NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A7016A
SPONSOR: De La Rosa
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the correction law, in relation to
available transportation for correction facility visitation
To restore transportation for visitors from certain cities to state
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 adds a new section 138-b to the correction law. Section 2
provides an effective date.
From 1973 to 2011,DOCCS provided free transportation to its prisons to
help families stay connected with incarcerated loved ones. Bus service
ran on weekends from NYC,Rochester, Syracuse and Albany to every prison
in the state. This service, unmatched by any other state corrections
department, was relied upon by families who often lived far from the
prisons they visited and who lacked the financial means to make such
trips on their own. In early 2011, the program was terminated to save a
little less than $1.5 million.
Family visits contribute to facility safety because they motivate pris-
oners to complete programs and follow facility rules. Research shows
that visits are an important component of managing prisoner behavior,
reducing recidivism and promoting positive parent-child relationships.
Data collected by the Minnesota Department of Corrections found that
inmates who receive a single visit have a 13% reduction in recidivism
compared to inmates who do not receive any visits. Visits also facili-
tate reentry because families are often the primary source of support
for housing, clothes, food and other necessities when a person is
released from prison. The impact of visitation on recidivism has signif-
icant cost implications, given the annual prison cost in NY is $60K per
person. DOCCS should focus on increasing visitation, not making it more
For children with incarcerated parents, in-person visits have a positive
impact on their emotional well-being and future life outcomes. In 2011,
DOCCS reported that 72% of women and 62% of men in prison were parents.
This suggests the impact of their incarceration is felt by a significant
number of children. For children, visits with their incarcerated parents
have proven beneficial on a number of levels and are associated with
higher self-esteem, improved non-verbal IQ scores, better adjustment to
school and foster care and fewer behavior problems. Increased contact
between parents and children may have upfront costs, such as the bus
program, but offer long-term benefits to society and to families.
Approximately $1.5 million LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
This act shall take effect one year after it shall have become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK
Cal. No. 493
2017-2018 Regular Sessions
March 29, 2017
Introduced by M. of A. DE LA ROSA, WEPRIN, SEPULVEDA, DICKENS, ORTIZ,
MOSLEY, NIOU, BARRON, RICHARDSON, RIVERA, DAVILA, WALKER, ROZIC,
BLAKE, D'URSO, BICHOTTE, HARRIS, CRESPO, PEOPLES-STOKES, SIMON, COOK,
GOTTFRIED, COLTON, JOYNER, HYNDMAN, JEAN-PIERRE -- Multi-Sponsored by
-- M. of A. WRIGHT -- read once and referred to the Committee on
Correction -- ordered to a third reading, amended and ordered
reprinted, retaining its place on the order of third reading
AN ACT to amend the correction law, in relation to available transporta-
tion for correction facility visitation
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The correction law is amended by adding a new section 138-b
2 to read as follow:
3 § 138-b. Visitor transportation. In conjunction with the inmate visit-
4 ing program, the department shall provide transportation for visitors to
5 correctional facilities on a regular basis, but no less than bimonthly,
6 at no cost to visitors. Transportation shall be provided from the city
7 of New York, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany to correctional facilities,
8 as determined by the commissioner. Information concerning transportation
9 shall be posted on the department's public website, and shall be avail-
10 able from the telephone number designated, pursuant to section one
11 hundred thirty-eight-a of this article. Notice of available transporta-
12 tion shall be provided to inmates upon reception and upon transfer to a
13 new correctional facility.
14 § 2. This act shall take effect one year after it shall have become a
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.