This bill has been amended

Bill S4248-2013

Relates to the statewide computer registry

Relates to access to computer systems that carry information of orders of protection and warrants of arrest.

Details

Actions

  • May 23, 2013: ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • May 22, 2013: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • May 21, 2013: 1ST REPORT CAL.655
  • Mar 15, 2013: REFERRED TO FINANCE

Votes

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4248

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to the statewide computerized registry

Purpose of Bill:

This bill would amend the Executive Law to give employees of the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) and local correctional facilities the authority to access the statewide computerized registry of orders of protection and warrants, to assist them in monitoring individuals in their custody or under their supervision.

Summary of Provisions:

Section one of the bill would amend Executive Law § 221-a(4) to grant employees of DOCCS and local correctional facilities access to the statewide computerized registry of orders of protection and warrants.

Section two of the bill provides that it takes effect 30 days after enactment.

Existing Law:

Executive Law § 221-a requires the Superintendent of State Police, in consultation with the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), the Office of Court Administration and the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, to create and maintain a registry of all orders of protection and warrants issued in domestic violence cases. The purpose of this registry is to ascertain the existence of orders of protection, temporary orders of protection, warrants and special orders of conditions, and to assist law enforcement officers in ascertaining whether an arrest is authorized based on a violation of a duly served order of protection or order of special conditions. Under subdivision four of section 221-a, only courts and law enforcement officials, including probation officers, have the authority to access and disclose information from the registry, subject to statutory restrictions concerning confidentiality, sealing and the expungement of records.

Prior Legislative History:

This is a new bill.

Statement in Support:

For an order of protection to be more effective in protecting domestic violence victims, the officials monitoring or supervising those who are subject to such an order must know of its existence and any special conditions established by the courts. If an offender is under the supervision of DOCCS or a local correctional facility, DOCCS and local correctional staff should be informed if the individual is the subject of such an order of protection. Because of the restrictions on access to information in the registry contained in Executive Law 221-a(4), these correctional staff may not obtain this information from the registry.

Although previsions in the Family Court Act and the Criminal Procedure Law (see Criminal Procedure Law §§ 380.65, 530.12; Family Court Act 842), require courts to attach an order of protection to an individual's commitment papers so that it can be transmitted to the local or state correctional facility where the individual will be detained or incarcerated, the orders are not always transmitted. This information is critical to correctional staff, which must make programming, assignment, temporary release and re-entry decisions that could impact the safety of specific victims and the community at large.

For instance, early identification at DOCCS reception centers is essential for assessing risk at the start of an inmate's incarceration. Incarcerated abusers may attempt to contact their victims by phone or mail to continue harassing or threatening them.

Order of protection information can be used when reviewing and approving who may visit an inmate and to whom the inmate may telephone or correspond via mail.

Order of protection information is also a critical factor in screening for appropriate participation in programs inside the facility that promote contact with family members on the outside, such as the tele-visiting program and the Family Reunion Program. Equally critical awareness is needed in DOCCS programs that grant temporary release into the community -for work or home visits.

Moreover, when an inmate is released into the community on parole, it is imperative for a parole officer to know of any existing order of protection and conditions. Parole must monitor the residence, whereabouts and activities of the parolee, and it is impossible to hold a parolee accountable if the order is not available to the parole officer.

Budget Implications:

Access to the registry can be executed with minimal technological adjustments, with no cost to DCJS, DOCCS or local jails.

Effective Date:

This bill would take effect 30 days after it becomes law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4248 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 15, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. GOLDEN -- (at request of the Office for Prevention of Domestic Violence) -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to the statewide comput- erized registry THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 4 of section 221-a of the executive law, as amended by section 7 of part D of chapter 56 of the laws of 2008, is amended to read as follows: 4. Courts and law enforcement officials, including probation officers, AND EMPLOYEES OF LOCAL CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES AND THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND COMMUNITY SUPERVISION shall have the ability to disclose and share information with respect to such orders and warrants consist- ent with the purposes of this section, subject to applicable provisions of the family court act, domestic relations law and criminal procedure law concerning the confidentiality, sealing and expungement of records. S 2. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law.

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