The Correctional Association tirelessly champions important reforms to the criminal justice system; empowers incarcerated, formerly incarcerated, and others affected by incarceration through advocacy efforts and coalitions; and shines a light on conditions of confinement through well researched reports.
I had the opportunity to intern with the CA while completing a graduate program in Social Work. From my first day at the organization, I was blown away by the passion for social justice, the level of community involvement, and the sense of family at the CA. The CA opperates from an anti-racist, anti-oppressive, anti-mass incarceration lens as it demands that legislatures, government agencies, corrections facilities, and community members address the atrocities of our current adult and youth justice systems and call for the retribution and punishment that define these systems to be replaced by love and healing.
I'm not sure about where to begin. I found out about Correctional Assoc. 2010, I'd found a flyer for the Reconnect program while visiting Steps. Steps was then called Stepping Stones. I called to confirm the flyer, I was called in for an interview. This is when my world began to change. Over the past three years, I have been overjoyed to come across their threshold time and time again. The staff and the energy there is so amazing. I've never seen a bunch of people who work so hard and still have a smile when they see you. Most of all I am humbled by the way they go off the limb to tell you they appreciate what you do for them. Once an incarcerated woman steps across the door, you just know, "I'm in good hands", then there's a wealth of knowledge and resources there, very organized always. I was amazed at the sisterhood that was created around the table with other women that hurt and felt and had made the same mistakes like me, that was some of our common ground. We loved together, we hurt together, you don't get that everywhere. Everything is consistent. Including the care and concern for your well being.C.A. helped me to fulfill my dream of returning to college to continue my education, I'm close to graduation and loving it. When nobody else does, Correctional Association tells you, it's ok, you've got a second chance, we're here for you. As a formerly incarcerated woman still having challenges and some mountains, that means the world and makes some of those mountains disappear. Advocacy, it is a big deal!
Hello, I don't know where to begin. I came to CA I think 3 years ago, for an interview with the director Andrea. I thought it was going to be formal. She was real cool, I felt her warm, honest energy. The program was Reconnect. I would strongly recommend that program to any and every woman returning home from incarceration. It just took off from there.Reconnect turned out to be a sisterhood I cannot describe. We laugh together, cried together, most of all we lifted one another up, and we had the most wonderful bond. Every week was a different adventure, besides the great and healthy food they fed us,we had the most awesome trainings and trainers! these trainers were well rounded, knowledgable, and empowered us with a wealth of resources. Everyone is not in the same mindset, just ingeneral in life, but if you want something outside of incaceration again, tht's the place to be. A place where opportunity is always available. Every meeting, as I glance around the table I smile knowing the hard non stop work these people do. Ms Soffiyah the best the new Director. They are always so inspiring. All the coalitions, Worth program, CCF, Steps ,I could go on. Every one there has a place in God's heart. At the end, he'll be there smiling too, saying "Well Done"
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.
The REconnect Project of the CA helped in my transformation. They allowed a bridge back to life. The women in the group were inspirational; we are still CONNECTED 10 years later. The mentors and staff involved with the project and the CA truly care about not only the work, but the people they serve. The topics of discssions were relevant and important to teaching us to advocate for ourselves, our families and our community. I speak highly of their organization wherever I go. I am forever indebted to them. Woot Woot CA!
After returning home from prison The Correctional Association of New York welcomed me and let me know that I mattered. Entering the Re-Connect program affored me the opportunity to be heard and to actually see real results. I have developed lifelong relationships with this orgainzation who are always available to assist with ANY situation one can encounter during re-entry or post re-entry. This is about the realist and HONEST Non-Profit that is sincere in its mission and never waivers or flip flops. The holistic approach and the sincerity in which this organization goes about its work is never changes. They are all the Real Deal. I transitoned years ago and I am still in-touch with my CA family. As a clinician who has worked at a few organization the CA is one of the ONLY agencies that is REAL
When I came home from Prison 8 yrs ago things looked grim. I enrolled in an Advocacy Leadership Program sponsored by the Correctional Assocations Women in Prison Project "RECONNECT" and I have been soaring every since !!!!! Today I am a Certified Alcohol Aubstance Abuse Counselor and I attend collge persuing adegree in Social Work. Without the Sincere Supporrt I recieved and still recieve at the CA I don't know where I would have ended up!!!! I am greatful for all the work they do !!!!!!
I highly recommend the correctional association to anyone who is looking to a better tomorrow in helping change lives. The correctional association has taught me how to stand strong and fight in what I believe in. Thank you! Belky
THe Correctional Association provides independent evidenced-based analysis and advocacy around the fundamental issues of incarceration and its uses in New York and by extension, in the country as a whole. Soffiyah Elijah is an inspirational leader of a highly dedicated and effective staff.
