1. Read, Take
Pieces, & Edit the following Message:
(or write your own)
According to the National Institute of Justice, without
proper treatment between 65 and 70 percent of all untreated parolees with
histories of cocaine or heroin use will return to drug use within just three
months of release.
A recent RAND study indicates
that treatment for offenders can be 10 to 15 times more effective in reducing
drug-related crime than incarceration.
According to a National Institute of Justice report,
mentally ill, formerly incarcerated persons return quickly to correctional
systems in part because those systems lack aftercare planning, and the
communities to which they return lack sufficient services to meet their needs.
I therefore urge you to support the following steps:
alternatives-to-incarceration programs, for both addicted and mentally ill
incarcerated persons, throughout New York State.
treatment programs both in-prison and in community centers for post-release
Evaluate and then expand or replicate effective transformative
programs - e.g. the Merle Cooper Program, Rehabilitation Through the Arts,
Network, Alternatives to Violence, and Victim/Offender Mediation, at other facilities.
Focus future programming on "evidence-based practices."
Consider converting a
correctional facility into an advanced correction center, for
highly motivated incarcerated persons who are seeking addiction recovery
and/or self-knowledge and self-improvement.
Columbia University’s CASA reports that investing in proven treatment
for each incarcerated person (coupled with appropriate education, job training
and health care) could yield an annual economic benefit to society of
$68,800 in terms of avoided incarceration costs, as well as wages earned and
taxes paid by former incarcerated persons.
The NYS Commission on Sentencing
Reform, in its October 15, 2007 report, states: "Over the past
30 years, numerous research studies have identified critical components
of effective correctional interventions and documented extraordinarily
successful programs, which are commonly referred to as "evidence-based
"It is essential
that New York's policymakers harness this growing body of knowledge of
what works in corrections and infuse our institutional and community
programming with scientifically validated, evidence-based practices.
This should include adopting the principles of best practices of
effective correctional programming as identified in this body of
research, including: (1) using intensive intervention for offenders with
the highest risk of recidivism; (2) targeting offender needs that are
most closely tied to criminality; (3) having a human services
orientation; (4) enhancing intrinsic motivation; (5) utilizing
"cognitive-behavioral" programming that focuses on attitudes,
interpersonal skills, anger management, thinking style, moral reasoning
and the link between thought and behavior."
2. Send YOUR Message
of the following:
DCJS Director Denise O'Donnell
DOCS Commissioner Brian Fischer ...
DOCS Deputy for Programs John Nuttel
Parole Director George Alexander ...
Parole Exec. Director Felix Rosa ...
Senate: Crime Victims,
Crime & Corrections Comm.
Senate Codes Committee
Senate Higher Education Committee
Mary Lou Rath
Toby Ann Stavisky
Assembly Corrections Committee
Harvey Weisenberg firstname.lastname@example.org
Assembly Codes Committee
David Townsend email@example.com