|SAME AS||SAME AS S02206|
|Establishes the commission on post-secondary correctional education to examine, evaluate, and make recommendations concerning the availability, effectiveness and need for expansion of post-secondary education in the NYS prison system.|
|01/31/2019||referred to correction|
|05/21/2019||reported referred to ways and means|
|01/08/2020||referred to ways and means|
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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: A4011 SPONSOR: Aubry
TITLE OF BILL: An act to establish a commission on post-secondary correctional educa- tion; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof   PURPOSE: This bill establishes commission to study and make recommendations to the legislature and the governor regarding the availability and effec- tiveness of post-secondary correctional education programs in prison.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill contains legislative findings that demonstrates the need for a commission on post-secondary correctional education and includes relevant statistical information. Section 2 of the bill establishes the commission to be known as the New York State Commission on Post-secondary Correctional Education. The commission will consider a number of issues including the benefits of post-secondary correctional education, the impact of post-secondary correctional education on the offender recidivism and prison safety and security, and recommendations about the need, if any, to expand postse- condary education programs in prison. Sections 3, 4 and 5 of the bill provide for the manner of appointments to the commission and specifics about the commission's operational structure. Section 6 of the bill requires the commission to make a report to the governor and the legislature no later than one year after the effective date. Section 7 is the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: 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. However, in 1994, federal tuition assistance, in the form of Pell Grants, for individuals incarcerated in federal and state correctional facilities was terminated with the enactment of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. Then, in 1995, New York prohibited inmates from accessing state funds through the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) for post-secondary correctional education. According to a report published by the Correctional Association of New York in January, 2009, entitled "Education From the Inside, Out: The Multiple Benefits of College Programs in Prison," only four out of seventy post-secondary correctional education programs continued to operate in New York following the termination of TAP availability for inmates. The benefits of post-secondary correctional educational have been well- documented. Most recently, the New York State Commission on Sentencing Reform. recently reported that post-secondary correctional education programs have been shown to reduce recidivism by up to 40%- and the Commission recommended that more post-secondary educational opportu- nities be made available to inmates. However, identifying the resource (both private and public) necessary to expand post-secondary education in prison is challenging, particularly in this tough economic time. Therefore, the commission established by this bill would be tasked with examining the existing post-secondary educational opportunities in prison, documenting the benefits of such programs and making recommendations for possible expansion.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A8552 was referred to correction and reported referred to ways and means in 2009-2010. A.3657 was reported referred to ways and means in 2011 and 2012. A.4109 was referred to ways and means in 2013 and 2014. A. 3309 was referred to correction in 2015 and 2016.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Minimal.   LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act will take effect immediately and shall expire and be deemed repealed one year after such effective date; provided that the appoint- ment of members to the New York State Commission on post-secondary correctional education shall be completed within sixty days of such effective date.
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STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4011 2019-2020 Regular Sessions IN ASSEMBLY January 31, 2019 ___________ Introduced by M. of A. AUBRY -- read once and referred to the Committee on Correction AN ACT to establish a commission on post-secondary correctional educa- tion; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem- bly, do enact as follows: 1 Section 1. Legislative findings and intent. The legislature finds that 2 the availability of post-secondary correctional education has the poten- 3 tial to reduce recidivism, increase employment opportunities for inmates 4 upon release and have a positive impact on prison safety and security. 5 The legislature further finds that there is currently a lack of avail- 6 able post-secondary educational opportunities for inmates in the New 7 York state prison system. 8 Studies have consistently found that the higher the level of education 9 attained, the more likely a former inmate will be to obtain gainful and 10 stable employment, and the less likely he or she will be to engage in 11 future criminal activity. However, in 1994, federal tuition assistance, 12 in the form of Pell Grants, for individuals incarcerated in federal and 13 state correctional facilities was terminated with the enactment of the 14 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. Then, in 1995, New York 15 prohibited inmates from accessing state funds through the Tuition 16 Assistance Program (TAP) for post-secondary correctional education. 17 According to a report published by the Correctional Association of New 18 York in January, 2009, entitled "Education From the Inside, Out: The 19 Multiple Benefits of College Programs in Prison," only four out of 20 seventy post-secondary correctional education programs continued to 21 operate in New York following the termination of TAP availability for 22 inmates. 23 According to the Correctional Association of New York report, statis- 24 tical evidence from several highly regarded studies demonstrates that EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD05413-01-9A. 4011 2 1 college programming in prison is a highly effective tool in reducing 2 recidivism. For example, the report cites a 1991 study released by New 3 York's department of correctional services that found inmates who earned 4 a degree while incarcerated had a 26.4 percent recidivism rate whereas 5 44.6 percent of participants who did not earn a degree were returned to 6 custody. The report cites another influential study, published in 2004, 7 "Post-Secondary Correctional Education and Recidivism: A Meta-Analysis 8 of Research Conducted 1990-1999," that found inmates who participated in 9 post-secondary correctional education programs recidivated 22 percent of 10 the time and those who did not participate had a recidivism rate of 41 11 percent. Further, the New York state commission on sentencing reform 12 recently reported that post-secondary correctional education programs 13 have been shown to reduce recidivism by up to 40% and the commission 14 recommended that more post-secondary educational opportunities be made 15 available to inmates. 