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A04011 Summary:

BILL NOA04011
 
SAME ASSAME AS S02206
 
SPONSORAubry
 
COSPNSRO'Donnell
 
MLTSPNSR
 
 
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.
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A04011 Actions:

BILL NOA04011
 
01/31/2019referred to correction
05/21/2019reported referred to ways and means
01/08/2020referred to ways and means
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A04011 Memo:

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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A04011 Text:



 
                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.
                                                                   LBD05413-01-9

        A. 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.
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