New York legislators are rallying for the approval of three measures designed to enhance accountability and treatment of individuals in state and local correctional facilities.
The measures, currently sitting in Senate and Assembly committees, aim to expand the number of members on the State Commission of Correction, include all prisons and jails under the state Human Rights Law, and increase the elected officials permitted to visit these facilities. Advocates, including legislators and formerly incarcerated individuals, are particularly focused on a bill that would allow county legislators and their staff unfettered access to local jails to improve transparency about conditions.
However, the proposal has met resistance from county-level Republican lawmakers, who believe county legislators should not have unlimited access to local correctional facilities, arguing that the elected sheriff should maintain oversight.
Lawmakers are expected to discuss and vote on the measure in the coming days, although it’s uncertain whether the three bills will be prioritized and adopted within the next three weeks.
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