Weprin Legislation Requiring Information on Inmate Deaths Passes Assembly

Albany, New York – On Thursday, Assemblyman David I. Weprin’s legislation to reduce the instances in which the State Commission of Correction can redact information on reports reviewing inmate deaths passed the Assembly.

The bill, A4336, adds language to Section 47 of the Correction Law requiring the medical review board to issue a report, without redaction, except in cases of medical necessity or as otherwise required to protect confidential medical records and behavioral health records in accordance with state and federal laws; to the Governor, the chairman of the Assembly Committee on Correction and the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction.

This law was prompted by cases in which the legislature has sought copies of reports on the deaths of inmates housed in state correctional facilities but upon delivery they were heavily redacted with entire pages and paragraphs redacted to the point where very little information on the cause of death of an inmate could be gathered.

“The Assembly and Senate have legislative oversight of state and local correctional facilities but we need information to do our jobs properly,” said Assemblyman David I. Weprin. “This bill puts us one step closer to getting the necessary information to reduce future instances of inmate deaths.”