Inviting Organizations, Agencies, Coalitions, Churches, and Groups to Sign-On
STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF FUNDING TO RESTORE THE PRISON VISITING BUSES
We ask that you support the inclusion of funding in the FY 2020 State budget for the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) to reinstate the Family Visiting Bus Program (“Visiting Bus”). This program provided transportation to New York State prisons at no cost to families from 1973-2011 when it was suddenly eliminated. Legislative bill A.7016A/S.56931 would reinstate this critical means of transportation making visits an accessible reality for the hundreds of thousands of children and families from Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, New York City, Buffalo, and the surrounding areas to visit a loved one incarcerated in a New York State prison.
STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF THE PROXIMITY PILOT BILL
We ask that you support the Proximity Pilot bill, S7757/A102041 that would require the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) to pilot placing 100 incarcerated parents (who meet DOCCS’ eligibility criteria) in facilities closer to their children and evaluate the impact on visiting frequency, institutional adjustment of parents, and recidivism rates. The evaluation would also include recommendations for implementing proximity systemwide for all eligible incarcerated parents of minor children. For most children, visiting reduces trauma and supports their well-being and is also associated with benefits for corrections, incarcerated individuals, and public safety. We support the goal of DOCCS including “proximity to children” in their prison assignment calculus for all incarcerated parents, and a pilot can inform how to implement this criterion systemwide.