ASSEMBLY STANDING COMMITTEE ON CORRECTION
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
November 29th, 2012
Roosevelt Hearing Room C
Legislative Office Building, 2nd Floor
Albany, New York
According to federal and state studies, education is the most effective program in reducing recidivism. These studies have consistently found that the higher the level of education attained, the more likely a former inmate will be to obtain gainful and stable employment, and the less likely he or she will be to engage in future criminal activity. Successful programs aimed at rehabilitation should reduce recidivism and thus increase public safety.
The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) has an operating budget of approximately $2.7 billion. DOCCS spends about 9% of their operating budget on programs for prisoners. As noted on the Department's website, DOCCS offers an "extensive array of programs and services for inmates to re-direct their lives and become productive, law-abiding members of society. Programs include educational and vocational training, substance abuse treatment, parenting skills, anger management, domestic violence counseling, health education, sex offender treatment, religious services, and many more."
In this hearing we will examine the efficacy of educational and vocational rehabilitative programs, ask how we can measure the effectiveness of such programs, and discuss steps to improve programmatic outcomes.
Please see the reverse side for a list of subjects to which witnesses may direct their testimony.
Persons wishing to present pertinent testimony to the Committee at the above hearing should complete and return the enclosed reply form as soon as possible. It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation.
Oral testimony will be accepted by invitation only and limited to TEN (10) minutes' duration. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committee will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. These requests should be made on the attached reply form or communicated to Committee staff as early as possible.
Twenty (20) copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committee would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements.
In order to further publicize these hearings, please inform interested parties and organizations of the Committee's interest in hearing testimony from all sources.
In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.
JEFFRION L. AUBRY
Member of Assembly
Committee on Correction
SELECTED QUESTIONS TO WHICH WITNESSES MAY DIRECT THEIR TESTIMONY:
What is the full range of educational and vocational programs available for inmates in New York State prisons?
What is the process for determining which educational and vocational programs an inmate will take and for placing her or him in such program? Are any educational or vocational programs offered to SHU inmates?
What programmatic differences, if any, are there between maximum and medium security facilities? Since approximately one-third of the prison population serves more than ten years of incarceration prior to release, how does DOCCS ensure effective educational and vocational programming to long term inmates to create safer prison environments and reduce the chance of recidivism?
What quality assurance methods are utilized by DOCCS to determine whether or not an educational or vocational program is effective?
What is the effect of staff vacancies on educational and vocational programs? How many vacancies are there currently among the civilian program instructor FTE's? How many civilian program instructor FTE's have been eliminated in the past five years?
Corcraft Industries has provided inmates with real job skills and strong work habits in a production-oriented environment. What is the status of Corcraft programs being provided by DOCCS? Of the approximately 56K inmates, how many inmates are able to enroll in a Corcraft program? Is there any known correlation between placement in a Corcraft program and employment post incarceration?
Which college programs are currently being offered in NY prisons and how many students are in each program? What could be done to increase the availability of and participation in college programs?
The Department of Labor (DOL) has long provided certification and training of inmates which may help them obtain gainful employment upon their release from prison. What is the status of the Department of Labor (DOL) programs for certification and training of inmates?