staff for quick and accurate and 

16          helpful legal advice in the representation of 

17          their clients.

18                 So that's not my budget line, but it's 

19          a budget line that is essential to the job 

20          that we're doing of reforming public defense 

21          in the State of New York.  

22                 So I'll just close my opening remarks 

23          with thanks to the Legislature, to the 

24          Governor, to the State Bar, to the State 


 1          Association of Counties, to all our county 

 2          and county defense provider allies who have 

 3          all contributed to making this reform happen.  

 4          And I'll be happy to take any questions you 

 5          may have.

 6                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Assemblywoman 

 7          Weinstein.

 8                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you for 

 9          being here, and your patience.

10                 You know, so last year when we enacted 

11          legislation to expand the provisions of 

12          Hurrell-Harring, the settlement, statewide, 

13          one of the most heavily negotiated items was 

14          the level of oversight by the Division of 

15          Budget in the development of the plan.  It 

16          ultimately was agreed that Budget would 

17          review and approve the plans, but limited -- 

18          approval solely limited to the projected 

19          fiscal impact.  

20                 So there's different language in the 

21          Executive Budget this year, and I was 

22          wondering if you believe that the 

23          appropriation language as presented reflects 

24          the negotiated DOB approval language, or does 


 1          it go beyond and do we need to revisit that?

 2                 DIRECTOR LEAHY:  Well, I think that's 

 3          an issue that I hope is well-resolved before 

 4          you come down to crunch time in your budget 

 5          deliberations.  One of those plans is an 

 6          operational plan.  I think the Governor's 

 7          budget came out on the 16th of January.  On 

 8          the 22nd of January we delivered a 

 9          preliminary draft of an operational plan.  

10                 We're working very closely and very 

11          cooperatively with the public protection team 

12          at the department of the Budget, which is an 

13          excellent team.  We're also working very 

14          closely with counsel's office, which has 

15          provided excellent guidance and support for 

16          us.  

17                 I do not right at this moment have a 

18          concern with that language, as our 

19          understanding is that the language is to 

20          assist us in making sure that the services -- 

21          the reforms we will be implementing are 

22          provided efficiently as well as 

23          professionally and effectively.  I take that 

24          at face value, and I do so based on our 


 1          working experience with the personnel at the 

 2          DOB and in the counsel's office.  

 3                 Now, if my hopes are unrealized, I -- 

 4          you know, Mr. and Mrs. Leahy did not raise a 

 5          wallflower, I will not be quiet about that.  

 6          But no, I -- we've had great meetings.  

 7          There's a legitimate interest on the part of 

 8          the Executive to make sure that this very 

 9          substantial reform program operates as 

10          intended.  

11                 And no one is interfering with our 

12          professional judgment about the decisions as 

13          to how the rollout and the actual reform is 

14          to be constructed.  We're working very 

15          intensively with every single county and the 

16          City of New York to do that.  No one is 

17          telling us how to do that.  No one is 

18          questioning that.  I think the DOB concern is 

19          a legitimate one, and one that we can and 

20          will respond to and are responding to.  And I 

21          expect that -- I'll be very disappointed, I 

22          will tell you this, I will be very 

23          disappointed if come April 1st we don't have 

24          approval for plans pursuant to that language 


 1          which you could then -- you know, the 

 2          language would -- the issue would kind of 

 3          moot out, I suppose.  

 4                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.  And 

 5          I just want to thank you for your comments 

 6          about the need to also address parental 

 7          representation throughout the state.  Thank 

 8          you.

 9                 DIRECTOR LEAHY:  Thank you very much.

10                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  Our 

11          next speaker is Robert H. Samson, Chief 

12          Information Officer for the New York State 

13          Office of Information Technology Services.

14                 Welcome.  

15                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  Thank you.  

16                 Well, good evening, I guess, at this 

17          point, Chairwoman Young and Chairwoman 

18          Weinstein and distinguished members of the 

19          Legislature.  As mentioned, my name is Bob 

20          Samson.  I'm the Chief Information Officer 

21          for the State of New York.  

22                 I am particularly pleased to be here 

23          because I am nothing less than a New Yorker.  

24          I was born in Park Slope in Brooklyn, we 


 1          lived in Greenpoint, I met my wife Linda at 

 2          college in Plattsburgh, New York, got married 

 3          in Schenectady, lived and worked in Utica and 

 4          Syracuse.  I now live in Albany, I vacation 

 5          in Hamilton County in the Adirondack Park.  

 6          So I have a rather geographically dispersed 

 7          relationship with the State of New York.

 8                 I'd also like to start by thanking you 

 9          for your dedicated service to our state, as 

10          evidenced by this long day that you've had so 

11          far.  I suspect it will probably be longer.  

12                 I was appointed to the role of New 

13          York State chief information officer in May 

14          of 2017.  I joined state service as the CIO 

15          coming out of retirement from the private 

16          sector, where I was a senior executive for a 

17          large technology company for over 37 years.  

18          While I'm relatively new to the New York 

19          State CIO job, I am no stranger to ITS.  For 

20          two years, in 2011 and 2012, I served as a 

21          volunteer on Governor Andrew Cuomo's Spending 

22          And Government Efficiency -- or SAGE -- 

23          commission, on which I chaired the 

24          information technology subcommittee.  


 1          Governor Cuomo adopted the recommendations of 

 2          the SAGE Commission and, executing his bold 

 3          vision, in late 2012 he created ITS.  

 4                 The initial focus at ITS was the 

 5          consolidation of infrastructure and services, 

 6          including data centers, telephones, email 

 7          systems, and networks.  ITS has just turned 

 8          five years old, and the work contemplated by 

 9          the SAGE Commission is now largely complete.  

10          No other state in the nation has taken on 

11          such a project on such a scale.  New York 

12          leads the nation in building an IT service 

13          delivery organization commonly referred to as 

14          "the all-in model" -- all of the people, all 

15          of the funding, all of the standards.  Many 

16          states look at New York with a certain sense 

17          of envy, and we are routinely called upon to 

18          advise them on their own strategies for IT 

19          transformation.

20                 Now I'd like to update you on our 

21          progress since I joined the state in May of 

22          2017 and let you know what we plan to do in 

23          the coming year.  But before I do, I'd like 

24          to leave you with a metaphor.  In 1947 there 


 1          was one -- one -- transistor in the world, 

 2          one.  Today there's 2.5 billion transistors 

 3          for every human being on the planet, and my 

 4          phone has 4.3 billion transistors in it.  

 5          Some of you that might have an iWatch, if you 

 6          happen to be wearing one, that watch is two 

 7          times more powerful than a supercomputer made 

 8          by Cray Corporation in 1985.  

 9                 Now, why do I bring that up?  The 

10          transistors are now instrumenting parts of  

11          our society and processes and elements of our 

12          society that had never been instrumented 

13          before.  So as the world becomes instrumented 

14          with transistors, interconnected with the 

15          Internet, it is becoming increasingly 

16          intelligent.  And that is the world that we 

17          operate in in ITS.  Much of the invention for 

18          the transistor, my little friend that's in my 

19          phone here, is done right down the road here 

20          at the college of Nanoscale Science and 

21          Engineering at SUNY Poly.  It is the foundry 

22          of invention, and most of the chips in this 

23          phone were manufactured up the road in Malta, 

24          New York.  


 1                 So as a state we have to meet this 

 2          rapidly changing world head on and embrace it 

 3          and leverage it, and that's what we do every 

 4          day.

 5                 I would also point out that the Mario 

 6          M. Cuomo Bridge is filled with billions of 

 7          transistors that manage its health every 

 8          single day, 24 hours a day, seven days a 

 9          week, further evidence of this 

10          instrumentation, interconnectedness, and 

11          intelligence.  An intelligent bridge.  

12          Probably the most intelligent bridge in the 

13          world.  

14                 So where are we going?  We're going to 

15          continue to strengthen the state's cyber 

16          posture.  Cybersecurity is ITS's first 

17          priority.  ITS has significantly improved the 

18          state's information security position through 

19          a mixture of investments in our cyber 

20          professionals and new security-related 

21          technologies, including the buildout of our 

22          Cyber Command Center.  Next we're going to 

23          complete the consolidation of 53 data centers 

24          into one secure state-of-the-art data 


 1          center -- indeed, a Tier 3-plus data center.  

 2                 And probably perhaps most importantly, 

 3          although these are not necessarily in 

 4          importance order, we're going to strengthen 

 5          the focus on our people.  At the end of the 

 6          day, the technology industry is not about the 

 7          technology.  It never has been.  I've been 

 8          around it for 40 years.  The secret of the 

 9          technology industry are the people that use 

10          the technology, bend the technology, shape 

11          the technology, apply the technology in 

12          innovative ways that change the trajectory of 

13          how work is done.  

14                 We have no better workforce than the 

15          ITS workforce here in the State of New York.  

16          I can point to example after example after 

17          example and we'd be here a very long time 

18          this evening if I went through all the 

19          examples that I have of their expertise, 

20          their knowledge, their brilliance at what 

21          they do every single day.  It is truly a 

22          treasure that we have in New York State, the 

23          ITS workforce that we have.

24                 We've invested heavily in the skills 


 1          of our workforce and support the proposal in 

 2          Governor Cuomo's Executive Budget that would 

 3          allow ITS to bring in even more talent into 

 4          the ITS workforce to assist us in innovating 

 5          for our clients.  

