Health Alert for Illegal Synthetic Marijuana
Acting Commissioner Annucci ordered all correctional facility superintendents and parole office regional directors to post Governor Cuomo's important health alert about the dangers of illegal synthetic marijuana. Acting Commissioner Annucci said, "Synthetic marijuana can pose unintended health and security problems within a correctional setting and parolees may find themselves in dangerous situations as well. DOCCS is committed to disrupting the flow of illegal drugs in our correctional facilities and DOCCS will continue to aggressively pursue and prosecute suspected smugglers."
National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
National Crime Victims’ Rights Week started on April 19th and ends on the 25th. This year’s theme is “Engaging Communities. Empowering Victims.” Each day, special events are held across the Capital Region. The Director of the Office of Victim Assistance, Janet Koupash will be speaking at the April 23rd DWI Memorial Ceremony in Albany, NY. For more information about National Crime Victims’ Week click here.
Groveland’s Third Annual Season for Nonviolence
$2,000 to Chances & Changes Inc.
Domestic/Family Abuse Organization
Groveland Correctional Facility opened their third annual “Season for Nonviolence” with an assembly featuring Arun Gandhi. Mr. Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, made a passionate plea to the attending inmates to seek a peaceful path to help resolve conflict. Gandhi’s message of peace kick started the next 64 days that encompass the Season for Nonviolence, culminating with the Closing Ceremony. READ MORE.
Food And Books Collected In Dr. Martin Luther King’s Honor
The Watertown and Hale Creek Correctional Facilities recently held events to collect and distribute both food and books to local charities. Staff and inmates at Watertown took part in the donation of food, books, and money. In all 84 pounds of food, 4205, and 102 books was donated.
At Hale Creek, books and money were donated to local charities. Hale Creek staff collected 180 children’s books and $156 to donate. Staff members at Hale Creek took time to read a few books in a local first grade classroom- an event that was featured in the local newspaper.
The events at both facilities were part of an annual Dr. Martin Luther King remembrance where facilities conduct positive activities in Dr. King’s honor.
Western Facilities Team Up to Answer “Teddy Bear 911”
Call to Help a Local Hospital
Collins, Gowanda and Lakeview correctional facilities rallied together recently for a project they called, “Teddy Bear 911.” The three facilities each held teddy bear drives to collect small to medium-sized new stuffed animals to be given away to children, or special needs adolescents and adults visiting the emergency room at nearby Lakeshore Hospital in Irving, NY. Monetary donations were also sought to help fund this initiative by the TLC Health Network, the parent organization of the hospital. READ MORE.
“Richy’s Thrifty” Is Providing Clothes For Parolees In NeedThanks to the generous vision of a New York City Parole Officer, there is always a place for parolees, particularly female parolees, in need. Parole Officer Richardson of the Bronx Area Office opened Richy’s Thrifty, a room where mass amounts of donated clothing items are stored. On any day of the week, parolees in need can take a pair of shoes, a coat or any available clothing item. During the week of Christmas, 2014, Parole Officer Richardson donated 25 Christmas gift bags to the females she supervises, many of whom with children and had not received a Christmas gift themselves in several years. The idea for Richy’s Thrifty started in 2012 and has grown to what it is today because of the generous donations from Richardson’s colleagues and other parolee staff.
DOCCS Joins Other State Agencies in Hiring Veterans
Executive Law 369 was amended to include Chapter 17-A, known as the Veteran's Employment Act. It is now the policy of New York State to hire discharged veterans for temporary appointments and temporary-hourly positions within state agencies. In order to be eligible an individual must have served on active duty in the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard or the Reserved Components of the Armed Forces of the United States or served in the active military service of the United States as a member of the Army National Guard, Air National Guard or the New York Militia and have been released from service for any such service other than dishonorable discharge, after September 11, 2001.
The New York State Department of Civil Service has created an online portal which will allow agencies to be provided with a pool of veterans they must consider when making temporary-hourly appointment. To learn more about the program, including ways to sign up, click here.
New Website Allows People to Apply for Clemency Online
"On December 31, 2014, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a new clemency web site to act as a central resource for those eligible for clemency to apply. In addition, the public may view the DOCCS directive 6901, Information Concerning Executive Clemency, here.
DMV Identification ProgramNewly released individuals have 120 days from their discharge date to apply for a learner permit, driver license or non-driver ID at the Department of Motor Vehicles. This documentation plays an important role in successful reentry and will be needed to access services and employment. Please read the attached flyer here.
Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA)
DOCCS has also undertaken efforts to better inform our population by producing educational materials. These materials were updated in June, 2013 and include a new inmate orientation pamphlet, a comprehensive "What Inmates Need to Know" pamphlet and poster to encourage inmates and other offenders to report any issues involving sexual abuse. In January 2014, DOCCS contract providers began distributing a similar orientation pamphlet to residents who are placed in Community-Based Residential Programs (CBRP) and Residential Stabilization Programs (RSP) as a condition of their release.