A01347 Summary:

COSPNSRO'Donnell, Barrett, Mayer, Gottfried, Jaffee, Lupardo, Mosley, Peoples-Stokes, Rosenthal, Sepulveda, Titone, Wright, Fahy, Abinanti, Steck, Stirpe, Englebright, Quart, Barron, Skoufis, Blake, Dinowitz, Crespo, Colton, Hevesi, Pichardo, Perry, Schimel, Joyner, Aubry, Lavine, Bichotte, Walker, Hunter, Curran, Linares, Raia
MLTSPNSRArroyo, Braunstein, Cook, Davila, Galef, Glick, Markey, Robinson, Simon
Amd S137, Cor L
Restricts the segregated confinement of pregnant inmates to situations where there are exceptional circumstances which would create an unacceptable risk to other inmates or staff.
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A01347 Actions:

01/12/2015referred to correction
02/03/2015reported referred to codes
03/27/2015advanced to third reading cal.134
03/30/2015passed assembly
03/30/2015delivered to senate
01/06/2016DIED IN SENATE
01/06/2016ordered to third reading cal.68
01/26/2016passed assembly
01/26/2016delivered to senate
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A01347 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the correction law, in relation to the segregated confinement of pregnant inmates   PURPOSE: To exclude pregnant prisoners from solitary confinement in New York correctional facilities.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section I amends the opening paragraph of subdivision 6 of section 137 of the correction law. Section II adds a new paragraph (g) to subdivision 6 of section 137 of the correction law. Section III sets forth the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: Solitary confinement is overused in New York prisons and jails. At any given time, approximately 8% of the state prison popu- lation is in the special housing unit, known as SHU, but only around 16% of those inmates are placed in such housing units because they committed violent offenses. Of the 84% of inmates placed in SHU for non-violent offenses, many committed disciplinary infractions involving misbehavior such as being out of place, possessing some kind of contraband other than weapons, failing to obey an order from a correctional officer or smoking marijuana. The average length of stay in SHU in state prisons was five months in a recent survey conducted by the Correctional Associ- ation. Solitary confinement in this state involves locking a person in a small cell, generally about the size of an average apartment bathroom, for 23 hours a day, with one hour of exercise in an outdoor caged recreation area similar to a dog kennel. Inmates in SHU are not permitted to eat their own food or buy commissary items, including personal hygiene items and fresh vegetables and fruit. They have very limited personal property and cannot attend programs or make phone calls, have cell-side sick call and are left without meaningful social contacts or personal freedom of motion. Inmates in SHU are more likely to attempt self-harm, commit suicide and suffer from anxiety and depression. The UN Rapporteur on Torture has specifically found that New York has engaged in torture of at least three inmates in long-term solitary confinement in state correctional facilities, simply by virtue of placing them under the same kinds of conditions of confinement shared by all inmates held in SHU. While solitary confinement is difficult on all inmates, it is an excru- ciating hardship on pregnant women. Constricted movement and restricted access to medical and mental health care alone, even without the other deprivations inherent in solitary confinement, make time spent in SHU a very harsh punishment for a pregnant woman. Unless a pregnant woman poses a severe and immediate threat to the safety of other people, she should not be placed in SHU. If placed in SHU under exception circum- stances, she should be released as soon as it is safe to do so in order to receive the care, exercise, and nutrition critical in every pregnan- cy. Under the terms of an interim settlement agreement in a federal civil rights law suit, Peoples v. Fischer, 11-CIV-2694 (SAS), the New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision has agreed to a presumption against placing pregnant women in SHU unless there are exceptional circumstances. This bill would codify and expand that agree- ment to ensure that the state does not back slide and that pregnant women are not sent back to isolation if a final settlement agreement is not reached. Since Correction Law Section 137 applies to local correc- tional facilities as well as the prison system, this new subdivision will also apply to pregnant women in jails throughout New York.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2014: A09550 (Rozic) - Passed Assembly   FISCAL IMPACT ON THE STATE: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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A01347 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2015-2016 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    January 12, 2015
        Introduced  by  M.  of A. ROZIC, O'DONNELL, BARRETT, MAYER, CLARK, GOTT-
          SCARBOROUGH,  SEPULVEDA, TITONE, WRIGHT -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of
          A. ARROYO, BRAUNSTEIN, CAMARA, GLICK, MARKEY -- read once and referred
          to the Committee on Correction
        AN ACT to amend the  correction  law,  in  relation  to  the  segregated
          confinement of pregnant inmates
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. The opening paragraph of subdivision 6 of  section  137  of
     2  the  correction  law,  as  amended  by chapter 1 of the laws of 2008, is
     3  amended to read as follows:
     4    Except as provided in paragraphs (d)  [and],  (e),  and  (g)  of  this
     5  subdivision,  the superintendent of a correctional facility may keep any
     6  inmate confined in  a  cell  or  room,  apart  from  the  accommodations
     7  provided  for inmates who are participating in programs of the facility,
     8  for such period as may be necessary for maintenance of order  or  disci-
     9  pline, but in any such case the following conditions shall be observed:
    10    §  2. Subdivision 6 of section 137 of the correction law is amended by
    11  adding a new paragraph (g) to read as follows:
    12    (g) Segregated confinement is prohibited for pregnant inmates, inmates
    13  who have given birth within the past  eight  weeks  and  inmate  mothers
    14  living with infants in prison nursery programs.
    15    § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
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