|SAME AS||SAME AS S03396|
|COSPNSR||Sepulveda, Rozic, Weprin, Simon, Barron, McDonald|
|Authorizes a study by the department of corrections and community supervision pertaining to the treatment of aging prison populations.|
|01/13/2017||referred to correction|
|02/06/2017||reported referred to ways and means|
|05/04/2017||advanced to third reading cal.268|
|01/03/2018||ordered to third reading cal.133|
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NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A1776 SPONSOR: Joyner
TITLE OF BILL: An act authorizing a study by the New York state department of corrections and community supervision to study the treatment of aging prison populations and make recommendations for ensuring humane treat- ment of such populations   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This legislation specifically authorizes the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to undertake a study of the treatment, condi- tions and prevalence of aging prison populations and issue findings pertaining to such populations. The study shall include an analysis of; factors contributing to the growth in the number of elderly prisoners, the extent to which elderly prisoners are being provided with adequate housing and medical care, the provision of specialized training of corrections officers, and the assigning oversight of older inmates to a specific official within each correctional facility. The Department shall issue its report within one year of the effective date of this law.   JUSTIFICATION: While the inmate population in New York has decreased dramatically in recent years through the advent of determinate sentencing, reforms to Rockefeller Drug Laws, increased use of alternatives to incarceration and expanded eligibility of shock incarceration, the population of, inmates left behind in prison is aging rapidly. At the end of 1992, we had a population of 61,376 inmates, 2,461, or 4%, of whom were elderly. By the end of 2006, we had a population of 63,304 inmates, but the number of elderly inmates increased disproportionately to 6,945, or 11% of the total inmate population. On May 1, 2015, we had a population that had decreased to 52,136 inmates and yet the number of elderly inmates was 9,926, or 17% of the inmate population. The trend is clear. Under our current sentencing policies and parole board practices, the elderly inmate population will continue to grow. Unless we provide new release mechanisms to reduce the number of inmates who are too old, frail or infirm to pose a risk to safety, the alterna- tive is to plan for resources to meet the needs of a growing elderly population behind bars. In 2011, $33 million was spent to add 38 hospice beds to serve dying inmates placed in the Regional Medical Unit (RMU) at Walsh Medical Center located within the confines of Mohawk Correctional Facility in Oneida County. A Unit for the Cognitively Impaired located in Fishkill Correctional Facility's RMU utilizes professional caregivers to provide services to incarcerated individuals living with dementia. The average cost per bed at this unit is $93,000 - more than double the $41,000 per bed in the general prison population. With 9,300 inmates elderly inmates currently, more is needed than just these two special- ized units. The issue of aging people in prison is arguably a matter of economic urgency, a public health crisis, a violation of human rights or a reflection of the critical shortcomings of our criminal justice system, depending on the eyes of the beholder. All perspectives should agree, however, that the prison system, half of which was built more than a century ago, is not equipped to handle an increasingly aging population. With the rapid growth in the number of older prisoners being retained in prison it is essential for policymakers to fully understand how best to address the needs of a changing prison population. Accordingly, any serious and sustainable attempt to resolve this crisis requires a multifaceted approach and cross-disciplinary discussion among. experts. This legislation begins that process by requiring the Department to conduct a study of the challenges posed by the aging pris- on population, including a review of existing and necessary resources, and provide a report of its findings and its plans to the legislature one year after the effective date of this bill.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF BILL: 2016 - Passed Assembly, Referred to Senate Crime Victims Committee   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
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STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1776 2017-2018 Regular Sessions IN ASSEMBLY January 13, 2017 ___________ Introduced by M. of A. JOYNER -- read once and referred to the Committee on Correction AN ACT authorizing a study by the New York state department of corrections and community supervision to study the treatment of aging prison populations and make recommendations for ensuring humane treat- ment of such populations The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem- bly, do enact as follows: 1 Section 1. The department of corrections and community supervision 2 shall undertake a study of the treatment, conditions and prevalence of 3 aging prison populations and what plans, if any, such department has to 4 provide for this increasing segment of the inmate population. The study 5 shall include but not be limited to the following: 6 (a) a profile of the current elderly inmate population and statistics 7 relating to its demographics including length and type of sentence, age 8 at parole eligibility, race, gender, region of commitment, commitment 9 crime and any other data that may describe such population; 10 (b) projected inmate populations for elderly inmates for the next 11 five, ten and twenty years; 12 (c) factors contributing to the growth in the number and proportion of 13 elderly inmates; 14 (d) whether, and to what extent, older prison populations are being 15 provided with adequate or specialized housing, medical care, and 16 specialized programs that respond to their unique needs and vulnerabili- 17 ties, such as the need for wheelchair accessibility or accommodations 18 relating to diminished mental or physical capacity, including a profile 19 of such housing, medical care and programs currently provided to elderly 20 inmates and a projection of such provisions that will be needed five, 21 ten and twenty years hence; 22 (e) provision of specialized training for corrections officers working 23 with older inmates including what training is currently provided; and EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD06712-01-7A. 1776 2 1 (f) a profile of classification and facilities assigned to such 2 inmates including what institutional oversight, if any, exists to ensure 3 the welfare of older inmates within each correctional facility. 4 § 2. The department of corrections and community supervision shall 5 make a report to the governor and the legislature of the information 6 required under section one of this act, its findings and conclusions, 7 and any legislative recommendations it deems necessary no later than one 8 year after the effective date of this act. 9 § 3. To the maximum extent feasible, the department of corrections and 10 community supervision shall be entitled to request and receive and shall 11 utilize and be provided with such facilities, resources and data of any 12 court, department, division, board, bureau, commission or agency of the 13 state or any political subdivision thereof as it may reasonably request 14 to carry out properly its responsibilities pursuant to this act. 15 § 4. This act shall take effect immediately.