Bill Text: NY A06801 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced

Bill Title: Establishes a pilot project for placement of inmates close to home; provides that such project would house inmates who are parents of minor children in the correctional facility located in closest proximity to the primary place of residence of any such inmate's minor child or children.

Spectrum: Strong Partisan Bill (Democrat 11-1)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-20 - referred to correction [A06801 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A06801-Introduced.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                     March 20, 2019
        Introduced  by  M. of A. CRESPO -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. BLAKE,
          COOK,   D'URSO,   HEVESI,   JAFFEE,    LENTOL,    McDONOUGH,    ORTIZ,
          PEOPLES-STOKES,  SIMON,  WALLACE  --  read  once  and  referred to the
          Committee on Correction
        AN ACT to amend the correction law,  in  relation  to  establishing  the
          pilot  project for the placement of inmates close to home; and provid-
          ing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.  Short  title. This act shall be known and may be cited as
     2  the "pilot project for the placement of inmates close to home".
     3    § 2. Legislative intent. The legislature  hereby  finds  and  declares
     4  that  research  shows inmates who maintain family ties during incarcera-
     5  tion have lower rates of recidivism than inmates who  do  not.  Further,
     6  most  inmates are parents, and more than 80,000 children in the state of
     7  New York have a parent incarcerated in the state prison system.
     8    The legislature further finds that the department of  corrections  and
     9  community  supervision should consider proximity to minor children among
    10  the key criteria of security and health and program needs when determin-
    11  ing prison assignments and transfers  of  parents,  and  should  support
    12  increased  access  of children to their incarcerated parents through the
    13  use of technology and programs currently available  within  the  depart-
    14  ment.
    15    The  legislature  therefore  declares  that there is a need to develop
    16  classification criteria that would place inmates in proximity  to  their
    17  family members and home communities, and in particular for those inmates
    18  who are parents of minor children in the appropriate correctional facil-
    19  ity  located closest to those children provided such placement is other-
    20  wise appropriate and suitable, and would  facilitate  increased  contact
    21  between such inmate and his or her child or children.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 6801                             2
     1    §  3.  The  correction  law is amended by adding a new section 72-c to
     2  read as follows:
     3    §  72-c.  Pilot project for the placement of inmates close to home. 1.
     4  The commissioner shall establish a pilot program at a designated correc-
     5  tional facility for the purpose of housing inmates who  are  parents  of
     6  minor  children in the correctional facility which is located in closest
     7  proximity to the primary place of residence of any such  inmate's  minor
     8  child or children under eighteen years of age, provided that such place-
     9  ment  is  otherwise suitable and appropriate pursuant to the regulations
    10  of the department and would facilitate increased  contact  between  such
    11  inmate  and  his  or  her  child or children. For purposes of this pilot
    12  program, there shall be  a  maximum  of  one  hundred  male  and  female
    13  inmates, who on a voluntary basis request placement in the pilot program
    14  and  who  are  parents  of minor children. In selecting such inmates the
    15  department shall consult with the office of children and family services
    16  and the local district of social services located in  the  county  where
    17  such  inmate's  child resides to determine if any reasons exist, such as
    18  no visitation order, that may prevent the inmate from  participating  in
    19  the pilot program. If the inmate's child and/or family is subject to the
    20  preview  of the office of children and family services or a local social
    21  services district, the department shall consult with the assigned agency
    22  to determine whether the child and/or family  is  suitable  for  partic-
    23  ipation  in  the pilot program, and, if so, collaborate with such agency
    24  to obtain information relating to such child and/or family as  shall  be
    25  necessary to determine the effectiveness of the pilot program.
    26    2. The commissioner, in consultation with appropriate community organ-
    27  izations,  shall  submit  within  one year of the effective date of this
    28  section and annually thereafter a report to the governor, the  temporary
    29  president  of  the  senate and the speaker of the assembly on the effec-
    30  tiveness of this pilot project.  Such reports shall include an  analysis
    31  of  the  impact  on  the inmate, including factors such as institutional
    32  adjustment,  behavior  infractions,  and  program  participation,  among
    33  related  relevant factors, and on his or her children and family partic-
    34  ipants.  The reports shall also include  analysis  of  factors  such  as
    35  frequency of visits, reports from caregivers about children's connected-
    36  ness  to their incarcerated parents, children's emotional well-being and
    37  behavior in the home, and other relevant  factors  as  included  in  the
    38  caregiver's  reports.  For child welfare cases, in addition to the above
    39  factors, progress toward permanency  goals,  parent's  participation  in
    40  case planning, and other relevant factors shall be noted. In cases where
    41  an inmate parent's release is imminent, as determined by the commission-
    42  er,  the report shall examine the level of support received and provided
    43  by the inmate's family through family  involvement  and  the  attachment
    44  between  a  returning parent and his or her children upon reunification.
    45  The reports shall also include such impact on institutional  safety  and
    46  performance  and  any  recommendations for additional legislative enact-
    47  ments that may be needed or required, to  improve,  enhance  and  subse-
    48  quently  expand  the  program to other correctional facilities as deter-
    49  mined to be appropriate by the commissioner.  In compiling such reports,
    50  the commissioner may establish and utilize a control group and, if he or
    51  she fails to do so, the commissioner shall include an explanation as  to
    52  why a control group was not used.
    53    3.  No  person shall have the right to demand or require participation
    54  in the pilot project authorized by this section.   The commissioner  may
    55  revoke  at any time participation in such project for any serious disci-
    56  plinary infraction committed by the inmate or for any failure to contin-