 6                 Next we're going to focus on our 

 7          clients more rigorously than we have in the 

 8          past.  We refer to our agency partners as 

 9          clients.  As a first-of-its-kind state IT 

10          organization, our business is applying 

11          technology to the business of government, and 

12          we're making significant changes to how we 

13          deliver on this promise for our agency 

14          partners.  We are more client-centric, 

15          skills-based, and process-driven.  That is 

16          truly the heart of an IT service delivery 

17          organization.  Client-centered, focused on 

18          your agencies and your clients; have a 

19          skills-based organization that is engaged 

20          with a set of processes that are consistent, 

21          well known, published, that allows you to 

22          execute on what is our vision, which is 

23          innovation that matters for all New Yorkers.

24                 The Governor's bold vision for IT 


 1          years ago was that -- and this is his 

 2          words -- it is horizontal, touching every 

 3          aspect of government; it is transformational 

 4          in the power of what technology can do for 

 5          government; and above all else, it needs to 

 6          be secure.  Because of this vision, ITS was 

 7          created.  Now that ITS exists, we have an 

 8          unparalleled depth, scope and insight into 

 9          how technology can help solve problems that 

10          seemed impossible to solve just a few years 

11          ago.  

12                 This is what truly sets New York State 

13          apart from the rest -- applying technology to 

14          solve the state's grand challenges and 

15          delivering on what our tag line is, 

16          innovation that matters for all New Yorkers.

17                 There's plenty of examples of this 

18          focus on innovation, just one of which was 

19          the Governor's Excelsior scholarship, which 

20          you passed last year, and the IT systems that 

21          support it.  I could answer questions 

22          regarding additional innovation activities 

23          that we have executed on.  

24                 New York State is a leader in 


 1          technology thanks to Governor Cuomo's 

 2          incredible vision for the creation of ITS.  

 3          We're demonstrating that new leadership by 

 4          using technology to solve the government's 

 5          biggest challenges.  As a New Yorker, I'm 

 6          honored to be working for an agency like ITS, 

 7          with our incredible employees, that touches 

 8          every single aspect of New York State 

 9          government.  That's what technology does.  It 

10          touches every single aspect of New York State 

11          government.

12                 Thank you for the opportunity to be 

13          here with you, and thank you for your service 

14          to New York.

15                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, 

16          Mr. Samson.  I just have a few questions.  

17          And I want to thank you; you came to my 

18          office, we spent some good time together --

19                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  Yes, we did, 

20          Senator.

21                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  -- and I appreciate 

22          the information that you gave me.  

23                 Just some follow-up questions related 

24          to the budget.  In 2009, the Legislature 


 1          authorized 500 term appointments.  To date, 

 2          how many of those term appointments have been 

 3          utilized?  

 4                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  Of the 500 in 2009?  

 5          I believe that was 170, but I can get back 

 6          with you with that answer, Senator.  

 7                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay, that would be 

 8          helpful.  And were any of the slots extended 

 9          after the five-year time period?  

10                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  I don't know the 

11          answer to that question.  I'd have to get 

12          back to you.  I've been here since May; I 

13          don't know the answer to that question.  I 

14          can get that for you, though, Senator.

15                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  If you could give 

16          us a report of how many were utilized, how 

17          many were extended after the five-year term 

18          expired, and are any of these 500 slots open 

19          and available?  So just to summarize, too, 

20          how many are currently serving in term 

21          appointment slots?  That would be very 

22          helpful if we could get that information.

23                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  Okay.

24                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  And also, are you 


 1          aware if any of the term appointments 

 2          actually transitioned to become regular 

 3          employees?  

 4                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  That is another from 

 5          the 2009?

 6                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Yes.

 7                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  I'd have to get a 

 8          complete answer for you on that.  I don't 

 9          know the answer to that.

10                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.  All of that 

11          would be most helpful.

12                 You and I talked about some of the 

13          cyberincidents.  And could you explain a 

14          little bit further the responsibility of 

15          protecting the executive agency's IT 

16          infrastructure as it's split between the 

17          state agencies?  Could you tell us how 

18          that's -- obviously, you can't give away 

19          trade secrets, but what is your role in all 

20          of that protection of our systems?  

21                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  Okay, so our role, 

22          we have a cyber team, we have a chief 

23          information security officer.  Her name is 

24          Deb Snyder, and she manages our cyber 


 1          strategy and the initiatives that we have.  

 2                 If you go back to 2012 when we 

 3          originally created ITS, we transferred over 

 4          about $1.5 million of expense and six 

 5          dedicated resources to cyber.  Today that 

 6          number is close to $50 million of expense and 

 7          60 dedicated employees.  And that's a 

 8          reflection of the world that we find 

 9          ourselves in, quite frankly.  It's also a 

10          function of the world we find ourselves in 

11          here in New York, because we've been blessed 

12          with consolidating all of the disparate 53 

13          data centers and 27 different email systems 

14          into one organization, but also into one data 

15          center with a backup in Utica, New York, 

16          which allows you to protect those assets.  

17                 It's not just protecting the data 

18          center, it's protecting our network assets.  

19          We have 143,000 state workers that access our 

20          systems, 1500 miles of fiber, 25 petabytes of 

21          data that we have stored.  All of these are 

22          precious assets to the State of New York.  

23                 In the prior model, that was all 

24          distributed.  Our cyber strategy is now 


 1          focused on, as we consolidated all of that, 

 2          to protect those assets as rigorously as we 

 3          can.  We're employing new technologies to 

 4          begin encrypting the data that we have so 

 5          it's better protected.  It's part of our 

 6          broader strategy for cyber.  We monitor cyber 

 7          rather rigorously.  We get an enormous number 

 8          of attempts to break into our systems every 

 9          single day, from locations all over the world 

10          and also both inside the United States and 

11          from other states.  So it's a first priority 

12          for us, is cyber.  We've invested both in 

13          talent and in new technologies to protect the 

14          state's assets.  And we continue to do so as 

15          we build out our Cyber Command Center, which 

16          is again a first in the nation for New York.

17                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

18                 How does ITS interact with the 

19          Department of Homeland Security's 

20          Cyberincident Response Team?  Is there any 

21          overlap?  

22                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  We work very closely 

23          with one another.  So they're the first line 

24          as we work with local governments.  Local 


 1          governments, for me personally, is a passion, 

 2          helping local governments.  

 3                 I think in one of the earlier sessions 

 4          it was mentioned that Erie County Medical 

 5          Center -- I think perhaps you had mentioned 

 6          that --

 7                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Correct.

 8                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  -- we worked very 

 9          closely with Erie County Medical Center to 

10          get them back online.  We've worked with 

11          Schuyler County.  So where there is an 

12          engagement and an issue in a county, we work 

13          very, very closely with DHSES in aligning our 

14          resources together both with NYSIC, DHSES, 

15          State Police, as well as the federal agencies 

16          that we work with.  

17                 In instances like that, cyber is 

18          highly collaborative.  It doesn't sit in one 

19          place, it requires multiple skills and 

20          talents that you bring to bear in a 

21          situation.  We happen to have a really deep 

22          bench of talent in ITS.  Our first mission is 

23          to protect the state agencies, and as a 

24          secondary to that, we help protect local 


 1          governments because many of those local 

 2          government systems are connected to our 

 3          systems.  So it's a first imperative for us 

 4          as well.

 5                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  We had a nice 

 6          conversation about that fact.  So you 

 7          actually provide technical assistance to 

 8          local governments, right?  

 9                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  We do.  We help 

10          them.  We've built a number of tools for 

11          them.  We have a tool that's available for 

12          local governments to do a quick cyber 

13          assessment of their own vulnerabilities.  We 

14          build that tool; that's available to them.

15                 I have met with a number of CIOs from 

16          some of the local municipalities.  We've met 

17          just recently, as an example, with Washington 

18          County.  So we've spent time with them, 

19          advising them, consulting with them, and 

20          giving them some tools to help them deal with 

21          what is a very complex topic.  

22                 As you well know, the skills inside 

23          local government scale, right, from New York 

24          County at one end to Hamilton County on the 


 1          other, and everything in between.  And a 

 2          number of studies have been done by the 

 3          Center for Technology in Government on the 

 4          preparedness of local governments for cyber.  

 5          And as you can well imagine, there's a very 

 6          wide gap between some that are really 

 7          sophisticated and some that aren't.  

 8                 Our objective is to leverage the 

 9          skills and talents we have, build tools that 

10          help them do the assessments that they need 

11          to get done, and then sit alongside them when 

12          they happen to have a situation that needs 

13          remediation and help.  And work very, very 

14          closely with our partner agencies, as you 

15          just mentioned.

16                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

17                 You mentioned the fact that there are 

18          countless cyberincidents every single day.  

19          Do you feel that the ITS department and the 

20          state's network actually is sufficiently 

21          prepared to face the challenging 

22          environment -- 

23                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  Yes, I do.

24                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  -- that we have?  


 1          Because threats evolve every single day.

 2                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  It evolves every 

 3          day.  Cyber, as a topic, is a moving topic, 

 4          as you can well imagine and as you just 

 5          pointed out.  But we have invested, as I 

 6          mentioned earlier, significantly in both 

 7          resources and technologies to protect the 

 8          state's assets.  We continue to invest in 

 9          that.  It's not a static investment that we 

10          make once and then sit.  You have to watch 

11          the threats.  We work closely with our 

12          partners to see what the emerging threats are 

13          and then take action to remediate what 

14          potentially could be a threat and deal with 

15          that.  

