NYS Seal




Implementation of mental health initiatives funded through the Department of Correctional Services and the Office of Mental Health in the 2004-05 State Budget.


The 2004-05 Executive Budget proposed a new program initiative directed toward the management and treatment of seriously mentally ill inmates within the Department of Correctional Services. According to the Executive, this initiative followed a comprehensive review, conducted in SFY 2003-04, of mental health treatment programs and infrastructure available for the custodial care and treatment of seriously mentally ill inmates. This initiative has been funded and is operated by the Department and the Office of Mental Health. According to the Department, monies provided in the 2004-05 State Budget have expanded existing programs and added new programming which serves those seriously mentally ill inmates who were unable to adjust to living within the general prison population and were, therefore, often placed in disciplinary confinement. This public hearing will examine the progress made in the implementation of this initiative.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006
10:00 AM
Roosevelt Hearing Room C,
Legislative Office Building, 2nd Floor
Albany, New York

The Assembly Standing Committee on Correction is responsible for legislative oversight of correctional facilities throughout New York State. This responsibility extends to issues concerning the safety and security of staff of these facilities and to the effective and humane treatment of inmates. In recent years, the Committee has become aware of the high incidence of serious mental illness within state correctional facilities and of the potential risk that inmates with serious mental illness may represent to staff, other inmates and to themselves.

Please see below for a list of subjects to which witnesses may direct their testimony, and for a description of the bills which will be discussed at the hearing.

Persons wishing to present pertinent testimony to the Committee at the above hearing should complete and return the reply form as soon as possible. It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation.

Oral testimony will be limited to fifteen minutes' duration. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committee will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. These requests should be made on the attached reply form or communicated to Committee staff as early as possible. In the absence of a request, witnesses will be scheduled in the order in which reply forms are postmarked.

Ten copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committee would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements.

In order to further publicize these hearings, please inform interested parties and organizations of the Committee's interest in hearing testimony from all sources.

In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.

Jeffrion L. Aubry
Member of Assembly
Committee on Correction


  1. According to the Office of Mental Health, there are approximately 8,000 inmates with serious and persistent mental illness confined in state correctional facilities. Are these inmates receiving adequate mental health treatment?

  2. Does this expansion in mental health services meet the needs of inmates with seriuos mental illness?

  3. Are there significant gaps in the delivery of mental health treatment services in NewYork State prisons? If so, to what extent does this initiative fill those gaps?

  4. How does the mental health treatment provided to New York State inmates, e.g. number of crisis beds, treatment slots, etc. compare with other states?

  5. What is the relationship between the Behavioral Health Unit, the Intermediate Care Program and the Special Treatment Program?

  6. What is the current status of the Special Housing Unit (SHU) Case Management Committee and how has it affected the incidence of SHU confinement of inmates with serious mental illness?

  7. Are there programs and services provided to inmates with serious mental illness in other states which would be of benefit to inmates in New York State prisons?


Persons wishing to present testimony at the public hearing on Prison Mental Health Initiatives are requested to complete this reply form as soon as possible and mail it to:

T.J. Conteh
Legislative Associate
Assembly Committee on Correction
Room 508 - Capitol
Albany, New York 12248
Email: conteh@assembly.state.ny.us
Phone: (518) 455-4313
Fax: (518) 455-4682

box I plan to attend the following public hearing on Prison Mental Health Initiatives to be conducted by the Assembly Committee on Correction on January 18, 2006.

box I plan to make a public statement at the hearing. My statement will be limited to fifteen minutes, and I will answer any questions which may arise. I will provide 10 copies of my prepared statement.


I will address my remarks to the following subjects:

box I do not plan to attend the above hearing.

box I would like to be added to the Committee mailing list for notices and reports.

box I would like to be removed from the Committee mailing list.


I will require assistance and/or handicapped accessibility information. Please specify the type of assistance required:








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