        A. 6801                             3
     1  ue to participate  successfully  in  any  assigned  work  and  treatment
     2  program after placement in such pilot program.
     3    4. An eligibility preference shall be granted for child welfare cases.
     4  Admission  shall  be  granted  on  a rolling basis and priority shall be
     5  given to inmates  who  were  primary  caregivers,  although  all  inmate
     6  parents shall be considered. The families of inmates shall submit demon-
     7  strated  proof that they will visit the inmate if the person lives clos-
     8  er, and the  inmate  shall  request  that  such  family  members  submit
     9  letters.  Other  relevant  factors  shall  be  taken into consideration,
    10  including but not limited to, whether an inmate's family member  has  an
    11  undue  hardship  that  would  affect  the  person's ability to visit the
    12  inmate. Such hardship shall include, but not be limited to,  a  physical
    13  disability  or  serious  illness  that  inhibits travel, or whether they
    14  would not be able to reasonably visit the inmate because they  would  be
    15  unable  to  visit  by  public  transportation and cannot afford or use a
    16  motor vehicle.  Any action by the commissioner pursuant to this  section
    17  shall  be deemed a judicial function and shall not be reviewable if done
    18  in accordance with law.
    19    5. Inmates shall not be eligible for this program  for  a  variety  of
    20  factors,  as  listed  in,  but  not limited to, those enumerated in this
    21  section. Inmates who are incarcerated for  violating  parole  or  condi-
    22  tional  release  shall  be ineligible for this program. Inmates who were
    23  convicted of a sex offense shall be ineligible for this program. Inmates
    24  who have committed a crime against a child shall be ineligible for  this
    25  program. Inmates for whom a closer location would not lead to more visi-
    26  tors  shall  not  be eligible for this program. Inmates who have not had
    27  contact with their children in over a year out  of  their  own  volition
    28  shall  not  be  eligible  for this program, unless there is a compelling
    29  reason for not having had contact with their children. The  commissioner
    30  is  empowered  to  grant  preference to more involved inmate parents, as
    31  determined by the amount of contact that the children  have  with  their
    32  parents,  should  the commissioner determine to do so. Inmates who would
    33  ordinarily be sent to a stricter security level prison shall not, unless
    34  compelling reasons shall suggest otherwise, be sent to a lighter securi-
    35  ty prison because of proximity on the  basis  of  this  program.  Mental
    36  health issues shall not be an issue of ineligibility with regard to this
    37  program, unless there is a compelling reason to do so.
    38    §  4. This act shall take effect six months after it shall have become
    39  a law and shall expire 3 years after it shall take effect when upon such
    40  date the provisions of this act shall be  deemed  repealed.    Effective
    41  immediately,  the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regu-
    42  lation necessary for the implementation of this  act  on  its  effective
    43  date are authorized to be made on or before such date.