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:

January 1, 2000

Prison system converts to Y2K compliance without incident

The 70 facilities housing 71,834 inmates operated by the Department of Correctional Services completed the Y2K conversion without disruption overnight, while the inmate population slept quietly and without incident into the new millennium, Commissioner Glenn S. Goord said today.

"Under the direction of Governor George E. Pataki's Office of Technology and in coordination with the State Emergency Management Office that coordinated implementation last night, the dedicated and professional men and women of this Department have ensured that our computer and embedded systems were compliant, allowing us to maintain the safety and security of our facilities for the benefit of staff, inmates and surrounding communities," Mr. Goord said. "We remain prepared throughout the next several days to assist other agencies and localities who encounter any problems in implementing their plans."

The only inmates confined to their cells today will be those in two maximum-security facilities that were locked down on December 24th. The 2,131 inmates at Green Haven Correctional Facility were locked down once inmates complained about being "strong armed" by other inmates into participating in some future and unspecified disruption of facility operations. Sing Sing's 2,380 inmates were locked in for a facility search after five rounds of 9mm ammunition was found in an inmate access area.

Normally, the night staff at prisons consists of 2,000 security personnel and a few hundred civilians. The weekend day staff consists of 4,600 security personnel and 700 civilians. They were augmented last night by approximately 20-30 more security and civilian employees at each of 70 facilities to monitor, track and troubleshoot any problems with the Y2K conversion, which added an additional 622 Officers and 1,300 civilians. In addition, 1,000 Correction Emergency Response Team Correction Officers and supervisors were also placed on duty at 20 staging sites around the state. That brings today's total number of security personnel on duty to 6,100 and civilians to 2,000. The department has a total work force of 32,147 employees B 22,328 security personnel and 9,819 civilians. The additional personnel as well as the CERT teams are being relieved of duty as the situation warrants.

The additional personnel is on duty in case they are needed by the prison system for any purpose, but also to support the State Emergency Management Office in addressing the needs of other state agencies as well as local governments and other groups during the Y2K changeover, or in the case of unexpected inclement weather. The Department has ready for deployment portable generators located on flatbed trucks, extra food stockpiled at prisons, vehicles and drivers, supervised inmate work crews as well as mattresses, blankets and pillows.

Two of the Department's computer systems successfully converted are among Governor Pataki's Office of Technology's 40 Top Priority Systems for Y2K compliance. Those two are:

  • The inmate population management system database. This comprehensive database includes a variety of inmate information including crime or crimes of commitment, current facility location, court-imposed sentence, date of birth, release dates, county of commitment, disciplinary history, program/work assignments, etc., and,
  • The inmate commissary and payroll accounting system. This system records various types of receipts and disbursements by individual inmates, documents wage schedules, maintains a general ledger of inmate funds and maintains a commissary ledger.

Other vital Department computer database systems that checked out include, but are not limited to:

  • The employee payroll system, which assists in providing wage information, including any salary changes, to the state payroll system, known as PaySR.
  • Inmate health care and prescription records.
  • The Security Staff Chart System, which aids each facility in the assignments of Correction Officers to staff various posts.
  • The Security Staff Reassignment System, which summarizes security employee transfer requests by seniority and facility preference.
  • Employee training records.
  • The Financial Management System (FMS), which prepares the basic documents and transactions required for submission to the Office of the State Comptroller to encumber and disburse funds.
  • Inmate academic and vocational training records.
  • Merit time/good time accruals.
  • The Phone Home Program, which maintains a list of individuals whom inmates can call on a collect-only basis.
  • The Inmate Drug Testing System, which maintains information on periodic drug testing results.
  • The Civilian Employee Reassignment module, which helps manage the Civil Service lists used to select candidates for hiring and promotion.
  • The Vendor Sub-System, which provides access for all facilities to statewide sources of needed materials and products.
  • Manufacturing and on-line catalogue systems used by Corcraft, the Department's Division of Industries.
  • Inventory levels at facility storehouses, pharmacies, mess halls and commissaries.
  • The Contracts Sub-System, which automates the process of determining the availability of products for which state contracts already exist.