16                 So we work very, very closely.  It is 

17          a 24/7 job, quite frankly, for our cyber team 

18          and our chief information security officer.  

19          I don't know how she sleeps at night, because 

20          it is an intense world that you live in in 

21          the cyber world that we find ourselves.

22                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  

23                 Senator Savino.

24                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you, Senator 


 1          Young. 

 2                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  Hi, Senator.

 3                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Nice to meet you, 

 4          Mr. Samson.

 5                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  Nice to meet you 

 6          too.

 7                 SENATOR SAVINO:  I must say you are 

 8          very enthusiastic for someone -- I guess it 

 9          has to do with the fact that you've only 

10          worked for state government for a relatively 

11          short period of time.  

12                 (Laughter.)

13                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Come back in 30 years 

14          and -- I don't know.

15                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  But I worked for a 

16          gigantic company, and the parallels are 

17          fairly similar.

18                 SENATOR SAVINO:  So being that you 

19          came out of the private sector, I'm sure 

20          managing a state agency and the limitations 

21          of the ability to move people around the way 

22          you would like, or even the way the Governor 

23          would like, is a little eye opening.  

24                 So as you're probably aware, the state 


 1          civil service system was adopted about 135 

 2          years ago to establish that employees be 

 3          selected based on merit and fitness, to kind 

 4          of take the politics out of the public 

 5          service and to allow people to compete 

 6          against their peers.

 7                 So in 2009, Senator Young referenced 

 8          the changeover for IT, because at the time we 

 9          found that the State of New York was 

10          outsourcing information technology work to 

11          private vendors.  And we were spending about 

12          $7 billion on those services, agency by 

13          agency.  And in fact I think what was the 

14          predecessor agency of ITS was spending the 

15          most out of anybody.  And so we set about 

16          trying to develop a career path and how to 

17          insource this work, because we realized it 

18          was very vital.  And in fact in your 

19          testimony you say that we are moving from a 

20          vendor-led centralized model to a state 

21          workforce-led, geographic-based model that is 

22          more responsive to the unique needs of 

23          New York State government.

24                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  Correct.  Correct.


 1                 SENATOR SAVINO:  And that's exactly 

 2          what we set out to do in 2009.  You've 

 3          already answered the question about how many 

 4          of those positions have been insourced.  But 

 5          then again last year, the Governor put 

 6          forward a proposal -- which he puts forward 

 7          again this year -- about 300 term 

 8          appointments.

 9                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  Correct.

10                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Right?  So the 

11          questions we asked last year, and I'm going 

12          to continue to ask this year, is of those 300 

13          term appointments, they would have to 

14          eventually take a civil service test.

15                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  Correct.

16                 SENATOR SAVINO:  But a test that has 

17          not yet been developed.  That was last year's 

18          answer.  Is that still the case this year?  

19                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  Whether the test has 

20          been developed?  I think the tests have been 

21          developed, actually.

22                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Okay.  So then last 

23          year we found, while we were examining this 

24          proposal from the Governor, that there were 


 1          about a thousand people who had already taken 

 2          a civil service test for the IT position.  

 3          And the question was put to your predecessor, 

 4          why are we not going to that list, hiring 

 5          people off that list into the 

 6          competitive-class position, and allowing them 

 7          to take on this?  Why are we looking to take 

 8          300 people from outside and give them a term 

 9          appointment, suggesting that they take a 

10          civil service exam yet to be given at some 

11          point in the future?  

12                 So I still have the same position.  If 

13          we have candidates that have been tested, why 

14          aren't we utilizing that list before we bring 

15          in 300 people from the outside?

16                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  Well, let me just 

17          back up for just a moment on this topic, 

18          because this is an important dimension to 

19          this topic that we can't ignore.  

20                 We are in a war for talent in the IT 

21          industry.  We compete with the Googles of the 

22          world, we compete with the Microsofts on the 

23          larger end, and then smaller IT companies.  

24          So we're competing for talent.  And it's 


 1          quite frankly difficult for the state to 

 2          compete for talent.

 3                 So this is another tool that we can 

 4          use.  It is skills-based.  It focuses on the 

 5          skills that we need.  We have 700, you know, 

 6          consultants because they're there because we 

 7          don't have the skills in our own workforce to 

 8          go do that work.  This is a way for us to get 

 9          those skills quickly.  State workers can 

10          compete for those jobs.  We're working 

11          closely with our PEF partners on this.  So it 

12          is a way for state employees to compete for 

13          those jobs based on skills, or a contractor 

14          to be brought into the state workforce -- 

15          happens to save us money.  We're spending an 

16          enormous amount of money with these 

17          contractors and consultants.  It also gives 

18          us a more durable model with these workers 

19          becoming state workers, so we don't -- in the 

20          case of consultants, they might come and work 

21          for a few years and leave, and we lose all 

22          the knowledge that they have.  

23                 So this is an opportunity to capture 

24          their knowledge and keep it inside the state 


 1          workforce.  The state workforce can still 

 2          compete for these jobs.  It is, at its core, 

 3          skills-based, and that's how we designed 

 4          this.  

 5                 If you go back to my original comment 

 6          about being a client-centered, skills-based  

 7          -- this is how we build the deeper skills on 

 8          our bench.  We're going to be having a number 

 9          of retirees in the years ahead.  Some of 

10          these skilled resources that come in can 

11          mentor some of the interns that we have.  We 

12          have about 150 interns that work for us now.  

13          We're very active on the college campuses 

14          trying to recruit the next-generation ITS 

15          workforce.  

16                 As I mentioned, we're in a war for 

17          talent.  We compete on the college campuses, 

18          we compete for skills, and we also work to 

19          invest in our own employees with the skills 

20          development programs that we have that we've 

21          invested rather significantly in and we plan 

22          to invest more.  

23                 So this model is not one or other, 

24          it's fully integrated around the idea that, 


 1          first, we're in a war for talent; secondly, 

 2          we're a skills-based organization, we have to 

 3          get those skills as quickly as we can; and 

 4          then continue to invest in our workforce over 

 5          the long haul.

 6                 SENATOR SAVINO:  I completely 

 7          understand.  And, you know, I have a very 

 8          good friend who is a senior systems engineer.  

 9          She makes a fortune.  So for her, the idea of 

10          working in government is not --

11                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  Doesn't work for 

12          New York.

13                 SENATOR SAVINO:  No, she does not.

14                 But that's not the -- the point is I 

15          understand that you're competing for talent.  

16          But I'll go back to we have -- we already 

17          have established lists of people who may be 

18          the talent that you're looking for, so the 

19          only question I have -- 

20                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  And they could be, 

21          absolutely.

22                 SENATOR SAVINO:  -- is why aren't we 

23          turning to that list first before we hire 

24          people from the outside?  


 1                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  But they could 

 2          compete for these jobs as well.

 3                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Okay.  But again, if 

 4          we're hiring those titles -- and maybe we're 

 5          not, maybe that's not what we're hiring, 

 6          because from this proposal it's hard for me 

 7          to figure it out.  

 8                 If the titles that the Governor is 

 9          proposing that we hire from are the titles 

10          that those individuals have already been 

11          tested for, the law says you have to go to 

12          the list first, exhaust the list.  You could 

13          go through all 300 people on the list and 

14          find the talent that you want; you even have 

15          the ability to do what's called selective 

16          certification under the civil service system, 

17          if you want to establish people with 

18          particular skills off the master list.  

19                 So I'm just suggesting, again -- and I 

20          know, you know, civil service can sometimes 

21          seem, you know, clunky and anachronistic in 

22          some ways.  But it has served the people of 

23          the State of New York for 135 years, and I 

24          think it's important that we protect it.  So 


 1          if there's a way to do this within the 

 2          system, we should do so.  Because you're 

 3          being asked to hire 300 talented people, give 

 4          them a five-year term appointment, and make 

 5          them take an exam to hold that job in 

 6          perpetuity anyway.  So it would seem to make 

 7          sense you may already have applicants who you 

 8          can turn over rather quickly.

 9                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  Right.  Right.  

10                 SENATOR SAVINO:  So it's my only 

11          suggestion.  Perhaps we could meet at another 

12          time and talk about it even more.  As I said, 

13          you are very enthusiastic and I really don't 

14          want to beat it out of you yet.  You have a 

15          long time to go.

16                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  No, I mean, this all 

17          fits into the whole rubric of the social 

18          service, you know --

19                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Civil service.

20                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  -- rules and 

21          regulations.  It doesn't go outside of that, 

22          it doesn't change that.  It's just another 

23          tool to attract the right skills.  Those 

24          employees will become PEF employees, they'll 


 1          become state employees.  We'll get the 

 2          benefit of their skills.  At the same time, 

 3          while we continue to invest in the state 

 4          workforce, they can also compete for these 

 5          jobs.  It gets back to --

 6                 SENATOR SAVINO:  But they don't have a 

 7          reasonable expectation of continued 

 8          employment if they're not called off the 

 9          list.  They could be -- perhaps you're going 

10          to hire them, and I'm not -- I don't know 

11          this to be true, but there's a possibility 

12          that they would ask you to hire them as 

13          noncompetitive employees, which would deprive 

14          them of due process rights.  So there's a 

15          concern about that too.

