Directs the commissioner of corrections and community supervision to establish and maintain a public website that provides information concerning specific visitation rules, regulations, policies and procedures for all correctional facilities.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the correction law, in relation to notification of rules and regulations of correctional facilities concerning visitors
PURPOSE: To establish and maintain a public website that provides information regarding specific visitation rules and regulations for all correctional facilities.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Amends the correction law by adding a new section 138-a, to require that the commissioner of the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) establish and maintain a website that provides information to the public concerning the visitation rules and regulations for all correctional facilities in New York State. The website shall be regularly updated to ensure accuracy, and shall designate a telephone number or numbers on the website that persons may call for information about the visiting rules at various correctional facilities.
JUSTIFICATION: While New York's state prisons allow inmates to receive visitors, the experience of being processed for visits varies greatly from one facility to another. When families arrive at the "wrong" time, on the "wrong" day, or with the "wrong" clothing or identification, they may be turned away even if they have been traveling all night with young children, Generally, there is no recourse for a person excluded from visiting; no one to call during the weekend to resolve the problem or elevate it to a supervisor once the officer at the front gate says "no." This can be especially devastating for children of incarcerated persons, who may have anticipated the visit for weeks.
Efforts should be made to make visiting rules and schedules publicly accessible and to better ensure that families and friends understand visiting procedures. By establishing a website and designating a telephone number to make such information available to the public, we can ensure that visitors have access to this information prior to traveling to a correctional facility for a visit.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Unknown.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after is shall have become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6044--A IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 4, 2012 ___________Introduced by Sens. MONTGOMERY, DILAN, DUANE, OPPENHEIMER, PARKER, PERKINS, SAVINO, STEWART-COUSINS -- 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 committee AN ACT to amend the correction law, in relation to notification of rules and regulations of correctional facilities concerning visitors 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 138-a to read as follows: S 138-A. NOTIFICATION OF VISITATION POLICIES. THE COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND COMMUNITY SUPERVISION SHALL ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN ON ITS PUBLIC WEBSITE INFORMATION CONCERNING SPECIFIC VISITA- TION RULES, REGULATIONS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR EACH CORRECTIONAL FACILITY. SUCH INFORMATION SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, VISIT- ING DAYS AND HOURS, LENGTH AND NUMBER OF ALLOWABLE VISITS, MAXIMUM NUMBER OF PEOPLE PER VISIT, DRESS CODE, GUIDELINES FOR PEOPLE WITH MEDICAL AND OTHER SPECIAL NEEDS INCLUDING PHYSICAL ACCESS AND RESTRICTIONS ON MEDICATIONS WHILE IN THE FACILITY, INFANT CARE, AND ITEMS WHICH ARE RESTRICTED OR PROHIBITED BY VISITORS. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL REGULARLY UPDATE THE INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THE WEBSITE PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT SUCH INFORMATION IS ACCURATE AND THAT VISITORS ARE NOTIFIED OF ANY NEW OR CHANGED RULES, REGULATIONS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES. IN ADDITION, THE COMMISSIONER SHALL DESIGNATE A TELEPHONE NUMBER OR NUMBERS THAT PERSONS MAY CALL FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE VISITING RULES, REGULATIONS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES AT THE VARIOUS FACILITIES. SUCH TELEPHONE NUMBER OR NUMBERS SHALL ALSO BE POSTED ON THE WEBSITE. S 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD13735-03-2