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Community reentry of persons with a history of alcohol and/or drug dependency released from incarceration and progress with collaboration between Parole, Corrections, and OASAS.


To examine the adequacy of existing substance abuse treatment services and resources available to people released from incarceration.The ability of OASAS, Parole, and Corrections to provide the most effective substance abuse treatment services to those reentering the community after incarceration.

Monday, May 5, 2008
10:00 A.M.
State Education Building
Chancellor's Hall
89 Washington Avenue
(use Hawk Street entrance)

There are currently 63,000 people in state prison in New York and an additional 28,000 in local county jails. Seventy two percent of inmates under DOCS custody had reported a chemical dependence. Effective chemical dependence treatment programs may reduce the rate of recidivism among formerly incarcerated substance abusers and improve their prospects for developing skills that would promote successful reentry to the community. Additionally, drug treatment is significantly more cost-effective than incarceration as a means of reducing drug-related crime. The successful reentry of those formerly incarcerated would benefit our entire community while their failure perpetuates a cycle of chemical abuse, crime and incarceration. This hearing will examine the adequacy of existing substance abuse treatment programs and whether increased services and resources are needed.

Please see the reverse side 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 Committees at the above hearing should complete and return the enclosed 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 10 minutes in 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 Committees would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements.

In order to further publicize these hearings, please inform interested parties and organizations of the Committees' 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.

Assemblyman Felix Ortiz
Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse

Assemblyman Jeffrion L. Aubry
Committee on Correction


  1. According to the Department of Correctional Services, 72% of inmates are identified as substance abusers. What substance abuse treatment services are provided to New York State prisoners during incarceration? Are the substance abuse treatment services available in New York State prisons and jails sufficient to meet the needs of inmates with a history of drug and alcohol dependency? Are these treatment services incorporated into a comprehensive reentry strategy?

  2. What is the current capacity for residential, inpatient, and outpatient substance abuse treatment in the community? Currently, are there residential beds set aside for those reentering the community from prison? Is the system currently fully utilized? What capacity is currently available to provide additional treatment? Is the current treatment system adequate to serve persons reentering our communities from jail and prison? What additional resources are needed to strengthen and expand community-based treatment programs?

  3. What are the costs of providing adequate outpatient, inpatient, and residential substance abuse treatment to persons returning from incarceration? What are the potential cost-savings associated with providing treatment related to reducing recidivism and lower re-incarceration rates?

  4. How effective is substance abuse treatment provided in jail and prison at reducing recidivism compared to the outcomes that are produced when treatment is provided as part of a comprehensive re-entry strategy?

  5. The Willard Drug Treatment Campus houses second felony drug offenders and parole violators who have had their parole revoked and been placed in the Willard program. What is the treatment regimen at Willard and why has this particular regimen been selected? Is the treatment capacity available at the Willard Drug Treatment Campus being fully and appropriately utilized? What are the outcomes for Willard in reducing recidivism?

  6. What prison-based treatment programs are licensed by OASAS? Are all prison-based drug and alcohol counselors licensed by OASAS? Are community-based treatment programs currently providing substance abuse treatment in New York State prisons? If so, what are the outcomes of such programs in reducing the incidence of drug use and drug-related crime upon release? Is such co-location of community-based treatment programs in prison/jail a good idea? Comparing OASAS licensed versus non-OASAS licensed programs, which are more effective in reducing recidivism?

  7. Do enough halfway houses and sober living environments exist to accommodate persons after completion of substance abuse treatment? What is the range of services that they are able to provide? Is there a siginificant difference in outcomes when comparing each model?

  8. What are the pre-release procedures used by the Division of Parole to ensure successful community integration of persons with substance abuse issues released from prison? What steps are taken by parole to ensure that there is a continuity of care between prison and community substance abuse treatment? Are community-based treatment programs working closely with parole and probation? What are the outcomes of such collaborations? Are there models that are successful and reducing recidivism? Are there cost-savings associated with collaborations between parole/probation and community treatment programs? How do parole and probation outcomes compare when working with community-based treatment and when not doing so?

  9. In making level of care and length of treatment determinations for persons leaving prison/jail, how should clinical and criminal justice considerations be balanced? Should balance be a consideration at all? Should decisions be driven exclusively by criminal justice or clinical considerations?

  10. Who should screen potential candidates for substance abuse treatment as part of their reentry from incarceration? Who should make level of care and length of treatment decisions?

  11. Is the treatment system able to address the concerns of special needs populations returning from incarceration including women/women with children, person's with co-occurring mental health disorders, and persons with traumatic brain injury?

  12. How many drug courts are currently operating in the state? Are there sufficient community-based treatment programs available to serve individuals participating in the drug court program? How do drug courts choose which community-based treatment programs to utilize? How are the programs utilized by drug courts funded and what additional resources, if any, are necessary?


Persons wishing to present testimony at the public hearing on Community Reentry of Persons with a History of Alcohol and/or Drug Dependency Released from Incarceration and Progress with Collaboration Between Parole, Corrections and OASAS are requested to complete this reply form as soon as possible and mail it to:

Willie Sanchez
Legislative Associate
Assembly Committee on Alcoholism And Drug Abuse
Room 522 - Capitol
Albany, New York 12248
E-mail: sanchezw@assembly.state.ny.us
Phone: (518) 455-4371
Fax: (518) 455-4693

box I plan to attend the following public hearing on Community Reentry of Persons with a History of Alcohol and/or Drug Dependency Released from Incarceration and Progress with Collaboration Between Parole, Corrections and OASAS to be conducted by the Assembly Committees on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and Correction on May 5, 2008.

box I plan to make a public statement at the hearing. My statement will be limited to 10 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:

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