16                 So again, I'm more than happy to meet 

17          with you at a later time and --

18                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  Okay, let's -- we 

19          can meet.

20                 SENATOR SAVINO:  -- talk about this.

21                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  I'd love to do that.

22                 SENATOR SAVINO:  I won't belabor the 

23          point, but --

24                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  Let's get together.  


 1          I'd like to do that, yeah.

 2                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you.  We will.

 3                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

 4                 Anybody else?

 5                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  Any other questions?

 6                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.  Well, thank 

 7          you --

 8                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  Senator Krueger, 

 9          good to see you.

10                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Nice to see you.

11                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you very 

12          much, Mr. Samson.

13                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  Okay, thank you.

14                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Look forward to the 

15          information that you're sending, and we 

16          really wish you well in your very, very 

17          important job.  We need you.

18                 OITS CIO SAMSON:  Thank you, Senator.

19                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  We're on to page 2.  

20                 We have the New York State 

21          Associations of PBA and Police Conference of 

22          New York.  Representing them is Bing Markee, 

23          legislative director, and Chris McNerney, 

24          police sergeant, Port Authority Police 


 1          Department.  

 2                 Welcome, gentlemen.  We appreciate 

 3          your patience and we appreciate your service, 

 4          and we look forward to your testimony.  If 

 5          you could do everyone a favor and maybe 

 6          summarize it as best you can, and then we'll 

 7          ask questions if we need more information.

 8                 MR. MARKEE:  Good morning, Madam 

 9          Chairwomen --

10                 PANEL MEMBERS:  Morning?

11                 MR. MARKEE:  -- Senators, 

12          Assemblymembers.  My name is Bing Markee.  

13          I'm the legislative director for the New York 

14          State Association of PBAs, and I'm speaking 

15          on behalf of my association and the Police 

16          Conference of New York today.  We have 

17          submitted joint testimony, which you should 

18          have copies of, and I'm not going to read 

19          this testimony, which I'm sure you're 

20          thankful for.  I will just touch on a few 

21          points.  

22                 We -- together, we represent the vast 

23          majority of police officers across the state, 

24          and we have very serious concerns about the 


 1          Governor's bail reform proposal.  The way the 

 2          proposed legislation is written, it 

 3          essentially eliminates monetary bail in the 

 4          state and sets a very high threshold for 

 5          violent felony bail.  

 6                 We think that this is not something 

 7          that should be done in the budget, it's much 

 8          too complicated.  And in fact we believe it 

 9          will be a significant -- it will add 

10          significantly to the budget deficit because 

11          of the costs involved.

12                 To elaborate on that, I have with me 

13          today a unique individual who has experience 

14          in both states, Port Authority Police 

15          Sergeant Chris McNerney.  He's a former 

16          New York City police officer, and he is now a 

17          police sergeant with the Port Authority 

18          Police.  And because of the jurisdiction of 

19          the Port Authority Police, they basically are 

20          police officers in both states and they have 

21          jurisdiction from the Canadian border to the 

22          tip of Cape May.  They operate in multiple 

23          jurisdictions, and Chris's actual function is 

24          as the court sergeant.  So he deals with this 


 1          bail issue all the time.  And he's here to 

 2          talk about the nightmare that we feel is 

 3          going on in our state across the Hudson 

 4          River, and what we may be looking at here in 

 5          New York if we allow this proposed 

 6          legislation to go through as is.  

 7                 So Chris?

 8                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  

 9                 POLICE SERGEANT McNERNEY:  Hello.  

10          Thank you for the opportunity to speak to 

11          you.  My name is Chris McNerney, and I'm a 

12          police sergeant with the Port Authority of 

13          New York and New Jersey.  

14                 My role with the Port Authority is 

15          that of their court liaison sergeant.  I deal 

16          with multiple superior and municipal courts 

17          throughout New Jersey, in Bergen, Hudson, 

18          Middlesex and Union counties and all the 

19          jurisdictions that they cover within that -- 

20          the City of Newark, the City of Elizabeth.  

21          So I have a dynamic overview of the impact 

22          that bail reform has had in the State of 

23          New Jersey.  

24                 On January 1st of 2017, New Jersey 


 1          implemented bail reform, and it has been 

 2          quite a failure in New Jersey, regardless of 

 3          what you read.  I'm one of the boots on the 

 4          ground that argues on a daily basis in this 

 5          failed system.  They went from a 

 6          monetary-based bail system to one that is 

 7          based on risk assessment.  They use an 

 8          algorithm that gives them a numeric value 

 9          from 1 to 6 in three areas:  Their likelihood 

10          to flee, their likelihood to commit another 

11          crime, and the likelihood that their new 

12          crime will be that of a violent nature.  

13                 The legislation was unfunded.  It was 

14          put on the counties, the courts, the 

15          municipalities, and the police departments, 

16          and it has been a financial burden.  

17                 With that, part of bail reform 

18          included hiring additional personnel, the 

19          creation of pretrial services.  The creation 

20          of pretrial services, they took many of the 

21          experienced and senior talented prosecutors 

22          at municipal levels and they left for better 

23          jobs in this new system, leaving us with 

24          inexperienced prosecutors to prosecute these 


 1          crimes.  

 2                 When bail reform was implemented, they 

 3          didn't really know how the pretrial services 

 4          was going to be managed.  It's on a county by 

 5          county basis.  In the County of Essex, 

 6          shortly into bail reform they were releasing 

 7          people who had committed serious crimes with 

 8          an ankle bracelet.  About a month and a half 

 9          into it, they had to call them back to 

10          retrieve the ankle monitors to give them to 

11          people who had committed more serious crimes 

12          than them.  

13                 With that, they have eliminated the 

14          bail bondsman, who was another asset to us, 

15          who monitored people out on bail, tracked 

16          them and ensured their appearance in court.  

17                 There were numerous cases where people 

18          had committed serious crimes, such as the one 

19          in Ocean County, the 20-year-old sex offender 

20          who was charged with attempting sexual 

21          assault on a 12-year-old girl.  He offered to 

22          give her a gaming console in exchange for 

23          sex.  And he was released with an ankle 

24          monitor.  The chief of police in that 


 1          municipality challenged his release up to the 

 2          highest court, but under the directive of the 

 3          Attorney General, he met release.  He took it 

 4          upon himself, as he said, in the interests of 

 5          public safety to go to Facebook and warn 

 6          people that the state had allowed this 

 7          charged sex offender to be released back into 

 8          the community in which this 12-year-old girl 

 9          lived.  

10                 Additionally, the case of Jules Black, 

11          who was arrested for possession of a handgun.  

12          He was released, his public safety assessment 

13          said he was not a threat to public safety.  

14          Three days after his release, he murdered 

15          Christian Rogers.  His mother has filed a 

16          federal lawsuit saying that New Jersey has 

17          the liability for releasing this person back 

18          into the public.  

19                 This system of bail reform has created 

20          a revolving door where criminals are 

21          repeatedly arrested and let go.  In Union 

22          County, they finally arrested somebody for 

23          the 11th time for burglaries, robberies, 

24          where he was repeatedly let back into the 


 1          community and allowed to victimize 10 other 

 2          people.  

 3                 In the State of New Jersey, aggravated 

 4          assault on a police officer is a summonsable 

 5          offense.  You can be fighting with a prisoner 

 6          and a couple of hours later you'll be handing 

 7          him a summons as he walks out the door.  I 

 8          can tell you that that's disheartening, as a 

 9          member of the law enforcement community, that 

10          you're not valued that that crime was 

11          committed against you.  

12                 More alarming, though, is these people 

13          being released back into the streets.  The 

14          system of bail that had been in place is 

15          replaced with this new bail reform where 

16          municipalities and jurisdictions argue over 

17          releasing the prisoners.  I had one 

18          individual who had seven warrants for his 

19          arrest; he was arrested on new charges.  When 

20          I contacted two of the municipalities, they 

21          were arguing over who was going to come get 

22          him, the person with the highest bail, with 

23          10 percent, or the other municipality.  At 

24          the end of the argument, they both issued him 


 1          an ROR, released on his own recognizance.  

 2          All seven warrants were vacated and he was 

 3          released back into the community because of 

 4          this bail reform.  

 5                 In my experiences, bail reform in 

 6          New Jersey has been a failed venture at the 

 7          risk of public safety.  Bail reform is 

 8          something that should be researched and 

 9          studied and not haphazardly implemented as it 

10          was in New Jersey, a system of trial and 

11          error.  In addition to the financial burden 

12          that it's placed on the courts, the 

13          municipalities and the police departments, I 

14          think the cost to the public is far greater.  

15                 Thank you for your time.

16                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  And we 

17          appreciate you sharing your experiences.  

18                 I know Senator Gallivan has some 

19          questions.

20                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you, Madam 

21          Chair.  I actually had some questions.  I did 

22          want to ask you about New Jersey's 

23          experience, so I appreciate you sharing that.  

24          And it certainly gives us a place to go to 


 1          look into it to make a comparison.  Thank 

 2          you, Madam Chair.

 3                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

 4                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Assemblyman 

 5          Oaks.

 6                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Just a quick 

 7          question.  

