Relates to certain persons sentenced to parole supervision.
BILL NUMBER: S5774
TITLE OF BILL :
An act to amend the correction law, in relation to certain persons sentenced to parole supervision
This bill would allow the Department of Correctional Services (DOCS), subject to the approval of the sentencing court when necessary, to provide an appropriate 90-day drug treatment program for offenders sentenced to receive that treatment, but whose medical needs cannot be met at the Willard Drug Treatment Campus (Willard), and would also make a technical change to the statute to remove a provision that is no longer applicable.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :
Section 1 of the bill would amend Correction Law § 2(20) to provide procedures for placement of parolees sentenced to a drug treatment campus into an alternative treatment site, and would make a technical correction to the statute.
Section 2 of the bill would establish an immediate effective date.
EXISTING LAW :
Criminal Procedure Law § 410.91 and Correction Law § 2(20) provide that when an eligible offender receives a parole supervision sentence, such person shall first be transferred to a drug treatment campus operated by DOCS to receive an intensive 90-day drug treatment program. Upon successful completion of that program, the offender is to be released into the community to continue under supervision by the Division of Parole.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :
This is a new proposal.
STATEMENT IN SUPPORT :
DOCS operates Willard, in Seneca County, as a drug treatment campus for offenders who receive a parole supervision sentence, as well as for certain parole violators. Willard, like all of the institutions operated by DOCS, has a health services rating and a mental health services rating. It is crucial that each inmate be placed in an institution that has the capability of delivering the requisite level of medical services actually needed. Thus, for example, an inmate who is identified as a level 1, which means that he or she has the highest level of mental health needs, could not be sent to a facility that is only rated as a level 2. In terms of mental health services, Willard is rated as a level 2 facility. Therefore, an inmate who is rated as a level I could not have his or her mental health needs met at Willard.
Furthermore, in terms of health services, physicians make individualized assessments as to whether an inmate, from a medical perspective, could safely participate in the rigorous program that is part of the Willard regime. If a court sentences a defendant to a parole supervision sentence, but a physician decides that he or she could not safely participate in the Willard program, then DOCS must arrange for an alternative placement.
In all cases involving medical or mental health needs that cannot be met at Willard, DOCS' practice has been to transfer such inmates to a correctional facility where their needs could be adequately addressed, while also providing them with an alternative 90-day drug treatment program. DOCS also sends written notice to the sentencing court in each case advising of the need for this alternative placement. At the successful conclusion of the alternative drug treatment program, the inmate is released into the . community to continue under parole supervision.
A number of inmates who were placed in these alternative programs have filed writs of habeas corpus seeking immediate release. They contend that DOCS lacks the statutory authorization to place anyone who has received a parole supervision sentence at any institution other than Willard. One judge has agreed with these contentions and has granted all such writs, essentially finding that DOCS has no authority to make these alternative placements.
As a result, even though the sentencing court has imposed a parole supervision sentence that required the inmate to successfully participate in a 90-day drug treatment program, and even though DOCS has notified the sentencing court of the alternative placement, the habeas corpus judge has been ordering the immediate release into the community of these offenders even though they have not completed the alternative 90day drug treatment program at the alternative facility.
This bill would grant DOCS the authority to make these alternative placements, so that the intent of the sentencing court's order may be fulfilled. It will allow DOCS to provide the court-imposed 90-day drug treatment even to those inmates whose health and mental health needs cannot be met at Willard.
Consistent with a comparable change to Penal Law Section 60.04(7) that the Legislature recently enacted as a part of Chapter 56 of the laws of 2009, this bill would set up a formal process whereby individuals whose medical or mental health needs could not be met at a drug treatment campus would be provided with a written notification describing the alternative drug treatment program being proposed and advising them that they may object in writing to such placement. If an individual then objects, DOCS will notify the sentencing court and submit to it the proposed alternative placement proposal, which shall then be forwarded by the court to the appropriate prosecutor and defense attorney. The court will then conduct a proceeding to include the prosecutor, the defense attorney and the individual and then modify its sentencing order accordingly.
