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The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, guided by the Departmental Mission, is responsible for the confinement and habilitation of approximately 53,000 individuals under custody held at 54 state facilities and 36,000 parolees supervised throughout seven regional offices.

Health Alert for Illegal Synthetic Marijuana

Acting Commissioner Annucci ordered all correctional facility superintendents and parole office regional directors to post Governor Cuomo's important health alert about the dangers of illegal synthetic marijuana. Acting Commissioner Annucci said, "Synthetic marijuana can pose unintended health and security problems within a correctional setting and parolees may find themselves in dangerous situations as well. DOCCS is committed to disrupting the flow of illegal drugs in our correctional facilities and DOCCS will continue to aggressively pursue and prosecute suspected smugglers."

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week started on April 19th and ends on the 25th. This year’s theme is “Engaging Communities. Empowering Victims.” Each day, special events are held across the Capital Region. The Director of the Office of Victim Assistance, Janet Koupash will be speaking at the April 23rd DWI Memorial Ceremony in Albany, NY. For more information about National Crime Victims’ Week click here.

Groveland’s Third Annual Season for Nonviolence

$2,000 to Chances & Changes Inc.
Domestic/Family Abuse Organization

Groveland Correctional Facility opened their third annual “Season for Nonviolence” with an assembly featuring Arun Gandhi. Mr. Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, made a passionate plea to the attending inmates to seek a peaceful path to help resolve conflict. Gandhi’s message of peace kick started the next 64 days that encompass the Season for Nonviolence, culminating with the Closing Ceremony. READ MORE.

Food And Books Collected In Dr. Martin Luther King’s Honor

The Watertown and Hale Creek Correctional Facilities recently held events to collect and distribute both food and books to local charities. Staff and inmates at Watertown took part in the donation of food, books, and money. In all 84 pounds of food, 4205, and 102 books was donated.

At Hale Creek, books and money were donated to local charities. Hale Creek staff collected 180 children’s books and $156 to donate. Staff members at Hale Creek took time to read a few books in a local first grade classroom- an event that was featured in the local newspaper.

The events at both facilities were part of an annual Dr. Martin Luther King remembrance where facilities conduct positive activities in Dr. King’s honor.

Western Facilities Team Up to Answer “Teddy Bear 911”
Call to Help a Local Hospital

Collins, Gowanda and Lakeview correctional facilities rallied together recently for a project they called, “Teddy Bear 911.” The three facilities each held teddy bear drives to collect small to medium-sized new stuffed animals to be given away to children, or special needs adolescents and adults visiting the emergency room at nearby Lakeshore Hospital in Irving, NY. Monetary donations were also sought to help fund this initiative by the TLC Health Network, the parent organization of the hospital. READ MORE.

“Richy’s Thrifty” Is Providing Clothes For Parolees In Need

Thanks to the generous vision of a New York City Parole Officer, there is always a place for parolees, particularly female parolees, in need. Parole Officer Richardson of the Bronx Area Office opened Richy’s Thrifty, a room where mass amounts of donated clothing items are stored. On any day of the week, parolees in need can take a pair of shoes, a coat or any available clothing item. During the week of Christmas, 2014, Parole Officer Richardson donated 25 Christmas gift bags to the females she supervises, many of whom with children and had not received a Christmas gift themselves in several years. The idea for Richy’s Thrifty started in 2012 and has grown to what it is today because of the generous donations from Richardson’s colleagues and other parolee staff.


More than 12,000 Successfully Pass Correction Officer Trainee Exam (#25831)

On January 10, 2015 approximately 14,489 men and women took the most recent DOCCS Correction Officer Trainee Exam (#25831) with 12,123 passing the test and being placed on a list for hire. Those who took the exam and wish to find out their grade can do so here on the state's Civil Service website. This was the third straight exam where the number of people passing was higher than the previous year. Eligible candidates for hire can expect to hear from the agency within 4-6 months for the preliminary interview stages. Candidates who qualify can expect to start The Albany Training Academy this winter. Anyone who successfully passed the exam but is disqualified, following the preliminary interview, due to any reason will be notified by mail. Additional questions can be answered by calling the DOCCS' Employee Investigation Unit at 518-485-9500. No future exams have been scheduled at this time.

DOCCS Joins Other State Agencies in Hiring Veterans

Executive Law 369 was amended to include Chapter 17-A, known as the Veteran's Employment Act. It is now the policy of New York State to hire discharged veterans for temporary appointments and temporary-hourly positions within state agencies. In order to be eligible an individual must have served on active duty in the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard or the Reserved Components of the Armed Forces of the United States or served in the active military service of the United States as a member of the Army National Guard, Air National Guard or the New York Militia and have been released from service for any such service other than dishonorable discharge, after September 11, 2001.

