Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

New York State
Department of Correctional Services
Glenn S. Goord, Commissioner

Office of Public Information
[518] 457-8182

For immediate release:

Friday, September 17, 1999

Inmate Arthur Shawcross receives two years SHU time for selling art items

Convicted serial killer Arthur Shawcross has been sentenced by a hearing officer to two years of Special Housing Unit (SHU) time after being found guilty today at a disciplinary hearing of having his autographs and artworks sold on the Internet.

Shawcross, currently housed at the maximum-security Sullivan Correctional Facility, also has lost package, commissary and telephone privileges for two years as a result of the disciplinary infractions. In addition, the inmate will not be permitted to participate in any arts and crafts programs at the Sullivan County prison, or purchase or sell any arts and crafts items, for five years.

The ruling means Shawcross will be confined to an SHU cell at Sullivan around-the-clock for two years, with the exception of one hour a day of court-mandated outdoor exercise. The sanctions took effect this afternoon after a hearing on the charges concluded at 10:20 a.m. today.

Under Department guidelines, Shawcross has 30 days to appeal the decision to DOCS Commissioner Glenn S. Goord. If an appeal is filed in a timely manner, the Commissioner's designee will have a maximum of 60 days to decide on the appeal.

Shawcross' arts and crafts privileges were suspended on September 10, one day after the Department learned that eBay, a Web-based auction house, was conducting public auctions on a variety of items bearing Shawcross' signature. An investigation determined that Shawcross would mail the autographs and artworks from his general population cell at Sullivan to others and receive a fee for those items. The items then would show up for public auction on the Internet.

The Department's rule book for inmates specifically prohibits them from conducting any type of business activity while incarcerated. After his arts and crafts privileges were revoked, Shawcross was subsequently charged with two rule book violations: soliciting goods or services (in this case, money) and selling personal articles without approval (his artwork and signature). Inmates are on notice that they are subject to a hearing and disciplinary action if they commit any rule book infraction.

A formal hearing on the disciplinary charges began Thursday morning at Sullivan and was adjourned until this morning to afford Shawcross the opportunity to present a Correction Officer assigned to his housing unit as a witness on his behalf. Following that testimony, the hearing officer concluded that Shawcross was guilty of the two disciplinary violations he had been charged with, and imposed the disciplinary sanctions.

The Department determined that there was no violation under the state's "Son of Sam" law, because Shawcross was not accused of benefiting from the crimes that led to his arrest.

Shawcross, 54, is serving a term of 250 years to life for 12 second-degree murder convictions in 1991 in Monroe County. He was received into the state prison system on February, 1, 1991, and has been an inmate at Sullivan since March 22, 1991.

Shawcross is not eligible for parole until January 10, 2240.