Finally, the sentence being deleted was only applicable in 1995 to certain predicate drug offenders who were sentenced prior to October 1, 1995. This was set forth in Section 45 of Chapter 3 of the Laws of 1995 and is no longer applicable.
BUDGET IMPLICATIONS :
EFFECTIVE DATE : This bill would take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5774 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE June 4, 2009 ___________Introduced by Sen. HASSELL-THOMPSON -- (at request of the Department of Correctional Services) -- 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 certain persons sentenced to parole supervision THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 20 of section 2 of the correction law, as added by chapter 3 of the laws of 1995, is amended to read as follows: 20. "Drug treatment campus" means a facility operated by the depart- ment to provide a program of intensive drug treatment services for indi- viduals sentenced to parole supervision sentences pursuant to section 410.91 of the criminal procedure law or for certain parole violators.
[Such institution may also be used for certain offenders confined by the department who have been granted early parole release pursuant to a chapter of the laws of nineteen hundred ninety-five which added this subdivision and who, in the judgment of a member or members of the board of parole, warrant such placement.]All such treatment services shall be provided by, or with the approval of and pursuant to a plan developed in conjunction with, the office of alcoholism and substance abuse services, and which plan shall include but not be limited to provision for an appropriate continuum of care that includes a needs assessment and treatment services for individuals while at this facility and upon discharge from such facility, including an enhanced aftercare program. NOTWITHSTANDING THE FOREGOING, IN THE EVENT THAT A PERSON SENTENCED TO PAROLE SUPERVISION PURSUANT TO SECTION 410.91 OF THE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE LAW REQUIRES A DEGREE OF MEDICAL CARE OR MENTAL HEALTH CARE THAT CANNOT BE PROVIDED AT A DRUG TREATMENT CAMPUS, THE DEPARTMENT, IN WRITING, SHALL NOTIFY THE PERSON, PROVIDE A PROPOSAL DESCRIBING A PROPOSED ALTER- NATIVE-TO-THE-DRUG-TREATMENT-CAMPUS PROGRAM, AND NOTIFY HIM OR HER THATEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD06820-03-9 S. 5774 2
HE OR SHE MAY OBJECT IN WRITING TO PLACEMENT IN SUCH ALTERNATIVE-TO-THE-DRUG-TREATMENT-CAMPUS PROGRAM. IF THE PERSON OBJECTS IN WRITING TO PLACEMENT IN SUCH ALTERNATIVE-TO-THE-DRUG-TREATMENT-CAMPUS PROGRAM, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL NOTIFY THE SENTENCING COURT, PROVIDE SUCH PROPOSAL TO THE COURT, AND ARRANGE FOR THE PERSON'S PROMPT APPEARANCE BEFORE THE COURT. THE COURT SHALL PROVIDE THE PROPOSAL AND NOTICE OF A COURT APPEARANCE TO THE PROSECUTOR, THE PERSON AND THE APPROPRIATE DEFENSE ATTORNEY. AFTER CONSIDERING THE PROPOSAL AND ANY SUBMISSIONS BY THE PARTIES, AND AFTER A REASONABLE OPPORTUNITY FOR THE PROSECUTOR, THE PERSON AND COUNSEL TO BE HEARD, THE COURT MAY MODIFY ITS SENTENCING ORDER ACCORDINGLY, NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 430.10 OF THE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE LAW. A PERSON WHO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETES AN ALTERNATIVE-TO-THE-DRUG-TREATMENT-CAMPUS PROGRAM WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT SHALL BE TREATED IN THE SAME MANNER AS A PERSON WHO HAS SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED THE DRUG TREATMENT CAMPUS PROGRAM, AS SET FORTH HEREIN AND IN SECTION 410.91 OF THE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE LAW. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.