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.
The CA has been an important community resource as long as I remember. They maintain the perfect balance of advocacy, public information, and community building that has made them legendary in the circles of people that do criminal justice work.
This is a personal opinion and does not express the views of New York State's Unified Court System. I am a judge of the trial courts of the State of New York, assigned to the civil term, but I also preside over bail hearings in NYC Criminal Court about a half dozen times per year. I am also former chair of the New York chapter of the Women in Prison Committee of the National Association of Women Judges. In such capacity I have seen first hand the work of the Correctional Association, a unique organization with a 100 year old history. Mark Bennett, federal district court judge of Iowa, recently wrote an editorial criticizing mandatory minimum sentencing laws and their part in the current crisis in the prison system in our country , which incarcerates a higher percentage of its population than any nation in the world. The Correctional Association through its mandate and cutting age problem solving advocacy, is tackling the crisis head on and forging a model for a truly just system of criminal laws.
The CA does wonderful work. They are supportive to the formerly incarcerated community and for that reason always have plenty of volunteers for any endeavor they undertake. They deserve to be merited. Carole Eady
The Correctional Association is probably the most exciting and participatory organization I have ever known. They are working on issues that affect the most marginalized people in our society. I have worked especially with their Women In Prison Project and cannot say enough about their vision for a safer and better life for those in prison, recently released and all of us. They are the one agency that is doing this work and they do it well. The CA makes sure that formerly incarcerated individuals have a voice and a way of advocating for the change they know makes the most sense. They have an impact on legislators and policy makers. Those individuals know that when the Women In Prison Project members show up that they know the issues, can speak well and are passionate about what the legislators and policymakers need to do. I am so pleased to work along side this great organization!
The Correctional Association, especially the womens Prison Project, is the only non profit monitoring and advocating for the conditions inside womens prisons. in fact, it seems to be the only group thinking about what it means to be a women serving time. They have advocated and been successful to make sure that women in labor are not shackled while they deliver a baby while incarcerated. They also realized that women's health is not being served especially women's reproductive health. If the CA were not around, our population in the prisons would be subject to far more injustices then they are already being penalized for. They are an exceptionally well run organization doing difficult work. I praise their tenacity and vision.
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.
In reentry, I became involved with the Correctional Association when I was asked to present at Project Recconnect. As an Academic Counselor at the College Inititiative, a reentry program that assists formerly incarcerated people gain access to college, I provided information on how to pursue college, how to overcome the barriers, such as clearing up outstanding student loans, and provided a bit of inspiration because I too am formerly incarcerated who completed a graduate degree. That was the beginning of our relationship, but certainly not the end. I support such campaigns as, doemestic violence, bring back the bus, the rockefeller drug laws, and the women in prison project, just to name a few. And this is while I'm in reentry, while I was in prison, it was the Correctional Association who we wrote when rodents were taking of the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility and we needed something done. I have a long standing history with the Correctional Association and while my work has taken me to Columbia University our work together is looking to change unfair systems. I am on Team Correctional Association!!!
ADVOCACY is the buzz word when describing the work of The Correctional Association of New York. Our organization Wakefield AARP Chapter #5396 has participated along with officers and members of NCNW North Bronx Section in the Northeast Bronx on bus trips to ALBANY. The Committee meetings cover areas of concern that brings information to local community organizations. Input from as many people young and old as possible is a goal I feel has been achieved by Correctional Association of New York.
The work that the CA does is so important to our nation and our world. In an age where it has become socially acceptable to openly discriminate against people behind bars, criminalize mental illness and lock up children with adults--the demand for change within our criminal justice system is higher than ever. The CA works to put an end to this oppression through policy and advocacy work, and is an incredible force that should be modeled throughout our country.
I have always been impressed with their initiatives geared toward criminal justice reform. Staff has passion, energy, efficiency and knowledge!
The CA is a top nonprofit in getting legislative changes in the Criminal and Prisoner Justice arena. Their agenda is always right on time and right on the money. As well as a collective beneficial direction, the CA is always ready willing and able to assist in personal areas.
Still "a force for progressive change in the criminal justice system," I am most encouraged by the recent appointment of Soffiyah Elijah as Executive Director of the CA. The appointment of Soffiyah Elijah is emblematic, as well as signaling a recognition that while the CA mission has not changed since 1844, the communities most impacted by the criminal justice system today, in 2012, have.