 8                 Earlier when we talked about the 

 9          proposal, I raised the issue of open 

10          warrants, you know, that are always a 

11          problem.  Do you have any numbers on or any 

12          sense on since going to that in New Jersey, 

13          whether you've had a lot more open warrants 

14          of people not appearing?

15                 POLICE SERGEANT McNERNEY:  I think the 

16          majority of people who have a warrant, they 

17          fail to appear.  Part of my duties is the 

18          acceptance of subpoenas and scheduling police 

19          officers for courts within New Jersey, and 

20          the majority of the cases result in a failure 

21          to appear with a bench warrant for the 

22          defendant.  

23                 So statistical numbers I don't have, 

24          but the majority of the cases in which my 


 1          officers go to, there's a failure to appear.  

 2          So if somebody is released and they failed to 

 3          appear, they may have two or three matters 

 4          outstanding.  When they are rearrested and 

 5          scheduled to go to court, there can be four 

 6          or five officers who appear, and yet again 

 7          the defendant will fail to appear.  That's 

 8          five officers who are not working their 

 9          normal patrol duties, they're assigned to 

10          court for the day.

11                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  But your sense 

12          would be since doing the bail reform, that 

13          that has increased compared to what it 

14          would --

15                 POLICE SERGEANT McNERNEY:  I believe 

16          that it has increased.  I don't have the 

17          numbers, but I think under the old system the 

18          defendants were more likely to appear because 

19          they had a bail or they had a bail bondsman 

20          ensuring their appearance in court.

21                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Thank you.

22                 CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Senator Savino.

23                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you, Officer, 

24          for your testimony.


 1                 So while you were talking, I pulled up 

 2          some numbers on New Jersey because they're 

 3          just about at the end of their first year.  

 4          So one of the things that they apparently 

 5          didn't anticipate is while they would be 

 6          saving money by not having people locked up, 

 7          they're spending money on the other end, and 

 8          they didn't fund that.  So it's about 

 9          $45 million, according to this report, the 

10          State of New Jersey now has to fund for 

11          pretrial -- their pretrial system.  

12          Apparently it's a lot more expensive than 

13          they thought.  

14                 Do you see the same type of 

15          proposal -- is what you're proposing in 

16          New York a mirror image of what New Jersey 

17          did?  Could we wind up with the same costs?  

18          And our state is much larger.

19                 POLICE SERGEANT McNERNEY:  My 

20          understanding of the New York proposal is it 

21          doesn't include a public safety assessment, 

22          that just by statute the defendant would be 

23          released.  In New Jersey, they have the 

24          public safety assessment.  


 1                 I know that the New York proposal does 

 2          contain pretrial services.  I'm assuming here 

 3          that there would be some type of an 

 4          assessment regarding his suitability to be 

 5          released at some point.

 6                 In regards to the cost of bail reform, 

 7          that number -- some of the numbers are 

 8          unaccounted for because they -- it was 

 9          unfunded legislation, so the costs fell on 

10          the counties, the courts, the police 

11          departments.  And I don't know if they can 

12          properly track, you know, how much that cost 

13          them.

14                 SENATOR SAVINO:  It's interesting, 

15          according to this report also, the crime 

16          statistics from the New Jersey State Police 

17          show no major bump in violent offenses across 

18          New Jersey.  However, some of the mayors in 

19          New Jersey -- particularly the mayor of 

20          Newark has been very critical.  He said that 

21          many of the defendants who were facing 

22          firearms charges are back on the street and 

23          shootings are up in the City of Newark.  

24                 Do you have any information about 


 1          that?

 2                 POLICE SERGEANT McNERNEY:  No.  I 

 3          probably read the same article you're 

 4          reading.  The mayor of Newark, Ras Baraka, 

 5          and the police director of Newark, Anthony 

 6          Ambrose, are adamantly against bail reform 

 7          due to the increase in shootings and crimes 

 8          in the City of Newark.

 9                 SENATOR SAVINO:  I think we all agree 

10          that people who shouldn't be sitting in jail 

11          pretrial shouldn't be forced to sit there 

12          simply because they can't afford to make 

13          bail.  I just think we need to approach this 

14          carefully so that we solve that problem and 

15          not create another problem.  

16                 So I want to thank you for your 

17          testimony and look forward to continuing this 

18          discussion.

19                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you very 

20          much.  And thank you, Senator Savino.

21                 I guess, from your viewpoint, what's 

22          wrong with the current system?

23                 MR. MARKEE:  I'm sorry, I couldn't 

24          hear you.


 1                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  From your 

 2          viewpoint, what's wrong with the current 

 3          system?

 4                 MR. MARKEE:  The current system?

 5                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Yes.

 6                 MR. MARKEE:  Look, in any system 

 7          there's room for improvement.  We testified 

 8          last year about trying to mitigate some of 

 9          the Raise the Age issues where we admitted 

10          that there's always room for improvement.  

11                 But this is not something that should 

12          be done so quickly.  What we're doing here is 

13          throwing out the baby with the bathwater.  If 

14          you want to reform bail, you have to look at 

15          the way people are bailed out.  And if you 

16          eliminate bail, which essentially this 

17          legislation does, for all misdemeanors and 

18          nonviolent felonies, all you -- and it also 

19          raises the threshold, by the way, for violent 

20          felonies -- you'll see the experience that 

21          New Jersey has had with respect to failure to 

22          appear.  

23                 And I don't see a big problem with the 

24          current system other than perhaps other 


 1          issues that the Governor is trying to address 

 2          in the proposed budget -- speedy trial and 

 3          that type of thing.  That's what's causing a 

 4          big part of this problem.  It's not the issue 

 5          of people not being able to make bail.  A lot 

 6          of these -- if you look at the actual 

 7          statistics, which I understand the bail 

 8          industry will be presenting to you following 

 9          our testimony, the actual statistics of 

10          people that are in jail because of bail 

11          issues is extremely low.  The people that are 

12          in jail are in jail on holds for other 

13          reasons -- probation violations, parole 

14          violations, whatever.  They're not there 

15          because they can't make bail.  

16                 The numbers are being skewed, and the 

17          system, the existing system, is being blamed 

18          for something that it's not responsible for.  

19          And I think the Governor has been sold a bill 

20          of goods with respect to what the real 

21          problem is here.  As Senator Savino alluded 

22          to, it's not -- we're attacking -- we're 

23          killing a fly with a sledgehammer, basically.  

24                 I don't know if I answered your 


 1          question, but I --

 2                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, though.  

 3          Yes, you did.  Thank you very much.  

 4                 We appreciate all that your members 

 5          do, and we appreciate your willingness to be 

 6          with us today.  And certainly a lot of good 

 7          information.  Thank you.

 8                 MR. MARKEE:  Thank you.

 9                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Our next speakers 

10          are from the New York State Bail Bondsman 

11          Association:  Michelle Esquenazi, president; 

12          John Kase, retired supervising judge of the 

13          Nassau County Criminal Courts; Jeffrey 

14          Clayton, Esquire, executive director of the 

15          American Bail Coalition.  

16                 Welcome.  President, I think I 

17          butchered your name, and I apologize.  Is it 

18          Esquenazi?

19                 CHAIRWOMAN ESQUENAZI:  That's quite 

20          all right, Madam Speaker -- Madam Chair, I'm 

21          sorry.  My father gave me that last name.  

22          It's Esquenazi.

23                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  I was close.

24                 CHAIRWOMAN ESQUENAZI:  It's been 


 1          chopped my whole life.

 2                 Shall I?  

 3                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Yes, please.

 4                 CHAIRWOMAN ESQUENAZI:  Thank you.  

 5          Good evening, Madam Chair and esteemed 

 6          Assembly and Senate members.  My name is --

 7                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  I'm sorry, before 

 8          you begin, if you could summarize your 

 9          testimony.  And remember, there's 10 minutes 

10          per panel, so there's not 10 minutes per 

11          person.  So I just wanted to point that out.

12                 CHAIRWOMAN ESQUENAZI:  Okay.  My name 

13          is Michelle Esquenazi.  I am the president of 

14          the New York State Bail Bondsman Association.  

15          I grew up in Brooklyn, New York -- Canarsie, 

16          to be exact.  My family are a bunch of Cuban 

17          immigrants to this country, and I am proud to 

18          be Latina American.  

19                 Growing up in Brooklyn definitely made 

20          me who I am.  I grew up in a time where mom 

21          stood out on the stoop and we played 

22          Ringolevio and waited for the Good Humor man.  

23          And one of the things that kind of guided us 

24          through our childhood was something called 


 1          consequence.  And we didn't dare sass our 

 2          mothers, and that was just the way things 

 3          were.

 4                 While my father was always a shoe 

 5          salesman and away much of the time, my mother 

 6          was also a woman ahead of her time, and she 

 7          worked and she ran the shoe shop.  And the 

 8          lady that took care of us was Haitian and we 

 9          learned patois and we taught her English, and 

10          she was a wonderful lady.  And from a very 

11          early age, we really knew nothing about color 

12          and all of that, we just kind of went to 

13          Haitian church, and we just did a little bit 

14          of everything.  

15                 One of the biggest issues that I have, 

16          and I just really want to go on the record 

17          about this part of it as it relates to the 

18          bail reformers is that they are describing 

19          people in this day and age, in 2018, by 

20          color.  I am a mother of a biracial child, 

21          and I find that to be incredibly archaic and 

22          insulting.  

