Prisons

File Photo / WBFO News

As the New York State Legislature’s session draws to a close, lawmakers are considering several criminal justice changes, including what’s known as the Clean Slate legislation. It would expunge some criminal records for those who have already served their time in prison.

New York NOW

A union representing correction officers in New York filed a federal lawsuit Monday to overturn the Humane Alternatives to Solitary Confinement Act, or HALT, a new law passed in March to limit the use of solitary confinement in state prisons.

Bebeto Matthews / AP

State prisons in New York began accepting individuals from local jails again this week. The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision suspended all transfers late last year to limit the spread of COVID-19, leaving in the lurch people who are sentenced and incarcerated in county jails.

Brook Ward / Creative Commons

The fate of legislation that would severely limit the use of solitary confinement in New York’s prisons is now in the hands of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has opposed the bill in the past over what his office projected as the cost of the measure.

Bebeto Matthews / AP

Solitary confinement in New York’s prisons would be severely limited under legislation set to pass this week in Albany, where a majority of Democrats who control the state Legislature support the measure.

Wikipedia

Anthony Annucci, acting commissioner of the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, stopped short of putting a number on how many state prisons might be mothballed under the governor's downsizing plan. But he argued more closures are warranted, after the prison system shed more than 11,000 inmates since January 2020, leaving fewer than 33,200 inmates in 52 facilities spread across the state.

Office of the Governor

The New York State Department of Corrections is suspending visitations at all state prisons effective Dec. 30, as coronavirus cases surge both inside and outside correctional facilities.

New Yorkers in 4 cities protest, as Elmira prison hits 565 COVID-19 cases

Oct 28, 2020
Jillian Forsadt / WSKG News

Protests were held Tuesday in four locations across New York over the growing number of state prison inmates infected with the coronavirus. There have been outbreaks in at least four prisons: the Greene, Clinton and Cayuga correctional facilities and in Elmira, where 565 inmates have now tested positive for the virus -- the largest outbreak in a New York prison since the start of the pandemic.

State restricts visitors to 2 upstate prisons

Oct 22, 2020
Lucas Willard / WAMC News

Visitors will now be restricted at two upstate New York correctional facilities after recent COVID19 outbreaks among inmate populations. Effective 3 p.m. Wednesday, visitation was suspended at New York’s Greene and Elmira Correctional Facilities. Transfers in and out of the facilities have also been suspended.

Provincial prisons expanding in Eastern Ontario

Aug 31, 2020
James Morgan / NCPR News

While the State of New York continues attempts to reduce the number of prisons, Ontario is increasing the size and number of correctional facilities in the eastern region of the province, neighboring New York.

Why NYS is releasing so few inmates during the pandemic

Jul 27, 2020
Office of the Governor

Since the pandemic began, New York has released 1,400 people, all non-violent offenders. But thousands of elderly people in prison aren’t being considered for release because they’re in for a violent crime, even if they’ve served decades of their sentence and studies show they’re unlikely to reoffend. It turns out, that’s a stance even liberal politicians like Gov. Andrew Cuomo so far aren’t willing to take.

Dave Burbank

The director of Cornell University’s prison education program is leading a campaign to provide more face masks to inmates across New York state.

Emily Russell / NCPR

Coronvirus continues to spread in prisons and jails throughout New York State. According to the state officials, 105 prison employees and 14 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.

File Photo / WBFO News

A group of New York inmates is suing the state prison system, saying its efforts to crack down on prescription drug abuse have gone too far.

File Photo / WBFO News

New York State officials have proposed a three-year timeline to phase in new rules to curtail the amount of time prisoners can stay in solitary confinement.

There is a hunger strike underway in New York.

Activists and survivors are trying to convince state lawmakers to vote on a bill to end long-term solitary confinement. The bill would also ban the practice for those younger than 21 years old and older than 55, and for people with physical and mental disabilities.

YouTube

Faith groups staged a protest and vigil this week at the state capital, calling for sharp new restrictions on the use of solitary confinement. New York has already reduced the number of special housing units in state prisons, but some lawmakers, activists and religious leaders say they haven’t gone far enough.

File Photo / WBFO News

New York State is considering providing medication-assisted treatment to all prison and jail inmates struggling with opioid addiction.

There’s a proposal to raise the salary that inmates in New York State get for doing certain jobs in prison.

Karen DeWitt / WBFO News

Eleven New York counties are working together to find new places to house children in the criminal justice system.

File Photo / Natasha Haverty

It’s been three years since inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora. The prison break set off a three-week manhunt across new York State. Matt, of Tonawanda, was killed in a shootout, while Sweat was shot, arrested ad now serving time in Attica Correctional Facility.

In the months that followed there were crackdowns and investigations, some highly critical reports about corrections practices and personnel. Corrections officials say they have worked to improve security at prisons statewide.

But a new report from State Inspector General, Catherine Leahy Scott, found ongoing security lapses that continued at least through last year.

Office of the Governor

Republican lawmakers in New York will hold hearings into recent decisions by the state parole board to release some high-profile offenders and the governor's decision to give voting rights to inmates.

Aging prison population to cost NYS more

May 18, 2018
Osborne Association

A new report says New York State's prison population is rapidly aging, putting more pressure on prison health care systems and taxpayers alike.

NYS prisons blasted in inspector general report

Jun 7, 2016
New York State Police

New York’s Inspector General has released a scathing report, blasting New York’s state Corrections Department. The report found widespread security lapses and breakdowns in oversight that led to last summer’s escape from Clinton Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in Dannemora, New York, located near the Canadian border.

Office of the Governor

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — All New York prison guards and other staff who have direct contact with state inmates are required to get eight hours of training annually in recognizing symptoms of poor mental health including indicators of suicide under a new state law.