This organization is over 100 years old and is state-chartered, unlike most other NGOs. It is widely respected for its contributions to public policy and monitoring of the way our society treats those who have little voice or popular support -- detainees in jail awaiting trial, adult prison inmates, juveniles in the criminal justice system, and all their families.
The Correctional Association Of New York has done and is still doing a phenomenal job of bringing attention to the ills of so-called penal correction in America. CANY offers concrete solutions backed by solid research which could save millions of wasted tax payer dollars and offer genuine rehabilitative alternatives.
I had an absolutely amazing time working with the CA--definitely one the best volunteer experiences I've ever had. I think that it is rare to find an organization that accomplishes advocacy by working externally on the rights of women in, but which is also intimately connected with the issue through regular contact with incarcerated women. Everyone I interacted with was incredibly kind, dedicated, and above all, passionate.
Like some people, I didn't know organizations like correctional associates existed until I needed their services. My husband, who is in prison, was assulted both physically and verbally by officers in his facility. The treatment my husband received got worse with each passing day. I felt helpless and hopeless. That's when I found correctional associates while searching for help on-line. When I called, I was immediately put in contact with gina. She was so attentive and concerned about my husbands situation. She was a breath of fresh air that propelled me to continue pressing on. She was so informative and helpful. We kept each other up to date with new developements in him. Unfortunately, correctional association was not able to take my husbands case. This was fine because they opened so many other doors for me that has help me get some assistance for him. We are still copeing with a lot of issues. But until our problems are resolved, I look forward to volunteering to help someone else.
The Correctional Association of New York has been around since 1845, created by the state legislature to visit prisons and to advise the legislature on needed reforms and policies. It is an institution that has evolved with time and has exhibited a spirit of independence that has made its work thorough, reliable, and essential. Their reports on prison conditions, their recommendations for changes, and their activism in the criminal justice arena, are straightforward and often at odds with a system in dire need of dismantling.
I believe that the Correctional Association of New York is an invaluable organization fighting the good fight for meaningful prison reform and to end the destructive policies and practices that cause and perpetuate the current and ongoing mass incarceration disproportionately of African-American and Latino citizens. Their work is vital and laudable, and strives to make a difference for many who otherwise might be voiceless and forgotten.
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.
I have yet to find another organization that takes on the issues surrounding incarceration with such genuine concern an action. The Coalition for Women Prisonsers remains one of the few groups which empower women to embrace their past and find their future through advocacy.
I have never worked with such an amazing group of people like those at the CA. Each and every person at the CA is passionate about their work and puts forth their greatest efforts to make New York prison conditions more rehabilitative, fairer and safer. During my seven months working for the CA, I visited five NYS prisons, drafted reports on our observations and recommendations for improvements, lobbied in Albany three times, published an article on substance abuse treatment in NYS prisons, visited NYC arraignment holding cells, and wrote countless letters to inmates answering questions and sending them resources. Every day was a busy one, but I knew I was truly helping individuals turn their lives around.
I interned for the Correctional Association of New York's Women in Prison Project during the summer of 2010. During my time there, I was truly inspired by the CA's work and its passionate staff. I learned about prison conditions and the issues that women face in prison, such as access to adequate medical care. The CA advocates tirelessly to create a criminal justice system that treats persons justly and humanely. I was proud to be part of the CA and enjoyed working with such wonderful people.
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.
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.
My CA internship with ReConnect helped launched my career in criminal justice. Today I am pursuing my doctorate and teaching at John Jay.
I first became aware of the Correctional Association in 2006 while in a treatment facility, and I found them to be very helpful in assisting the women they served become responsible and assertive despite their backgrounds. They were also given both the tools and information necessary to return to their families and communities with a better sense of self-worth and self-motivation to regain their rightful place in society. I have maintained my connection with the association over the years and I find their commitment to helping women improve their quality of life exemplary, and I will continue to support their efforts because of the work I see them doing.
I interned with the Correctional Association a few summers ago and really enjoyed my time there. I worked with a dynamic group of leaders and was able to gain a wide range of experiences, particularly as an intern. I think this organization does great work and all of its members are very passionate about improving prisoner's rights.
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.
I helped by writing preliminary responses to prisoners' letters, by visiting three different prisons, by trying to gather support for changes in the law on judicial discretion. I have attended many workshops and other events. I think th enew director is superb. Everyone at CA is impressive in their personal warmth and enthusiastic commitment to the cause. CA fulfills its mission with passion and creativity and rigor. I can't praise them highly enough.
