Provides inmates the opportunity to obtain a general equivalency diploma; instructs the department of corrections to ensure that academic education programs provide the appropriate curriculum and certified academic staff for GED instruction.
Ayes (5): Rivera, Hassell-Thompson, Montgomery, Kennedy, Espaillat
Ayes W/R (1): Peralta
Nays (8): Nozzolio, DeFrancisco, Gallivan, Griffo, Little, Maziarz, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the correction law, in relation to providing inmates with the opportunity to obtain a general equivalency diploma
PURPOSE: This legislation requires the Department of Correctional Services to establish academic programs to prepare inmates to complete the General Equivalency Diploma (GED) and provides inmates with an opportunity to complete a GED prior to release on parole, conditional release, post release supervision or presumptive release.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section two of the bill provides all inmates serving a determinate term of imprisonment or an indeterminate sentence with the opportunity to complete a GED.
Section three of the bill requires the Department of Correctional Services to ensure that all inmates are afforded a reasonable opportunity to do so by providing academic instruction at appropriate Department facilities.
Section four provides for an effective date three years after enactment.
JUSTIFICATION: Each year, the Department of Correctional Services releases 26,000 former inmates back to the community. The success of these individuals stands to benefit our entire community while their failure will only cause further victimization and feed the revolving door of incarceration, costing the state many millions of dollars. Education programs have been shown to reduce recidivism by up to 40%. Similarly, employment is a major factor in reducing recidivism and obtaining a GED greatly increases the chances that a former inmate will be able to find gainful employment. This bill will ensure that inmates will have an opportunity to obtain a GED thereby helping to reduce recidivism and better prepare inmates for successful reintegration into the community.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-2010: S.4793 - Passed Crime Victims, Crime and Correction Committee
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Estimated cost of implementation is minimal because this bill codifies existing DOCS directives that inmates have an opportunity to obtain a GED.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect three years after it shall have become a law; provided, however, that effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 107--A 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. MONTGOMERY, HASSELL-THOMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit- tee AN ACT to amend the correction law, in relation to providing inmates with the opportunity to obtain a general equivalency diploma THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 136 of the correction law, as amended by chapter 98 of the laws of 2007, is amended to read as follows: S 136. Correctional education. 1. The objective of correctional educa- tion in its broadest sense should be the socialization of the inmates through varied impressional and expressional activities, with emphasis on individual inmate needs. The objective of this program shall be the return of these inmates to society with a more wholesome attitude toward living, with a desire to conduct themselves as good citizens, and with the skill and knowledge which will give them a reasonable chance to maintain themselves and their dependents through honest labor. To this end each inmate shall be given a program of education which, on the basis of available data, seems most likely to further the process of socialization and rehabilitation. Provided that, the commissioner, in consultation with the commissioner of education, shall develop a curric- ula for and require provision of an education program to all inmates, on a periodic basis, on the consequences and prevention of shaken baby syndrome which may include the viewing of a video presentation thereon. The time daily devoted to such education shall be such as is required for meeting the above objectives. The director of education, subject to the direction of the commissioner and after consultation with the commissioner of education, shall develop the curricula and the educationEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01524-03-1 S. 107--A 2
programs that are required to meet the special needs of each correction- al facility in the department. The commissioner of education, in
[co-op- eration]COOPERATION with the commissioner and the director of educa- tion, shall set up the educational requirements for the certification of teachers in all such correctional facilities. Such educational require- ments shall be sufficiently broad and comprehensive to include training in penology, sociology, psychology, philosophy, in the special subjects to be taught, and in any other professional courses as may be deemed necessary by the responsible officers, and shall include training relat- ing to the consequences and prevention of shaken baby syndrome which may include the viewing of a video presentation thereon. No certificates for teaching service in the state institutions shall be issued unless a minimum of four years of training beyond the high school has been secured, or an acceptable equivalent. Existing requirements for the certification of teachers in the institutions shall continue in force until changed pursuant to the provisions of this section. 2. ALL INMATES ADMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT SERVING A DETERMINATE TERM OF IMPRISONMENT, OR AN INDETERMINATE SENTENCE OF IMPRISONMENT OTHER THAN A SENTENCE OF LIFE IMPRISONMENT WITHOUT PAROLE, WHO HAVE BEEN EVALUATED UPON ADMISSION PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION ONE HUNDRED THIR- TY-SEVEN OF THIS ARTICLE AND ARE DETERMINED TO BE CAPABLE OF SUCCESSFUL- LY COMPLETING THE ACADEMIC COURSE WORK REQUIRED FOR A GENERAL EQUIVALEN- CY DIPLOMA, SHALL BE PROVIDED WITH THE OPPORTUNITY TO COMPLETE SUCH COURSE WORK AT LEAST TWO MONTHS PRIOR TO THE DATE ON WHICH SUCH INMATE MAY BE PAROLED, CONDITIONALLY RELEASED, RELEASED TO POST RELEASE SUPER- VISION PURSUANT TO SECTION 70.40 OF THE PENAL LAW, OR PRESUMPTIVELY RELEASED, PURSUANT TO SECTION EIGHT HUNDRED THREE OF THIS CHAPTER. UPON ADMISSION TO THE DEPARTMENT, SUCH INMATES WILL BE PROVIDED WITH WRITTEN NOTICE THAT GENERAL EQUIVALENCY PROGRAMS ARE AVAILABLE FOR ALL INMATES WHO SO APPLY. 3. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL ENSURE THAT ACADEMIC EDUCATION PROGRAMS WHICH PROVIDE THE APPROPRIATE CURRICULUM AND CERTIFIED ACADEMIC STAFF FOR GENERAL EQUIVALENCY DIPLOMA INSTRUCTION ARE AVAILABLE AT ALL CORRECTION- AL FACILITIES HOUSING INMATES WHO ARE ELIGIBLE AS SPECIFIED IN SUBDIVI- SION TWO OF THIS SECTION. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PROVIDE ACADEMIC STAFF WHO ARE QUALIFIED TO PROVIDE SUCH INSTRUCTION AND WHO ARE MEMBERS OF THE COMPETITIVE CLASS OF THE CIVIL SERVICE OF NEW YORK STATE. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PROVIDE SUFFICIENT STAFF AT EACH CORRECTIONAL FACILITY WHERE ELIGIBLE INMATES ARE CONFINED TO ENSURE A CLASSROOM RATIO OF TWENTY INMATES FOR EACH GENERAL EQUIVALENCY DIPLOMA INSTRUCTOR. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL DEVELOP A PLAN FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE GENERAL EQUIVALENCY DIPLOMA REQUIREMENT WHICH SHALL BE PRESENTED TO THE ASSEMBLY STANDING COMMITTEE ON CORRECTION AND THE SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE ON CRIME VICTIMS, CRIME AND CORRECTION ON OR BEFORE APRIL FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN. S 2. This act shall take effect three years after it shall have become a law; provided, however, that effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.