Authorizes the correctional association to inspect residential juvenile detention facilities.
Ayes (3): Montgomery, Huntley, Duane
Ayes W/R (2): Schneiderman, Marcellino
Nays (1): McDonald
BILL NUMBER: S6474B
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the executive law, in relation to the powers and duties of the correctional association to inspect residential juvenile facilities
PURPOSE OF THE BILL : This bill establishes an independent, external oversight body with unrestricted access to juvenile placement facilities to monitor and report on OCFS' juvenile justice policies and practices.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS : Section 1 of this bill sets out the bills legislative intent.
Section 2 of the bill explains the powers and duties of the Correctional Association.
EXISTING LAW : There is no independent, external oversight of a state juvenile justice placements.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : This is a new bill.
STATEMENT IN SUPPORT : The Correctional Association of New York has provided a watchful eye over New York's prisons ever since its founding in 1844. Their advocacy has led to several important reforms of the prison system, including the abolishment of corporal punishment within prisons, the introduction of mental health and substance abuse treatment within prisons, and the creation of the first prison in the nation for children.
Today's juvenile justice facilities are not like adult prisons of 1844, or the prisons of today. But the challenges are similarly difficult. A lengthy investigation by the Department of Justice uncovered shocking abuses by the staff at the State's juvenile justice facilities. These staff persons have used violence to maintain order within the facility, resulting in a number of serious injuries to youth including broken bones, concussions, and bone fractures caused by the twisting of limbs. The Department of Justice also found that mental health services within these facilities were shockingly inadequate. Children often received contradictory mental health diagnoses. Medications were improperly administered, and the medicine's effects were unmonitored.
When this bill is enacted, the Correctional Association will provide external, independent oversight over the Office of Children and Family Services' administration of these facilities. Their expertise in correctional practice and policy, when paired with their specific expertise in juvenile justice reform, will help guide New York past the difficult reform that is necessary in order to keep our children safe.
BUDGET IMPLICATIONS : None.
EFFECTIVE DATE : Sixty days after passage.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6474--B IN SENATE January 19, 2010 ___________Introduced by Sens. MONTGOMERY, ADAMS, DUANE, KRUEGER, ONORATO, PARKER, SQUADRON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Children and Families -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to the powers and duties of the correctional association to inspect residential juvenile facil- ities THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The executive law is amended by adding a new section 504-c to read as follows: S 504-C. POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE CORRECTIONAL ASSOCIATION. 1. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY, THE CORREC- TIONAL ASSOCIATION, BY SUCH COMMITTEES AS THEY SHALL FROM TIME TO TIME APPOINT, SHALL HAVE THE POWER, AUTHORITY AND DUTY TO REGULARLY VISIT, INSPECT, AND EXAMINE ALL RESIDENTIAL JUVENILE FACILITIES OVERSEEN BY THE OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES AS DEFINED IN SECTION FIVE HUNDRED FOUR OR FIVE HUNDRED FOUR-A OF THIS ARTICLE, INCLUDING THE PROP- ERTY, DOCUMENTS, RECORDS, POLICIES, PROCEDURES, STAFF AND ALL SUCH OTHER THINGS AND RECORDS MAINTAINED OR CONTROLLED BY THE FACILITY WHICH ARE CONNECTED TO THE ASSOCIATION'S LEGISLATIVE MANDATE. 2. THE ASSOCIATION HAS THE AUTHORITY TO CONDUCT UNANNOUNCED VISITS TO DETERMINE THE WELFARE OF THE YOUTH IS PROTECTED AT JUVENILE FACILITIES OPERATED OR CERTIFIED BY THE OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES. THE ASSOCIATION SHALL RECEIVE COPIES OF INCIDENT REPORTS INVOLVING A YOUTH RESIDING IN A FACILITY OPERATED OR CERTIFIED BY THE OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES. IF THE ASSOCIATION COMES TO LEARN OF CHILD ABUSE AS DEFINED IN SECTION FOUR HUNDRED TWELVE-A OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES LAW, THEY SHALL MAKE AN IMMEDIATE REPORT TO THE COMMISSIONER OF THE OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES AND THE STATEWIDE CENTRAL REGIS- TRY OF CHILD ABUSE.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD14786-07-0 S. 6474--B 2
3. THE ASSOCIATION SHALL HAVE CONFIDENTIAL CONTACT IN PERSON AND IN WRITING WITH THE RESIDENTS AND STAFF OF SUCH FACILITIES. ALL INFORMATION THE CORRECTIONAL ASSOCIATION OBTAINS WHILE FULFILLING ITS DUTIES UNDER THIS SECTION THAT IS NOT PUBLICLY AVAILABLE SHALL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL, UNLESS A RELEASE IS OBTAINED BY AFFECTED PARTIES AND SUCH DISCLOSURE WILL ADVANCE THE RIGHTS OF YOUTH WHO ARE PLACED IN THESE FACILITIES. 4. THE CORRECTIONAL ASSOCIATION SHALL PERIODICALLY REPORT TO THE GOVERNOR, THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY, THE CHAIRS OF THE CHILDREN AND FAMILIES COMMITTEE IN THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY, OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES, LABOR REPRESENTATIVES, AND THE MEDIA REGARDING THE STATE AND CONDITION OF THE RESIDENTIAL FACILITIES, INCLUDING ANY SUGGESTED REMEDIAL ACTIONS. IN ADDITION, THE ASSOCIATION SHALL ALSO REPORT BY THE FIRST OF NOVEMBER TO THE GOVERNOR, LEGISLATURE, LABOR REPRESENTATIVES, AND THE MEDIA ON THE STATE AND CONDITION OF ALL OF THE STATE'S RESIDENTIAL JUVENILE FACILI- TIES. THE CORRECTIONAL ASSOCIATION SHALL ALSO MAKE ALL REPORTS AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET. THE OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES SHALL MEET WITH THE CORRECTIONAL ASSOCIATION AND RESPOND IN WRITING TO THE FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ISSUED IN THE ANNUAL REPORTS. THE OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES SHALL MAKE ITS RESPONSE AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET. S 2. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law.