As a former NYS Correctional Superintendent and an adjunct Prof. at John Jay college of criminal justice I have had nurmorous contacts with the CA staff over many, many, years.They collectively have kept the issues of the Rehabilitation and Reintegration of offenders in the forefront while being mindful of community safety. I'm fully appreciative of their efforts over the years that is a win-win for all concern.
The Correctional Association of New York is a great organization that works tirelessly to protect human rights and the general well being of society. Anyone and everyone should aim to learn more about their work and help advocate for change.
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
The Correctional Association serves as a voice for a population that society prefers to forget. If not for the tireless work of the dedicated staff at the Association over the many years of its existence the conditions in our prisons and lives of the former prisoners and their families would be much different, and not for the better. The ethusiasm of the current staff will surely lead the Assiciation to even better work in the future.
What this group is doing is fabulous. I was very impress by the several meetings I attended. The great enthusiasm of people helping people and the one who cannot speak for themselves. Anything I could do for them I would like giving my photography work for them to raise money. If I had money I would help out but i don't so instead I could do something with my artist work. I think the president is a fabulous beautiful human being. I am lucky I came across your path as we share the same ideas and vision in life. Keep up the good work for each one of us. Martine
I have worked with the Correctional Association since 1988. I have and do work with battered/formerly battered individuals, primarily women. Also, I work with battered/formerly battered women who are and have been imprisoned. The Correctional Association has been more than helpful, sharing their expertise and actually acting on circumstances of concern to women who are imprisoned without a voice. Through their Coalition for Women Prisoners, they have brought the voices of those who would be silenced out from behind the prison walls. This is no easy task. The walls of the prisons are thick not only to keep prisoners in, but to keep those out who would advocate for their rights out. The Correctional Association has for many years gone into prisons and exposed what happens behind those walls and brought that information out into the open. This is why I think the Correctional Association does excellent work and deserves to be appreciated and publicly recognized for their work.
They are experienced, knowledgable, energetic, conscientious, and extremely dedicated. They do extremely good work.
I have been a member of the Coalition for Women Prisoners since 2005 and I have had the pleasure to meet other people who are passionate about changing the criminal justice system. The work that the Correctional Association does is unique and goes beyond most criminal justice agencies.
I was a Social Work intern for my Masters Placement during my time at Columbia School of Social Work. The level of expertise, passion, and dedication by the staff of Correctional Association was incredible. I learned tremendously from my time there, not only because I was able to work on many of the critical and varied issues that the CA deals with-from such a progressive and well-rounded perspective-but also because I was able to observe and speak with talented staff. I truly believe that the CA is doing work from a model of anti-oppression and with truest dedication to ensuring the human rights, dignity, and well-being of all individuals directly impacted by their work and the community at large. My time there has truly made a lasting impact and informs the way I do my work as a Social Worker and an activist now, where I want to go in my career, and the policies and values I support. The CA is amazing!
I am an attorney working in the Immigration field and Ms. Elijah and the Correctional Association have been of invaluable assistance to me and my detained clients who are often jailed for no reason other than their immigration status. I came upon the Correctional Association when they participated in a panel discussing juvenile rights, and particularly immigrant juvenile rights. I am so very glad to have made this connection that has been so helpful over the years.
I was on the Board of an organization JusticeWorks Comunity that part of a coalition called Drop the Rock that was advocating to do away with the Rockefeller Drug Laws. The Correctional Association was the lead organization and s in a position the advocate in Albany.
I interned at CA over a decade ago when I was a college student. I learned so much about local and state politics, about coalition and collaboration, and, of course, about the criminal justice system. The work of CA matters. It is one of the rare organizations that engages in policy and advocacy, but also has hands and feet on the ground.
I am a formerly incarcerated woman who has worked as an editor at a magazine for people with HIV and hepatitis C for ten years. I am now involved with work toward prison justice. In both areas, CANY has been a huge help and support, and the most innovative partner in every sort of research. Their monitoring of conditions in the state's prisons is an enormous comfort and support to the people I know who are behind bars. The office staff is always either able to answer any question or will quickly find the answer and reply to phone and email requests. I frequently see representatives of CANY at public events and forums. They are unfailingly warm, helpful and incisive in their comments. Prisoners and social justice activists could not wish for a better organization to have in our corner and voicing our concerns. (I checked "general member of public" because I have been a donor, a volunteer, a professional with expertise in the field, and informally a client of CANY. I hope to volunteer there in the future as well.
Under the leadership of Soffiyah Elijah the Correctional Association has done amazing work protecting the men and women in NYS prisons and other detention facilities. I am also excited about their new initiative to raise the age and I look forward to working with them on this.