Adds a licensed health care professional to the organization of the citizen's policy and complaint review council; removes position of a former resident of a division for youth secure facility.
Ayes (60): Adams, Addabbo, Avella, Ball, Bonacic, Boyle, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Espaillat, Farley, Felder, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Gianaris, Gipson, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hoylman, Kennedy, Klein, Krueger, Lanza, Larkin, Latimer, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Marchione, Martins, Maziarz, Montgomery, Nozzolio, O'Brien, Peralta, Perkins, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Robach, Sampson, Sanders, Savino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Tkaczyk, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Nays (1): Hassell-Thomps
Excused (2): O'Mara, Parker
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the correction law, in relation to the organization of the citizen's policy and complaint review council
Purpose of Bill: This bill would amend the Correction Law to update the membership of the Citizen's Policy and Complaint Review Council (CPCRC or Council).
Summary of Provisions:
Section one of the bill would amend Correction Law § 42(a)(1) to update the membership of the CPCRC by: (1) allowing a veteran of any foreign war, conflict or military occupation to serve on the Council; and (2) requiring a licensed health care professional to serve on the Council.
Section two of the bill provides that the bill would take effect immediately.
Existing Law: Correction Law § 42(a)(1) creates the CPCRC within the State Commission of Correction (SCOC or Commission). This is a nine-member Council, which is required to meet at least once per month, and whose members serve without compensation (except for reimbursement for their actual and necessary expenses in performing their duties). The Council is responsible for reviewing and investigating complaints and grievances filed by inmates of local jails, for assisting SCOC in policy development to improve SCOC' s performance and for promoting research and study of correctional program development.
Under current law, the nine members of the Council must include: (1) a veteran who served in Indochina between January 1, 1963 and May 7, 1975 who was discharged under other than dishonorable condition, or a licensed mental health professional with experience or training in post-traumatic stress syndrome; (2) an attorney admitted in the State of New York; (3) a former inmate of a correctional facility; (4) a former correctional officer; (5) a former resident of a Division for Youth secure center; and (6) a former employee of a Division for Youth secure center; and three other persons appointed by the Governor.
Prior Legislative History: This is a new bill.
Statement in Support: The Commission has had difficulty recruiting two of the categories of members - a Vietnam era veteran and a former resident of a Division for Youth secure center - who are mandated to be represented on the Council. As a result, when a vacancy occurs, these seats often go unfulfilled for extended periods of time.
With respect to a Vietnam era veterans, it is SCOC's experience that these veterans are of an age when many are retiring and either relocating from the area or unwilling or unable to take time away from their families and devote it to the work of the Council. Nonetheless, the Commission believes that it is important to have a veteran on the Council. This bill, therefore, would expand the pool of veterans eligible to serve on the Council, by requiring a veteran of any foreign war, conflict or military occupation to serve on the Council.
This would have the positive effect of retaining the possibility of having a Council member with experience in or familiarity with post-traumatic stress disorder on the Council.
With respect to former residents of Division for Youth secure centers, the Commission has had difficulty identifying persons who meet this qualification because the fact that a person was a resident of such a center is a confidential and privacy protected matter. The Commission proposes to substitute instead a member who is a licensed health care professional. This will be a valuable resource to the Council, because it has experienced a significant increase in the number of health and mental health care related inmate grievances. Having a health care professional on the Council will not place Council members in the difficult position of questioning the actions of a facility health care official without the benefit of qualified advice.
Budget Implications: None.
Effective Date: This bill would take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4343 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 21, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. GALLIVAN -- (at request of the State Commission of Correction) -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction AN ACT to amend the correction law, in relation to the organization of the citizen's policy and complaint review council THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph 1 of subdivision (a) of section 42 of the correction law, as amended by chapter 309 of the laws of 1996, is amended to read as follows: 1. There shall be within the commission a citizen's policy and complaint review council. It shall consist of nine persons to be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate. One person so appointed shall have served in the armed forces of the United States in
[Indochina at any time from the first day of Janu- ary, nineteen hundred sixty-three, to an including the seventh day of May, nineteen hundred seventy-five]ANY FOREIGN WAR, CONFLICT OR MILI- TARY OCCUPATION, who was discharged therefrom under other than dishonor- able conditions, or shall be a duly licensed mental health professional who has professional experience or training with regard to post-traumat- ic stress syndrome. One person so appointed shall be an attorney admit- ted to practice in this state. One person so appointed shall be a former inmate of a correctional facility. One person so appointed shall be a former correction officer. One person so appointed shall be a [former resident of a division for youth secure center]HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL DULY LICENSED TO PRACTICE IN THIS STATE. One person so appointed shall be a former employee of the [division for youth]OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES who has directly supervised youth in a secure residen- tial center operated by [the division]SUCH OFFICE. In addition, the governor shall designate one of the full-time members other than the chairman of the commission as chairman of the council to serve as such at the pleasure of the governor. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD08987-02-3