23                 So the brown and the black and all of 

24          that is extremely Archie Bunker, in my 


 1          judgment, and I think it's absolutely wrong.  

 2          And I think we as New Yorkers deserve a lot 

 3          more than to describe people of color.  I 

 4          have people of color in my family that are 

 5          officers, that are veterans, that are judges, 

 6          that are politicians, that are black, brown, 

 7          green, orange, polka-dotted, and rainbow, 

 8          just like my beautiful gay married daughter.

 9                 To implement a system of bail reform 

10          this sweeping would be of great detriment to 

11          the good people of the State of New York.  I 

12          realize that my industry has been incredibly 

13          vilified, and I'm sorry for that, because the 

14          fact of the matter is we are mom-and-pop-shop 

15          nation.  We are multigenerational businesses, 

16          and we serve an incredible function, a small 

17          incredible function in any successful 

18          criminal justice system, especially here in 

19          the State of New York.  We are 212 bail 

20          agents that service the State of New York, 

21          and we do it with pride and conviction and we 

22          do a very good job at returning the warranted 

23          to the proper jurisdiction of the State of 

24          New York with absolutely zero taxpayer 


 1          expense.

 2                 I wanted you all to know that criminal 

 3          offenders do not choose their victims by 

 4          political ideology.  They don't look on a 

 5          subway platform and go, She is a 

 6          conservative, she is a liberal, she is a 

 7          Democrat and I'm going to sexually assault 

 8          her.  Rewarding recidivism should not be the 

 9          way that the State of New York moves this 

10          agenda forward.

11                 Clearly we believe that the indigent 

12          should not be incarcerated.  A few years back 

13          our State Department of Financial Services 

14          decided that they were going to give that 

15          problem a title, and that title came in 

16          charitable bail funds.  If people are 

17          lingering because they are indigent, that 

18          means that the charitable bail funds are not 

19          doing their job.  They have a two-year living 

20          requirement.  Most people that are homeless 

21          don't live in the same place for two years.  

22          So that's some sort of fallacy that's going 

23          on.

24                 I also want you to know that just 


 1          because a crime is nonviolent, it doesn't 

 2          mean that it's non-victim.  You have 

 3          stalking, sexual abuse, escape, bail jumping, 

 4          illegal abortion, vehicular manslaughter, 

 5          rob 3, identity theft, promoting obscene 

 6          sexual performance by a child.  All of these 

 7          arraignments would be automatically released.  

 8                 And I am a mother of four children, 

 9          and I have to tell you I find that incredibly 

10          offensive.  I know what I do, I've been doing 

11          it for well over two decades, and I'm always 

12          happy to have an intelligent conversation 

13          with any legislator from any side of the 

14          aisle.  I just believe that public safety 

15          should really not be a political issue.  I 

16          realize that it has come under the auspices 

17          of being a political issue, but it shouldn't 

18          be.  

19                 New York is a political gateway, and 

20          we define the issue for the nation.  We will 

21          define this issue for the nation.  New Jersey 

22          is an abortion of justice.  All you have to 

23          do is look across the river to see what Chris 

24          Christie left his citizens.  They took off 


 1          the moratorium on raising the taxes, and they 

 2          raised the people's taxes by 2 percent to 

 3          fund criminal release.

 4                 If this is to be done, it should be 

 5          done by virtue of a fact-based-evidence 

 6          study.  The fact of the matter is there 

 7          should also be a citizen's right to know.  

 8          The good citizens of the State of New York 

 9          have absolutely no idea what bail is.  They 

10          don't even realize how it protects them.  

11          They don't even realize that while you are 

12          all sleeping, we are out picking up the 

13          warranted and we are bringing them back to 

14          the proper jurisdiction so that they can be 

15          admonished by the court, and the district 

16          attorney does not have to sentence them in 

17          absentia, which costs the State of New York 

18          countless millions of dollars to do so.  

19                 We are -- like I said, we are a small 

20          industry, but we serve a great purpose to the 

21          State of New York.  And to not see us as such 

22          only means that you have not met with us.  I 

23          think it is unfair that in all of this bail 

24          reform, the legislators have met with the 


 1          other side innumerable times, but they have 

 2          never met with the private bail bond 

 3          industry.  

 4                 And yes, we are small, a hundred 

 5          percent, but we're valuable.  And to just get 

 6          rid of us with one stroke of a pen would just 

 7          be egg on the face of every legislator that 

 8          moves that agenda forward.  

 9                 And I have a letter here from a Purple 

10          Heart recipient, his name is Assemblyman Bob 

11          Andrzejczak, and he's from New Jersey.  And 

12          he was one of the Democrats that sponsored 

13          the bail reform bill across our river.  And 

14          he would like you to know that the law went 

15          into effect this past January and it has been 

16          an absolute disaster.  The public safety 

17          needs of the citizens in New Jersey have 

18          suffered far greater than could have been 

19          imagined.  The costs to the state have 

20          increased exponentially and, even worse, the 

21          constitutional rights of many of the accused 

22          are being infringed.  

23                 So not only would this reform movement 

24          move all of the offenders out into an ROR 


 1          status and move them back into the 

 2          communities in which we live -- and the 

 3          communities of color, actually -- it would 

 4          also remand a variable of defendants.  It's 

 5          called preventative detention, and it's 

 6          unfair and it violates the 8th Amendment of 

 7          the Constitution.  The framers of the 

 8          Constitution were here long before we were, 

 9          and they thought the 8th Amendment was a 

10          very, very good idea.  

11                 I also want you to know that the three 

12          top states that people are fleeing from right 

13          now are Illinois, New Jersey, and New York.  

14          We are going to suffer at the hands of this 

15          tax reform issue; we're moving into this 

16          season with quite the deficit, if you will.  

17          This is going to be quite the financial 

18          burden on the people of the State of 

19          New York, and we are injured in that regard 

20          quite enough.  

21                 You will find -- in the testimony that 

22          we've given you, you will find that there is 

23          a report from an independent economist.  He 

24          did the report for New Jersey, and he was 


 1          kind enough to follow it up with a report for 

 2          a year later, and he indicates an abysmal 

 3          failure and a tremendous amount of money.

 4                 The bail bond industry operates at 

 5          absolutely zero taxpayer cost.  We pay 

 6          forfeitures, claims, we pay premium tax.  We 

 7          employ people.  We probably employ about 

 8          2,000 people.  

 9                 The other thing that I want you to 

10          know is, as a Latina American person, I am 

11          part of the M -- minority/women business 

12          enterprise.  That's who I am.  Half of our 

13          members are minorities.  They are Latinos, 

14          they are African-Americans.  And by doing 

15          something like this, you would be putting 

16          small businesses out of business.  And that's 

17          something that I want each and every one of 

18          you to please think about as you move forward 

19          with this.  

20                 Part of this really is accountability 

21          in making good decisions.  So I really think 

22          that what we need to do is just simply come 

23          together and have a dialogue and maybe really 

24          talk about this further.  Because to be quite 


 1          honest with you, to implement something like 

 2          this and remove judicial discretion is going 

 3          to be a failure for the State of New York.  

 4          And I as a New Yorker implore you, as a 

 5          mother I implore you, as a bail bond agent I 

 6          implore you to think about this prior to just 

 7          doing it.

 8                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  We 

 9          really appreciate your testimony.  

10                 I did want to remind everybody that we 

11          still have a lot of people that need to 

12          testify, so -- there was 10 minutes for the 

13          entire panel.  I don't want to cut the others 

14          off, so if you just would take a couple of 

15          minutes each, please.  

16                 And I would remind everybody to please 

17          stick to the time limit now, because at this 

18          rate we won't get out of here till after 

19          midnight.

20                 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CLAYTON:  Well, 

21          good evening.  My name is Jeff Clayton.  I'm 

22          the executive director of the American Bail 

23          Coalition.

24                 JUDGE KASE:  Excuse me --


 1                 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CLAYTON:  I'm a 

 2          graduate of the University of -- you want to 

 3          go ahead?

 4                 JUDGE KASE:  Yeah, if you don't mind.

 5                 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CLAYTON:  Okay.  

 6          I've got to defer to the judge.

 7                 (Laughter.)

 8                 JUDGE KASE:  Well, thank you.  Thank 

 9          you for allowing me to share my opinion 

10          before this distinguished body.  

11                 By way of background, I've been 

12          involved in the criminal justice system for 

13          the past 50-plus years, as a prosecutor for 

14          the Bronx District Attorney's Office, a 

15          special attorney for the United States 

16          Department of Justice Organized Crime and 

17          Racketeering Section in New Jersey, a member 

18          of the -- I was an assistant attorney general 

19          for the New York State Organized Crime Task 

20          Force, I was chief of Rackets, chief of 

21          Narcotics, and chief of the Trial Bureau in 

22          the Nassau County District Attorney's Office.  

23                 In 1978, I formed the firm of Kase and 

24          Druker.  In 2004, I left the firm on a leave 


 1          to become a county court judge.  In 2012, I 

 2          was placed in the order of supervising judge 

 3          for the County of Nassau.  I returned to 

 4          practice in 2013.  I am the treasurer of the 

 5          Independent Democrats, just so that's on the 

 6          record and before you.

