NYC Board of Correction
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Cathy Erica Potler

We mourn the passing and honor the memory of our Executive Director Cathy Potler, who served the people of New York tirelessly with courage, honesty, and tenacity for more than twenty years. She inspired us her colleagues and staff to carry out the Board's mission of overseeing the city's jails and reminded us that, as Dostoevsky said, a society's civilization can be judged by entering its prisons. Those who have worked or resided at the city's jails owe Cathy Potler more than they can imagine. We shall miss her leadership, company and counsel, and we offer our heartfelt condolences to her family Martín and Natan.

Welcome

The Board of Correction establishes and ensures compliance with minimum standards regulating conditions of confinement and correctional health and mental health care in all City correctional facilities. The Board monitors conditions in the City's jails, investigates serious incidents, evaluates the performance of the Department of Correction, reviews inmate and employee grievances, and makes recommendations in critical areas of correctional planning. If you would like information about how to locate an inmate, get to Rikers Island, post bail, visit an inmate, send money to an inmate’s account, schedule an attorney visit, deliver a package to an inmate, or schedule pick-up of inmate property, contact the Department of Correction at 718-546-0631 or www.nyc.gov/doc. The Board of Correction has jurisdiction over the New York City jails. Its jurisdiction does not include the New York State prison system. Information regarding the NYS prison system may be obtained by contacting the offices listed to the right.
Features


Next Meeting of the Board of Correction
The next meeting of the Board of Correction is scheduled for Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. at 125 Worth Street in the third floor boardroom.

Board Grants Variance to House 18-21 Year Olds Together

On September 9, 2014, the Board of Correction granted a variance from Minimum Standard 1-02(b)(2). The variance allows the Department of Correction to create a new housing cohort of persons aged 18 to 21 inclusive. Sixteen and 17 year olds will be housed in another cohort. The variance is granted contingent on a number of conditions, detailed in the letter below. It will remain in effect for two months.

Download Variance Letter

BOC responds to the U.S. Department of Justice’s report
The Board wrote to Mayor de Blasio urging his administration to endorse the U.S. Justice Department’s findings that "there is a pattern and practice of conduct on Rikers Island that violates the constitutional rights of adolescents" and a "deep-seated culture of violence pervasive throughout the adolescent facilities at Rikers..." The Board wrote “[w]ithout the administration’s immediate response to the culture of violence on Rikers Island, these practices will continue unabated.” The Board offered its support to help in this effort.
BOC Letter to the Mayor

BOC Report
Barriers to Recreation at Rikers Island's Central Punitive Segregation Unit
The report found that only 10% of the inmates in the Central Punitive Segregation Unit engaged in recreation on any given day. The study presents the principle barriers to recreation and recommends ways to address them.

BOC held a public forum on “Punitive Segregation Reform – National Perspectives” on June 12th
The public forum focused on punitive segregation reforms, especially for vulnerable populations, from across the nation that also maintained the safety and security of correctional facility staff and inmates. The presenters included:
  • Jane Lovelle, LCSW, Deputy Director of Jail Behavioral Health Services & Co-Director of the Intern Training Program, San Francisco County Jails
  • Michele Fisher, Facility Commander, San Francisco Sheriff’s Department
  • Joseph Ponte, Commissioner of NYC Department of Correction and former Commissioner of Maine’s Department of Corrections
  • Richard Dudley, MD, forensic psychiatrist
The event was moderated by Gordon J. Campbell, Chair, NYC Board of Correction, followed by a Q&A period from Board members and the audience. This is the link to the webcast:

http://new.livestream.com/cunylaw/boc


BOC grants DOHMH variance to provide injury-related diagnoses to DOC

On November 18, 2013, the Board of Correction voted unanimously to grant the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s variance request from section 3-08 [“Privacy and Confidentiality”] (c)(3) of the Health Care Minimum Standards. The variance allows health care staff to provide to the Department of Correction specific diagnoses related only to injuries sustained by prisoners while in correctional custody. The reporting of diagnoses unrelated to an injury would remain prohibited from disclosure. This variance will remain in effect for six months.

Download Variance Letter

Download Form

BOC unanimously votes to initiate rule-making regarding punitive segregation

On September 9, 2013, the Board unanimously approved a motion to adopt the recommendation of a Committee of the Board to initiate rule-making on the issue of punitive segregation.

Click here to read the Committee’s recommendation.

Rule-making will be pursuant to the City Administrative Procedures Act (CAPA). The Board will discuss proposed language with stakeholders, including DOC, DOHMH, OMB, other interested parties, and experts. Under CAPA, the Board will publish and distribute widely its proposed amended standards, solicit written comments and hold a public hearing. The Board will consider all written comments and testimony before promulgating new or revised standards.


BOC grants variance authorizing DOC to temporarily restrict adolescents for up to two hours in their cell

At its public meeting on September 10, 2012, the Board of Correction granted the Department’s request for a variance from Minimum Standards section 1-05(b)(2) “Lock-In” authorizing DOC to temporarily restrict for up to two hours in their cells adolescent prisoners assigned to cell housing units at RNDC who continue to engage in minor misconduct after being ordered to stop. An inmate in temporary cell restriction will have access to all mandated services, unless in the opinion of the area supervisor the inmate has not regained his composure. Under these circumstances, the Department may delay or deny a temporarily restricted inmate’s access to showers, recreation, congregate religious services and law library. All other provisions of the Minimum Standards remain in full force and effect.

At its January 14, 2013 public meeting, the Board renewed the variances for six months, and continued the reporting requirements and conditions on the variances.

[For all of the variance conditions imposed by the Board, click HERE to read the variance-granting letter.]
Resources
NYS Department of Correctional Services
 
  NYS Commission on Correction  
 
  Prisoners Legal Services  
 
  Legal Aid Society - Prisoner's Rights Project