Requires legislative approval for the closure of correctional facilities and institutions.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the correction law, in relation to requiring legislative approval for the closure of correctional facilities and institutions
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would require legislative approval in the proposed closure of correctional facilities and institutions across the State of New York.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Adds new Section 30 to the Correction Law which would require the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to submit a report to the legislature 365 days prior to a requested closing of a correctional facility Or institution. The Legislature or appropriate committees may approve the closure upon review of the report. If the closure is not justified, the Legislature will have the ability to deny the proposed closure by a majority vote in both the Senate and the Assembly.
Section 2: Severability; allows any court of competent jurisdiction to find this law invalid, in accordance with the State Constitution and Statutes.
Section 3: The bill will take effect on the thirtieth day after it has been signed into law.
JUSTIFICATION: Ensuring the safety of the public must be the first priority of any Government. Recently, the Governor has announced that Mount McGregor, a Correctional Facility in the Town of Wilton, Saratoga County, will be closed; a facility that employs 320 people and houses over 450 inmates.
With the announcement of the closure, and three other facilities across the state like it, no permanent plan has been created to account for the parole or relocation of the inmates, as well as transfers or retraining for current employees.
Government must be responsible and establish necessary plans for current inmates and employees of these facilities instead of arbitrarily "turning out the lights" on unsuspecting guards, prisoners and communities.
We must not allow for the premature-parole of prisoners, which would place our local communities in possible danger while disrupting the financial security of employees of Mount McGregor. In rural regions of Upstate New York, the Correctional Facilities play a vital role in the local economy. These facilities employ many local residents who, not only serve and protect our state, but comprise the community which supports our schools, municipalities and local businesses.
Additionally, transparency and public debate are very important to a free and open democracy. Allowing for legislative approval would allow for the discussion of prison closures instead of the decision being left to a few privileged bureaucrats.
These are just several reasons why legislative approval of correctional facilities is necessary.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined
EFFECTIVE DATE: This Act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law. Effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/ore repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized to be made and completed on or before such effective date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ S. 5945 A. 8180 2013-2014 Regular Sessions S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y October 4, 2013 ___________IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sens. MARCHIONE, FARLEY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. TEDISCO, JORDAN, STEC -- read once and referred to the Committee on Correction AN ACT to amend the correction law, in relation to requiring legislative approval for the closure of correctional facilities and institutions THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The correction law is amended by adding a new section 30 to read as follows: S 30. CLOSURE OF CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL SUBMIT A WRITTEN REPORT TO THE LEGISLATURE AT LEAST THREE HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE DAYS PRIOR TO THE DATE THE DEPARTMENT IS SEEKING CLOSURE OF ANY CORREC- TIONAL FACILITY OR INSTITUTION. SUCH REPORT SHALL INCLUDE JUSTIFICATION FOR THE PROPOSED CLOSURE. THE LEGISLATURE MAY REQUIRE ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION OR DATA THAT IT DEEMS NECESSARY IN SUCH REPORT. IF THE LEGISLATURE, OR THE APPROPRIATE COMMITTEES THEREOF, UPON REVIEW OF THE REPORT SUBMITTED TO IT BY THE DEPARTMENT, FINDS THAT THE PROPOSED CLOSURE IS NOT JUSTIFIED THEN CLOSURE SHALL NOT OCCUR UNTIL APPROVED BY A MAJORITY VOTE OF EACH HOUSE OF THE LEGISLATURE. S 2. Severability. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part of this act shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered. S 3. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law. 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 to be made and completed on or before such effective date.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD11825-01-3