16 The Correctional Association of New York report also asserts that 17 in-prison college programs are a cost-effective method of improving 18 public safety. The report states that "the cost differences in education 19 versus incarceration in New York, plus the short- and long-term benefits 20 of a better educated population, makes investment in higher education 21 for incarcerated individuals and people in the community smart fiscal 22 policy." The report cites one cost-benefit analysis that found the cost 23 to a state per crime prevented by offering education to inmates is about 24 $1,600 while the cost per crime prevented by extending prison sentences 25 is $2,800. In other words, according to the study, a $1 million invest- 26 ment in incarceration will prevent about 350 crimes, while that same 27 investment in education will prevent more than 600 crimes meaning that 28 correctional education may be almost twice as cost effective as incar- 29 ceration. 30 In addition, research suggests that post-secondary programs in prison 31 can provide inmates with an incentive for good behavior and greatly 32 enhance an inmate's problem-solving skills thereby reducing tension and 33 violent interactions between inmates and staff and among inmates. 34 Reportedly, inmates who attend post-secondary educational classes are 35 among the best-behaved of the inmate population because there is a 36 strong incentive to avoid conduct that could result in discipline and a 37 loss of credit for the college program. 38 Despite the potential benefits of post-secondary correctional educa- 39 tion programs, only a relatively small number of programs currently 40 operate in the New York state prisons funded mostly through private 41 sources, federal grants for youth offenders or through small legislative 42 initiative grants. 43 § 2. A temporary state commission, to be known as the New York state 44 commission on post-secondary correctional education, hereinafter 45 referred to as the commission, is hereby created to examine, evaluate, 46 and make recommendations concerning the availability, effectiveness and 47 need for expansion of post-secondary education in the New York state 48 prison system. The issues to be considered by the commission shall 49 include, but not be limited to, the following: 50 a. the benefits of post-secondary correctional education in improving 51 public safety by reducing recidivism; 52 b. the impact of post-secondary correctional education on an inmate's 53 employment opportunities upon release from prison; 54 c. the impact of post-secondary correctional education on an inmate's 55 reintegration into society upon release from prison;A. 4011 3 1 d. the cost savings, if any, associated with reduced recidivism and 2 the successful reintegration of released inmates who have participated 3 in post-secondary correctional education; 4 e. the impact of post-secondary correctional education on prison safe- 5 ty and security; 6 f. the need, if any, to expand post-secondary correctional educational 7 programs in the New York state prison system and the costs associated 8 with such an expansion; and 9 g. recommendations for funding options, including but not limited to 10 the Tuition Assistance Program, to increase that availability of post- 11 secondary correctional education in the New York state prison system. 12 § 3. The commission shall consist of fifteen members, to be appointed 13 as follows: four members shall be appointed by the governor and shall 14 include the commissioner of the department of correctional services, and 15 one member each from the division of parole, the division of criminal 16 justice services and the New York state higher education services corpo- 17 ration; six members, with three appointments by the temporary president 18 of the senate and three by the speaker of the assembly, shall be repre- 19 sentatives of private providers of post-secondary education services in 20 New York state prisons, criminal justice advocates, and academic profes- 21 sionals; one member shall be appointed by the minority leader of the 22 senate; and one member shall be appointed by the minority leader of the 23 assembly. The remaining members shall be the chancellor, or his or her 24 designee, of the city university of New York, the chancellor, or his or 25 her designee, of the state university of New York and the commissioner 26 of the state department of education. The commission shall be co-chaired 27 by the commissioner of the state department of correctional services and 28 the commissioner of the state department of education. The vice-chair- 29 person of the commission shall be a representative of one of the private 30 providers of post-secondary education services as appointed by the 31 chairpersons. Vacancies in the membership of the commission shall be 32 filled in the manner provided for original appointments. 33 § 4. The members of the commission shall receive no compensation for 34 their services, but shall be allowed their actual and necessary expenses 35 incurred in the performance of their duties hereunder. To the maximum 36 extent feasible, the commission shall be entitled to request and receive 37 and shall utilize and be provided with such facilities, resources, and 38 data of any court, department, division, board, bureau, commission, or 39 agency of the state or any political subdivision thereof as it deems 40 necessary or desirable to carry out properly its powers and duties here- 41 under. 42 § 5. For the accomplishment of its purposes, the commission shall be 43 authorized and empowered to undertake any studies, inquiries, surveys or 44 analyses it may deem relevant in cooperation with or by agreement with 45 any other public or private agency. The commission shall meet and hold 46 public hearings or private meetings within or without the state, and 47 shall have all the powers of a legislative committee pursuant to the 48 legislative law. 49 § 6. The commission shall make a report of its findings, including any 50 recommendations for legislative action as it may deem necessary and 51 appropriate, to the governor, the temporary president of the senate, the 52 speaker of the assembly, the chairperson of the senate committee on 53 crime victims, crime and correction and the chairperson of the assembly 54 committee on correction no later than one year after the effective date 55 of this act.A. 4011 4 1 § 7. This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire and be 2 deemed repealed one year after such effective date; provided that the 3 appointment of members to the New York state commission on post-secon- 4 dary correctional education shall be completed within sixty days of such 5 effective date.