Ministerial, Family and Volunteer Services
- Children’s Play Areas
- Family Reunion Program
- Family Services Programs
- Ministerial Services
- Visitor Hospitality Centers
- Volunteer Services Programs
CHILDREN’S PLAY AREAS
Children’s Play Areas are a separate part of the Visiting Room where the inmate and family members can go with their child to play with a variety of toys, puzzles or watch a video. This area of the Visiting Room is meant for the inmate to share some time with his/her child or children.
To encourage family interaction, particularly between children and the person
who is in
Children’s Play Areas are in all facilities except Camps, Shock and Work Release.
FAMILY REUNION PROGRAM
The Family Reunion Program provides approved inmates and their families the opportunity to meet for a designated period of time in a private home-like setting.
- To preserve and strengthen family ties that have been disrupted as a result of incarceration.
- To foster positive and responsible conduct.
- To facilitate post-release reintegration into the family and community, thereby reducing the likelihood of recidivism.
Disqualifying conditions include when the inmate:
- Is eligible for temporary release.
- Has a higher security designation than permitted at the program site.
- Is assigned to a special housing unit, reception unit, administrative protection unit, etc.
- Has a pattern of disruptive behavior in the facility.
- Is found in violation of Family Reunion Program regulations/standards.
Special reviews are required to determine eligibility in the following cases:
- Central Monitoring Case classification
- Conviction of a sexual offense
- Outstanding warrant
- Crime is against elderly, family member or child
- Conviction of a heinous/unusual crime
- Attempted escape or escape
- Returned Parole Violator
- Domestic Violence of Order of Protection
- Diagnosed with a communicable disease
- Special Programs
Length of FRP visit
Varies per facility.
Woodbourne (at Sullivan)
Downstate Cadre (@ Fishkill and Green Haven)
Southport Cadre (@ Elmira)
Taconic (at Bedford Hills)
Ulster Cadre (@ Eastern)
FAMILY SERVICES PROGRAMS
Family Services Programs are multi-faceted programs which may be provided by outside agencies contracted by the Department, facility staff and/or community volunteers.
The programs include the following elements:
- Parent education programs for both male and female inmates with attention to the same or similar programs for the non-incarcerated partner. Some programs include reading and audiotape books made for the children.
- Individual and family counseling to assist with the enhancement of familial relationships. Some of these programs include a tele-visit component.
- Nursery programs for inmates who give birth while incarcerated. Inmates eligible for the Nursery Program maintain custody of their child in the nursery for up to a year. This program provides daily parenting classes, day care, crisis intervention, advocacy, child placement assistance and discharge assistance.
- Mentoring for inmates’ children in the community.
- Case management services, general support and assistance with referrals to agency providers in the community are given to participants upon release.
To enrich and strengthen family relationships in anticipation of the inmate’ s eventual return to the community and to strengthen bonds between parent and child.
Varies according to each program.
- Varies according to each individual program.
- The nursery program is available to any eligible inmate who is pregnant at the time of admission to the Department and meets the criteria for the program.
Located at various facilities throughout the State.
Ministerial Services are provided through religious programs and practices that are delivered at each facility each facility by Department Chaplains and approved religious volunteers. Religious programs include various worship services, and religious education classes and study groups, and a variety of special event programs such as family day ceremonies. Department Chaplains are also expected to provide pastoral care to inmates of all faith groups at each facility.
To extend to committed offenders as much spiritual assistance as possible, as well as to provide many opportunities for the practice of their chosen faith, in recognition of the First Amendment right of freedom of religion.
Participation in religious programs is voluntary. An inmate may regularly attend only the religious programs of their designated religion. However, inmates who desire to learn about the religious practices of another faith may do so by attending up to three services or study sessions per year, after consultation with the Chaplain or Staff Advisor of that faith group, or the Coordinating Chaplain.
Ministerial services are available at all facilities.
VISITOR HOSPITALITY CENTERS
Visitor Hospitality Centers provide shelter and respite for visiting families and friends of inmates prior to going into the facility. Restrooms are available, a baby changing station, lockers for storing personal belongings and information concerning rules and regulations pertaining to visitation, including packages for inmates.
The goal of the Department’s Visitor Hospitality Centers is to enrich and strengthen family relationships by creating family/visitor friendly environments.
Clinton – Main
VOLUNTEER SERVICES PROGRAM
The Volunteer Services Program is designed to assess the Department's need for programs and services which can be provided by qualified community persons who will be trained and oriented to work in a correctional environment. The unit is responsible for the overall Volunteer Services Program, which includes volunteer recruitment, orientation and program evaluation, in addition to providing advisement and assistance to facility staff responsible for the day-to-day management and supervision of facility volunteer activities.
Facility staff must manage facility volunteer records, screen prospective volunteers and provide supervision to individual volunteers and volunteer programs. Volunteers are involved in a variety of religious and self help programs including but not limited to:
- Alcoholics/Narcotics/Gamblers Anonymous
- AVP (Alternatives for Violence Project)
- Veterans Programs
- Parenting Programs
- Visitor Hospitality Centers
- Transitional Services Workshops
- Post Secondary Education Services
- Literacy Tutoring Programs
- Prison Fellowship
- “REC” (Residential Encounter Christ) Retreats
- Kairos Retreats
- HIV/AIDS Programs
- Student Internships
- Theatre Arts
- Music and Drama Presentations
- Cultural Awareness Programs
Various Religious Workshops and Religious Education Classes including:
- Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Islamic Services
- Nation of Islam
- Seventh Day Adventist
- Native American
- Jehovah Witness
- To increase the variety and scope of the service delivery system of the Department through supplemental programs offered by the community.
- To gain recognition of the volunteer as an integral component of the Department's manpower resources.
- To increase the community's awareness and understanding of the overall goals of the correctional system.
Varies according to program.
Interest in and the qualifications needed for the program being offered.
Volunteer Services programs and services are available at all facilities. The Division has fourteen Supervisors of Volunteer Services located across the state. Most have responsibility for several facilities. Each facility has a Volunteer Services Contact Person managing the facility volunteer program and volunteer Program Staff Supervisors responsible for specific volunteers and volunteer activities.