The New York State Department of Civil Service has created an online portal which will allow agencies to be provided with a pool of veterans they must consider when making temporary- hourly appointment. To learn more about the program, including ways to sign up, click here.

New Website Allows People to Apply for Clemency Online

"On December 31, 2014, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a new clemency web site to act as a central resource for those eligible for clemency to apply. In addition, the public may view the DOCCS directive 6901, Information Concerning Executive Clemency, here.

DMV Identification Program

To further enhance the Department’s reentry efforts, a set of protocols developed by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has been created to educate the inmate population on which steps are necessary to allow newly released individuals to apply for a learner’s permit, driver’s license or non-driver ID. The flyer can be found here.

Employee Benefit Programs

Work-Life Services provides New York State employees with a comprehensive network of resources to address their work, home, and life issues. Detailed information about these negotiated benefits is available at and through program-specific telephone numbers and websites.

NYS-Balance, a confidential resource and referral service for NYS employees, offers monthly webinars  .

Additionally, we are pleased to share “Benefits of the NYS Peer Employee Assistance EAP”  with you. This document describes the many benefits of the NYS EAP peer model and the wide range of EAP services available to both employees and agencies.

Employees enrolled in the Flex Spending Account for the 2014 plan year have until March 31, 2015 to send in reimbursement requests for eligible expenses incurred under the Health Care Spending Account and the Dependent Care Advantage Account. For more information, log onto or call 1-800-358-7202.

New York State offers its executive branch employees pre-retirement planning information through both online resources and Directions seminars. If you are eligible to retire in five years and have not previously attended a Directions: Pre-Retirement Planning Seminar, you are eligible to attend. Please contact your agency Human Resources Office to let your agency liaison know of your interest. You must be registered by your agency and have a confirmation notice in order to attend. For pre-retirement planning information including the Self Help Guide to Pre-Retirement Planning and 22 short videos, visit

If you need care during the summer for a school-age child, please see the attached flyer about the NYS worksite child care centers which provide quality, full-day camp programs. For information about other summer programs, please contact your EAP coordinator or call NYS-Balance at (866) 320-4760. If you are paying for child care for a child under age 13 in order to work and have not already done so, consider enrolling in the Dependent Care Advantage Account (DCAAccount). Visit or call (800) 358-7202, and choose option 2 to talk with us about your eligibility for the employer contribution and how this valuable, money-saving benefit could help you with camp expenses. For additional details on the 33 worksite child care centers, please visit or send email to

The Governor’s Office of Employee Relations has announced the NYS-Balance topic for April 2015: Addressing Anxiety – How to take charge. The corresponding monthly webinar, Disrupting Negative Thoughts, will be offered in two sessions on Thursday, April 16; the first one from 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. and the second one from 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. The flyer featuring the topic and webinar is attached in both a graphic and plain text version to comply with accessibility requirements.

Each month, NYS-Balance features a new topic on the website. A corresponding webinar, multiple online resources, and free educational materials can be accessed anytime by calling the toll-free number, (866) 320- 4760 (TTY/TTD (866) 228-2809), or by logging in to the website at The username is nys and the password is balance.

  • The NYS-Balance topic for April is Addressing Anxiety – How to take charge. The corresponding monthly webinar, Disrupting Negative Thoughts, will be offered in two sessions on Thursday, April 16; the first one from 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. and the second one from 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. To register, log in to (username: nys and password: balance), where you will find the registration link in the center of the homepage. You must register in advance. If the time of the live webinar does not coincide with your approved lunch or scheduled break time, you can access the archived webinar from home or during another lunch or scheduled break time approved by your supervisor.
  • Anxiety. Experiencing occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. However, people with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. To read more about these symptoms, type Anxiety into the search box in the upper right hand corner of the NYS-Balance homepage, scroll down to Articles and click on Anxiety.
  • Depression and anxiety: Exercise eases symptoms. When you have anxiety or depression, exercise often seems like the last thing you want to do. But once you get motivated, exercise can make a big difference. To read this article, type Anxiety into the search box in the upper right hand corner of the NYS-Balance homepage, scroll down to Articles, click on View All, then on Depression and anxiety: Exercise eases symptoms.
  • Screening for Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Hosted by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, this Screening for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) quiz uses your responses to yes or no questions to evaluate whether you may be suffering from GAD. To take this quiz, type Anxiety into the search box in the upper right hand corner of the NYS-Balance homepage, scroll down to Resources, and click on Screening for Generalized Anxiety Disorder.