2019

2019

News Items

BOC Receives DOC Emergency Variance Declarations re Separation Status (Use of Body Scanners)

On July 15, 2019, the Department of Correction’s directive on the use of body scanners at AMKC, OBCC, GRVC, and RNDC went into effect. Per DOC directive, a positive scan or refusal to scan will result in the person’s placement in Separation Status in a cell until they clear the scanner. The Board has requested the Department submit a variance in advance of the Board’s September 10 public meeting in order to ensure appropriate use of Separation Status.

Since July 15, the Department of Correction declared emergency variances on ten days in order to place 15 people into Separation Status (updated on August 19, 2019). View the date of placement in Separation Status and date of release from Separation Status. The date of placement links to the Department’s declaration.

Board Issues Statement re July 19-21, 2019 Heat Emergency

On July 18, 2019, Mayor de Blasio declared a heat emergency for Friday, July 19 at 9 AM to Sunday, July 21, 2019 at 11:59 PM. Extreme heat can be dangerous for the health and safety of people in custody in New York City jails and the Correction Officers and other staff who work there. To monitor conditions and operations in the jails during the heat emergency, the Board of Correction (BOC), New York City’s independent jail oversight agency, conducted unannounced tours of several jails on July 20 and July 21. The Board released a public statement on July 22, 2019.

BOC Board Members and Executive Director Provide Testimony to the 2019 Charter Revision Commission

On May 9, 2019, Board Vice Chair Stanley Richards, Board Member Robert Cohen, and the Board's Executive Director Martha King provided testimony before the 2019 Charter Revision Commission, calling for the Commission to endorse its staff recommendations to tie the Board's budget to the Department of Correction's. Read their testimony.

National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE) and correctional oversight experts Michele Deitch and Kate Eves submitted additional comments to the Charter Revision Commission.

BOC Leads Panel on Oversight of Correctional Health and Mental Health

On March 15, 2019, the Board’s Executive Director Martha King and Board Member Robert Cohen attended the NYC Symposium on Oversight of Law Enforcement, hosted by the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) and John Jay College of Criminal Justice Office for Advancement of Research.

Executive Director King moderated a panel on oversight of correctional health and mental health in jails and prisons. The panel featured experts in the field, including Board Member Robert Cohen, M.D., and discussed strategies for investigating, monitoring, and improving the quality of and access to correctional healthcare. Download the panel resource guide.

BOC Board Member and Staff Provide Testimony to City Council re Preliminary FY2020 Budget

On March 14, 2019, the Board's Executive Director Martha King, Board Member Robert Cohen, and Deputy Executive Director of Research Emily Turner provided testimony to City Council's Commitee on Criminal Justice on BOC's current budget and highlights of the Board's oversight over the past year. Read ED King's statement.

BOC Staff Provide Testimony to City Council re Jail Grievances

On January 29, 2018, the Board's Executive Director Martha King, Deputy Executive Director of Research Emily Turner, and Senior Director of Research Nashla Rivas Salas provided testimony to City Council's Committee on Criminal Justice on DOC's process for addressing complaints in the city jails. Read ED King's statement and BOC's summary presentation on the grievance process.