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Three bills in Albany would bring more accountability to correctional sites

May 17, 2023 12:44 am

Kate Lisa reports for New York State of Politics that there are three bills in Albany now that legislators say will improve accountability and treatment of people held in state and local correctional sites in New York. One bill would give would give county officials unrestricted access to local jails for oversight. There are other proposals to increase the number of people on the State Commission of Correction, and to make all jails and prisions subject to the state Human Rights Law. Those two bills are currently in Senate and Assembly committees. State Senator Robert Jackson is sponsoring the bill to allow county officials access to jails, and he said, "There's certain standards of operation and all of the standards should be one of transparency and accountability for staffing and whether or not the detainees and people incarcerated are being treated in an appropriate manner." Currently state elected officials have access to New York prisons. "If these local officials, local, correctional and local jail administrators have nothing to hide, there's no reason why they should object to access by government officials," said Assembly sponsor David Weprin. But some Republicans are arguing against the measure, such as Albany County Legislator Mark Grimm, who said, "I want things to be fair in the jail.... But that's why we have elections for sheriffs every four years." Legislators have three weeks to get these proposals to Gov. Kathy Hochul's desk for her signature. Read more about this story at New York State of Politics.

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