The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) encourages visits by family and friends, which can be a positive influence during the time a person spends in prison and after their release. Research shows that incarcerated individuals who receive regular visits adjust much better once they are released from prison when the privilege is used to maintain positive relationships.
DOCCS wants the visiting experience to be family friendly and positive. The Department has Visitor Hospitality Centers that provide shelter and respite for visiting families and friends prior to entering the facility. Restrooms, a baby changing station, lockers for storing personal belongings, and information concerning rules and regulations pertaining to visitation, including packages for inmates, are available.
To ensure the safety of family, friends who are visiting, as well as our facilities staff and the incarcerated population, visits are subject to DOCCS rules. To help address questions you may have about visitations, DOCCS has prepared a variety of resources.
PILOT PACKAGE PROGRAM
In a continuous battle to prevent contraband from getting into DOCCS’ correctional facilities and maintaining security and safety for both staff and the incarcerated population, the Department is revising its policy concerning packages and articles received through facility package rooms.
Upon complete implementation, packages and articles will only be allowed to be received directly from vendors via U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, UPS, etc. Packages will no longer be allowed to be brought to the facility during visits or mailed directly to the facility from family or friends. Department Directive #4911 – Packages & Articles Sent to Facilities – is in the process of being updated. A draft of the updated document is available here.
The pilot package program will begin in the Wende Hub, including Albion, Attica, Collins, Groveland, Lakeview, Orleans, Wende and Wyoming Correctional Facilities.
The recommendation for this initiative was a direct result of the work of the Prison Violence Task Force, which was created last year and includes broad representation across the workforce spectrum. Input was also solicited from several Incarcerated Individual Liaison Committees, while several advocacy organizations were also consulted on the initiative.
Things You Should Know
DOCCS provides educational programs,vocational training, library services, counseling, and treatment services.
DOCCS provides continuous Temporary Release programs and transitional services to assist with reintegration.
DOCCS provides opportunities for religious practices, family services, and volunteer programs at each facility.