Correctional Association Of New York

Rating: 4.93 stars   58 reviews

Issues: Civil Rights, Crime & Law

Location: 2090 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd Suite 200 New York NY 10027 USA

Mission: The driving force of our work is a belief in the inherent dignity of all human beings. We possess a deep faith in the human capacity for change. We advocate for a justice system that holds a person accountable for a crime yet does not condemn an entire life based on a person's worst act. We support policies and programs that give people a second chance — or, as in some cases, the first opportunity in their life — to meet their potential and positively integrate into society. Through monitoring, research, public education and policy recommendations, the Correctional Association strives to make the administration of justice in New York State more fair, efficient and humane.
Results: A few examples of our other policy successes over the last decade include: -The SHU Exclusion Law, prohibiting the placement of incarcerated individuals with severe mental illness in solitary confinement and mandating the creation of more humane residential mental health units; -The Medicaid Suspension Law, enabling incarcerated individuals to secure Medicaid coverage more expeditiously upon release from prison; -The Safe Harbor Act, protecting sexually exploited minors from prosecution and incarceration for prostitution; -The creation and implementation of a landmark anti-discrimination policy aimed at protecting incarcerated LGBTQ youth from harassment and abuse; -The DOH Oversight Law, requiring the Department of Health to monitor HIV and hepatitis C care in New York State prisons and jails. -The Anti-Shackling Law, outlawing the use of shackles on pregnant women who are incarcerated during labor and after delivery; -Rockefeller Drug Law reform, a set of significant reforms marking the beginning of the end of New York’s notorious, racially-biased mandatory-minimum sentencing statutes; -The ASFA Expanded Discretion Law, allowing foster care workers discretion to delay filing for the permanent termination of parental rights if a parent is incarcerated or in drug treatment.
2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

When I met Soffiyah Elijah about three years ago, she had just been appointed the first African American woman executive director of The Correctional Association of New York. I was taken by her enthusiastic commitment to carry forward the crucial work of the CA to reform the criminal justice system. It was clear that her experience as a practicing criminal lawyer and teacher at Harvard Law School make her exceptionally well qualified to lead the CA. The CA was founded in 1844 and really makes a meaningful difference in expanding programs in prison to rehabilitate and educate those caught in the criminal justice system and reduce recidivism. These goals are at the core of resolving poverty and inequity in our society.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

add to its staff and arrange for major foundation and individual large funding contributions.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

The Correctional Association of New York plays a vital role in ensuring that prisons are monitored by the citizenry and does an outstanding job advocating for fair and humane treatment.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

The Correctional Association's statutory authority to visit prisons has been used for 168 years to visit state prisons and to report to legislators and the public on prison conditions. It advocates for changes in the prisons that are based on the facts of prison life. Its reports on mental health, solitary confinement, drug programs and many other matters are based in significant part on interviews with inmates and observation of programs and facilities. These reports have been used as bases for important legislation and administrative reform. Its authority to visit prisons also opens a window on what is too often a closed and hidden world. This authority means that members of the public as well as professionals in the field can observe what happens in prisons and help improve conditions there. The presence of outside visitors, their questions and their observations help make prisons better places for inmates. From its origins in prison visiting, the CA has also taken on important advocacy roles in areas like juvenile justice and drug law reform which impact the criminal justice system. Its staff is knowledgeable and dedicated, with an executive director who represents the best the field has to offer. It is a first rate organization.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

The Correctional Association of New York (the "CA") has an extraordinarilly talented and dedicated staff. They tirelessly advocate for improved prison conditions throughout New York State and provide a voice for those who desparately need it. The CA ably and effectively speaks on behalf of so many who are so often forgotten or written off, including the incarcerated youth, the incarcerated mothers, the incarcerated fathers and the incarcerated LGBT population. The work of the CA not only makes the world a better place for the forgotton, but for all of us.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Under Mayor John Lindsay, I was Chairman of the Board of Corrections, a voluntary group of citizens who monitored the prisons. In that role, I saw the work of the Correctional Association. It pioneered in programs teaching prisoners the responsibility of parenting; it pressed the need to read and write;it engaged the public health field; it introduced college educational opportunities for prisoners; it monitored conditions in the prisons; it understood and worked with correction officers and prison officials; the Legislature gave it the right and power to visit prisons and recommend changes; it set up programs to help prisoners being released to find jobs; it gave special care and attention to juveniles; it organized opportunities for women prisoners to learn new skills. It is the most respected organization in the State dealing with prisons and problems of criminal justice. It has passion for justice and common sense in meeting the problems of mental health, overcrowding, and community security.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I joined the board of the CA about five years ago because I thought that the work they do is extremely important. The true measure of a civil society is in how they treat those who fall through the cracks of society's mainstream mechanisms and rules. I have been amazed, particularly during the past two years as our new Executive Director, Soffiyah Elijah has brought her amazing energy, passion and quiet diplomacy to bear on major issues facing New York' prison system, at how much of a difference a well-led, highly motivated staff can make. I am proud to be able to play my part.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a board member of the Correctional Association of New York for over 40 years. While the CA was founded nearly 175 years ago in 1844, the organization's real growth and impact on the criminal justice system has occurred directly and indirectly as a result of the infamous Attica prison riots in September, 1971. The key mandate of the CA is its legislative mandate to inspect the prisons of New York State and report its findings and recommendations for constructive change to policymakers and the public. When I joined the CA's board, its staff consisted of three members, a board of directors of ten and a budget in the $100,000 range. Today the CA has a board of over 35 members, a staff of twenty-one and a budget in excess of $2 million. Importantly, the CA has grown significantly over the past year and a half under the extraordinary leadership of its able new Executive Director, Soffiyah Elijah.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

This group does prison reform work of the highest excellence and effectiveness. I am very proud to be connected with it. Prisons are a much neglected part of our society and it is so important that groups like ours are working to shine the light on prison conditions and trying to improve them

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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