 7                 Based on my experience, I believe in 

 8          the following of bail and bail bonds:  It's 

 9          one thing to presume that a person is 

10          innocent from the point of view of evidence 

11          at a criminal trial.  It is a separate and 

12          distinct matter when judging whether the 

13          accused will return to defend him- or herself 

14          against the accusations.  Why?  Our 

15          constitutions, both federal and state, 

16          presume innocence at trial, but that 

17          presumption does not attach to an accused of 

18          crime.  

19                 We look at many factors:  A person's 

20          risk of flight; property ownership; length of 

21          time residing in a jurisdiction of the court; 

22          background, checking ties to the community; 

23          prior run-ins with the law; licenses, if any, 

24          held by the accused; family ties and health.  


 1          All of the above and others must be examined 

 2          in the probability of determining whether or 

 3          not an accused will return to court.

 4                 These are some of the factors.  What 

 5          is the difference between an individual's 

 6          promise to return by signing a piece of paper 

 7          to the court and the setting of a bail bond 

 8          with a surety company?  If a person jumps, 

 9          skips or fails to appear in court when the 

10          bail is personally set, then and only then at 

11          taxpayers' expense is the defendant sought 

12          after by local or state police or the United 

13          States Marshals Office, depending on the 

14          appropriate jurisdiction.  

15                 With a bail bond, there is little or 

16          no expense to the taxpayer.  The issuing 

17          surety will look for the fugitive, seeking 

18          not to lose their money.  

19                 The majority of misdemeanor and 

20          nonfelonies are not bonded.  There is no 

21          criminal history, or minor criminal history, 

22          without warrants appearing on a defendant's 

23          record.  In that case, depending on the 

24          seriousness of the crime -- and as my 


 1          colleague just illustrated, some of the 

 2          crimes that are not listed as serious are 

 3          truly serious to the victims of the crime, 

 4          sex abuse and other things going forward -- 

 5          the placing of a bail bond is inappropriate.

 6                 While with serious felonies -- and by 

 7          definition, felonies are serious -- then a 

 8          judge uses his or her discretion in fixing a 

 9          bond.  

10                 As I understand Governor Cuomo's 

11          proposal, he wants bail eliminated for 

12          misdemeanor cases and nonviolent cases.  A 

13          universal rule does not allow for a judge who 

14          should be retaining authority to determine 

15          the likelihood of a reappearance and will 

16          force judges to remand a defendant and cause 

17          defendants to appeal, thus using valuable 

18          court time.  The number of cases taken as a 

19          whole which can be criticized is very small, 

20          and the defendant can and will appear if 

21          counsel thinks he has a chance of reversing 

22          the lower court's decision.  The higher court 

23          will then do so when they believe it to be 

24          appropriate.


 1                 I also want to add -- and this is very 

 2          important in my testimony -- that if a person 

 3          jumps or skips or fails to appear, you have 

 4          police officers, at taxpayers' expense, 

 5          looking for that individual.  When a person 

 6          enters out on bail, while it's true that a 

 7          police officer may encounter that person, you 

 8          have bail bond people, at their expense, 

 9          looking for -- and saving the taxpayers 

10          money -- and finding this fugitive.  

11                 Thank you.  I'm available for 

12          questions if you have any.

13                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

14                 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CLAYTON:  Thank 

15          you.  My name is Jeff Clayton.  I'm the 

16          executive director of the American Bail 

17          Coalition.  I will testify fast; brevity is 

18          the soul of wit.  I'm a proud graduate of the 

19          University of Rochester.  

20                 New York already has a pretty good 

21          bail system when I look at it nationally.  

22          New York is one of four states that don't 

23          allow considerations of dangerousness in the 

24          setting of bail, which means it's purely an 


 1          appearance bond.  And that's why the bails in 

 2          New York are so low.

 3                 New York incarcerates generally less 

 4          than 10 percent of all arrestees, which is 

 5          also low when compared to the rest of the 

 6          states.  

 7                 Looking at the issue of preventative 

 8          detention -- to me, that's the biggest part 

 9          of this bill -- which is getting the state to 

10          detain persons without bail, that's been 

11          abused in every system that I've seen that's 

12          gotten it.  Nobody thought it was 

13          constitutional prior to the federal 

14          government doing it.  And since 1984, 

15          pretrial incarceration has increased by 

16          267 percent in the federal system.  

17                 Your neighbor in New Jersey is using 

18          it now.  Well, guess what?  They're filing 

19          preventative detention motions in 

20          43.6 percent of all cases, detaining 

21          19 percent of all defendants.  That's 

22          dangerous to crack that door, and it would be 

23          a fundamental pool shift in New York that 

24          could literally probably increase the amount 


 1          of incarceration you have in New Jersey.  

 2                 Speaking of the costs, Attorney 

 3          General Porrino in New Jersey issued a report 

 4          and the report said "We just don't know how 

 5          much this thing is going to cost."  And they 

 6          still don't.  Of course the testimony was 

 7          mentioned of an economist who looked at this 

 8          who's estimating that it's costing roughly 

 9          around $500,000 a year.  Every county in 

10          New York would have to create a pretrial 

11          program in order to implement the conditions 

12          that are alternatives to bail that judges 

13          would impose, which would be heavily 

14          expensive in New York and could cost I think, 

15          you know, millions of dollars.  

16                 Finally, I would point out that this 

17          is really a restriction on judicial 

18          discretion.  The question of bail is what is 

19          the least restrictive form of bail.  And to 

20          somebody who can post a bail bond, that can 

21          be the least restrictive form of bail, 

22          instead of things like house arrest and ankle 

23          monitors.  Judges will blanket New Yorkers 

24          with conditions if this legislation passes, 


 1          because judges won't have the option for 

 2          bail.  

 3                 So I would suggest to you to take some 

 4          time and think this through.  This is much 

 5          more than just eliminating bail for certain 

 6          crimes, it's a major policy shift.  

 7                 Thank you.

 8                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Senator Savino.

 9                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you.  Thank all 

10          three of you for your testimony, and this 

11          book, which has quite of lot of information 

12          in it.  

13                 And I went back through our budget 

14          book, and I remember hearing Mike Green from 

15          DCJS talk about pretrial services, but 

16          there's no money in the Governor's budget for 

17          it.  And now I'm rather alarmed by seeing how 

18          much money this apparently is proposed to 

19          cost New Jersey -- about $55 million for the 

20          pretrial services, because they thought they 

21          would pay for it through court fees and the 

22          court fees aren't covering the cost, and so 

23          now the counties are being saddled with it.  

24          I think that's an issue that we absolutely 


 1          have to be concerned about, along with some 

 2          of the other issues that this has raised, 

 3          because it doesn't look like we're paying for 

 4          these services.  

 5                 And now you've recently seen this 

 6          happen in New Jersey.  In other states, what 

 7          are we seeing where they've implemented bail 

 8          reform?

 9                 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CLAYTON:  Well, in 

10          other -- certainly New Mexico has sort of 

11          followed the lead of New Jersey, and it's a 

12          similar problem.  

13                 And to point out in New Jersey, I 

14          mean, you've got to realize the counties sued 

15          the state and said it was an unfunded 

16          mandate.  And they lost because the governor 

17          acutely made the argument that it was 

18          required by the constitution, which it 

19          wasn't.  But it was a panel that basically 

20          said sorry.  And it's millions and millions 

21          of dollars.  

22                 And certainly you're going to have to 

23          fund it up in New York, because this bill 

24          says if somebody can't afford an ankle 


 1          monitor, if somebody can't afford house 

 2          arrest, the State of New York is going to 

 3          have to pay for that.  And that's going to be 

 4          hugely expensive.  And judges will be in a 

 5          box of detention or blanketing with 

 6          conditions, all of which have to be 

 7          monitored, and I don't know how many 

 8          employees would have to be hired to cover 

 9          this.

10                 SENATOR SAVINO:  And Judge Kase, I 

11          know you're not a practicing judge anymore, 

12          but how does a judge determine?

13                 JUDGE KASE:  Well, it really happens 

14          on a lot of factors.  One of the primary 

15          factors is having the defendant appear in 

16          front of you.  You get a sense of demeanor 

17          and appropriateness, whether the family is in 

18          court with the person, whether they have a 

19          sense of hostility.  And you look at their 

20          prior arrest record.  

21                 Now, if they have a likely prior 

22          arrest record, that's very important in 

23          fixing bail.  If they have no prior record 

24          but you still think bail is appropriate, you 


 1          might fix it as personal recognizance without 

 2          a surety behind it, or you might find a 

 3          surety.  

 4                 If the person has a serious crime 

 5          charged, has somewhat of a prior record, they 

 6          still are entitled to bail, they don't have 

 7          to be remanded, so you fix the bail and you 

 8          give possibly a cash alternative to the 

 9          surety amount that's there.

10                 And I just want to reemphasize, having 

11          a private police nontaxpayer expense group of 

12          people pursuing fugitives is a heck of a lot 

13          better than having a police department which 

14          is undermanned -- and we always need more 

15          police -- looking for something that's being 

16          done for free to the government.

17                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you.

18                 JUDGE KASE:  Oh, I just wanted to make 

19          one other point, if I have the time.  

20                 You may remember that there were 

21          serious riots going on in the late '60s and 

22          early '70s, very serious riots.  Nassau 

23          County had a program which on the face of it 

24          was very interesting at the time but probably 


 1          unconstitutional.  That was mass arrests.  

