Senator Golden Blasts City Council Decision To Provide Free Services To Inmates

Martin J. Golden

December 12, 2007

Brooklyn-State Senator Martin Golden (R-C, Brooklyn) today denounced the decision of the New York City Council to provide birth certificates free of charge to inmates upon being released from incarceration. Legislation was passed yesterday that would amend the city administrative code to repeal the current fifteen dollar fee for inmates to obtain a copy of their birth certificate. The fee is still required for all other New York City residents.

“It’s simply outrageous that we are providing free services to individuals that have committed crimes while we continue to charge law abiding citizens for the same service. This proposal is totally unjustified and should be reconsidered,” stated Senator Golden.

Golden continued, “While taxpayers struggling to afford to live in the city are being nickeled and dimed to death, the City Council is coming up with proposals to make it easier on criminals. Where is the logic in that? A standard charge for a city service should be something that is equal across the board and that applies to everyone. ”

In the fiscal year 2006, the Department of Corrections had 103,813 admissions. The legislation encompasses any person who is being released from a NYS correctional facility, after any duration, and any person who is being released from a NYC jail after at least 90 consecutive days of incarceration.

Senator Golden served as a member of the New York City Council for five years, 1998-2003, and was a member of the Council's Committee on Public Safety. Mr. Golden is a former New York City Police Officer.