 2          Everybody who was involved in rioting was to 

 3          be placed in the Nassau Coliseum.  Nobody was 

 4          to be released until the riots subsided.  At 

 5          that point a number of judges were asked to 

 6          be placed there and progressively release 

 7          them.  

 8                 This to me was unconstitutional at the 

 9          time, even though I was with the district 

10          attorney's office.  This was not a very good 

11          solution to a problem.  Thank you.

12                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you.  

13                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  And I 

14          think all of the information has been very 

15          valuable, and we appreciate it because it 

16          certainly helps us balance the scales as far 

17          as deliberating whether or not to pass the 

18          Governor's portion of the budget regarding 

19          bail reform.  So thank you.

20                 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CLAYTON:  Thank 

21          you.  

22                 JUDGE KASE:  Thank you for the 

23          opportunity.

24                 CHAIRWOMAN ESQUENAZI:  Thank you.  


 1                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Our next speaker is 

 2          President Thomas Mungeer, New York State 

 3          Troopers PBA.

 4                 Welcome.

 5                 PRESIDENT MUNGEER:  Madam Chair Young, 

 6          Madam Chair Weinstein, esteemed members of 

 7          the Legislature, I appreciate this time and I 

 8          will motor right through this.

 9                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

10                 PRESIDENT MUNGEER:  My superintendent, 

11          George Beach, had testified before and he hit 

12          on a couple of things.  As in years past, 

13          we've asked for manpower and equipment, 

14          vehicles.  I'm going to kind of bring that 

15          down a little bit.  I appreciate the 

16          continued funding for patrol vehicles, things 

17          have gotten better, though we still have 

18          26 percent of my patrol vehicles, marked 

19          vehicles, above the recommended 125,000 miles 

20          that the superintendent spoke about that they 

21          wanted to retire the cars.  So that would be 

22          appreciated if that funding remains.

23                 The big thing here is manpower.  The 

24          Governor's Executive Budget has put in two 


 1          classes of 100.  This will not do.  The 

 2          superintendent himself stated our attrition 

 3          is above that number.  You know, based on 

 4          possible retirements of large classes in 

 5          1986, 1987, our attrition rates will probably 

 6          hit at least 250 this year, in our estimates.  

 7                 The Troopers PBA is asking for two 

 8          classes of 250.  We are at historic highs, 

 9          but unfortunately -- or fortunately for many 

10          parts of the state and other places outside 

11          the state -- the troopers have been tasked 

12          with numerous, numerous duties.  Our duties 

13          have expanded tenfold in the last couple of 

14          years.  

15                 That being said, we are at a point now 

16          upstate that although patrols are being 

17          supplemented by overtime, there's only a 

18          certain point that you can get by continuing 

19          to do that with overtime.  We need extra 

20          patrols.  

21                 The Troopers PBA is also looking, in 

22          addition, to this extra manpower to institute 

23          a couple of programs upstate.  Our mission 

24          statement, now almost 101 years ago, was a 


 1          rural police force upstate.  We would like to 

 2          see the SRO program, the school resource 

 3          program, reinstituted upstate.  We would like 

 4          to see a community policing team in each 

 5          troop, as the superintendent did testify 

 6          before, for upstate for crime, to be able to 

 7          go to the various cities upstate.  

 8                 And the Troopers PBA, we will be 

 9          submitting legislation to have a trooper in 

10          every construction zone on state highways, to 

11          keep both the motorists safe and also our 

12          construction workers out there safe.

13                 I appreciate the time.  Thank you.

14                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you very 

15          much.  And any questions?

16                 SENATOR GALLIVAN:  You said what I was 

17          going to ask.

18                 PRESIDENT MUNGEER:  Thank you.  

19                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay, good.  And we 

20          appreciate everything that you do and all 

21          your membership does in keeping us safe in 

22          New York.  And I'm with you, the SRO program 

23          was fantastic, and we should do all we can to 

24          bring it back.  So thank you so much.


 1                 PRESIDENT MUNGEER:  No, absolutely.  

 2          Appreciate your support.  Thank you.

 3                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  

 4                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you for being 

 5          here.

 6                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Our next speaker is 

 7          Michael Powers, president of NYSCOPBA.  And 

 8          also Tommy Sawchuck, executive vice 

 9          president.

10                 Hi, President Powers.

11                 PRESIDENT POWERS:  Hi, how are you?  

12                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  I'm great, how are 

13          you?

14                 PRESIDENT POWERS:  Well, thank you.

15                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Welcome, everyone.

16                 PRESIDENT POWERS:  There's a typo on 

17          the program there:  Ms. Tammy Sawchuck.

18                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  That's what I 

19          thought, but it says Tommy.  So I apologize.

20                 NYSCOPBA EXEC. VP SAWCHUCK:  That's 

21          all right.  Thank you.  

22                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.  So we look 

23          forward to your testimony.  And if you could 

24          summarize, that would be most helpful.


 1                 PRESIDENT POWERS:  Be happy to, thank 

 2          you.

 3                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

 4                 PRESIDENT POWERS:  Good evening, 

 5          Cochairs Young and Weinstein and esteemed 

 6          members of the joint budget committee.  As 

 7          many of you are aware, I'm Michael Powers, 

 8          the president of NYSCOPBA.  With me is the 

 9          executive vice president, Tammy Sawchuck, the 

10          new recording secretary, Chris Summers, and 

11          my treasurer, Toby Hogan.  

12                 In the interests of time, I'll limit 

13          the testimony to a few critical issues for 

14          NYSCOPBA.  Please refer to NYSCOPBA's 

15          submitted testimony for further explanation 

16          on all of our issues of interest.

17                 Couple of things we want to talk about 

18          are the "death gamble" legislation.  First 

19          and foremost, we want to personally thank the 

20          Legislature for passing our death gamble 

21          legislation last year.  As many of you are 

22          aware, the Governor vetoed this bill and 

23          failed to include it in his Executive Budget.  

24          We are calling upon the Legislature to 


 1          introduce it and have it included in this 

 2          year's Executive Budget.

 3                 SHU, our issues.  We recognize a lot 

 4          of testimony back earlier today with the 

 5          acting commissioner.  The Governor has 

 6          announced an initiative to close 

 7          approximately 1200 SHU beds throughout the 

 8          system.  While we fully disagree with this 

 9          decision, since this initiative will not 

10          reduce the risk of violence to both inmates 

11          and staff, we feel it is imperative to at 

12          least bring some clarity to the SHU issue in 

13          New York.  

14                 Inmates that are housed in secure 

15          housing units have more access to and more 

16          one-on-one contact with mental health 

17          providers, counselors, physicians, members of 

18          the facility than inmates in general 

19          confinement.  Moreover, the department has 

20          instituted a pilot program in three 

21          facilities which allows inmates in secure 

22          housing units to access electronic computer 

23          tablets.  This program will soon be 

24          systemwide in our SHUs.  


 1                 The lighting inside the cells in an 

 2          SHU and the dimensions of the SHU cells meet 

 3          the accreditation of the American 

 4          Correctional Association.  In fact, the size 

 5          of a secure housing unit is essentially no 

 6          different than the size of a cell in general 

 7          confinement, and in some instances 

 8          considerably larger.  

 9                 Inmates in these units are given the 

10          opportunity to participate in the PIMS 

11          program.  That allows inmates who display 

12          proper behavior to gain privileges while 

13          inside secure housing units.  Basically, in 

14          short, our concern as NYSCOPBA is that those 

15          that would have you believe that these cells 

16          resemble something out of a Hollywood film 

17          such as "The Shawshank Redemption," and 

18          making those inferences are providing 

19          disingenuous and nonfactual information.  And 

20          we encourage all legislators to visit a 

21          facility and go through an SHU themselves.

22                 The other issue we'd like to talk 

23          about is double bunking.  For many years 

24          NYSCOPBA has articulated our stance on the 


 1          existence of double bunks within the prison 

 2          system.  The concentration of inmates, 

 3          particularly within the medium-security dorm 

 4          setting, that has resulted from double 

 5          bunking has created a serious safety 

 6          consideration for members of our organization 

 7          as well as for the inmate population.  

 8                 Current regulations utilized by the 

 9          department allow for up to 60 inmates to be 

10          housed in a medium-security dorm setting.  

11          When the prison population experienced a 

12          sharp increase in the late '80s and early 

13          '90s, the overcrowding necessitated drastic 

14          action.  The state revised the regulations to 

15          authorize a 20 percent increase in the number 

16          of inmates housed in the medium dorm setting, 

17          now allowing for 60 inmates per dorm as 

18          opposed to 50.  

19                 Rather than continuing to close beds, 

20          the department should immediately take steps 

21          to address the overcrowding in medium dorms 

22          by removing double bunks and limiting the 

23          number of inmates in those dorms to 50, not 

24          60.


 1                 This all brings us back to violence, 

 2          as many times in the last couple of years.  

 3          Those of you who have been present at past 

 4          hearings know that NYSCOPBA has clearly and 

 5          consistently rang the alarm about the 

 6          escalating levels of violence in New York's 

 7          correctional system.  Regrettably, I'm here 

 8          to ring that bell again.  

 9                 A measure that NYSCOPBA supporte