N.Y. Correction Law Section 146
Persons authorized to visit correctional facilities


The following persons shall be authorized to visit at pleasure all correctional facilities: The governor and lieutenant-governor, commissioner of general services, secretary of state, comptroller and attorney-general, members of the commission of correction, members of the legislature and their accompanying staff and any employee of the department as requested by the member of the legislature if the member requests to be so accompanied, provided that such request does not impact upon the department’s ability to supervise, manage and control its facilities as determined by the commissioner, judges of the court of appeals, supreme court and county judges, district attorneys and every clergyman or minister, as such terms are defined in Religious Corporations Law § 2 (Definitions)section two of the religious corporations law, having charge of a congregation in the county wherein any such facility is situated. No other person not otherwise authorized by law shall be permitted to enter a correctional facility except by authority of the commissioner of correction under such regulations as the commissioner shall prescribe.


Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, on each September thirteenth anniversary date of the nineteen hundred seventy-one retaking of Attica correctional facility, in the absence of an emergency situation or other exigent circumstance, the commissioner shall ensure that any surviving state employees who were held as hostages and any immediate family members, as that term is defined in subdivision four of section 120.40 of the penal law, of any of the state employees who were held hostage for any period by rioting incarcerated individuals during the period from September ninth through September thirteenth, nineteen hundred seventy-one, shall be afforded access to the outside grounds of Attica correctional facility to conduct a private commemorative ceremony in front of the Attica monument upon which are inscribed the names of employees who died as a result of the uprising and subsequent retaking.


a. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the correctional association shall be permitted to access, visit, inspect, and examine all state correctional facilities with seventy-two hours advance notice to the department. Up to twelve people may comprise the visiting party; provided, however, that only four people from the party may enter a special housing facility or unit at the same time. Prior to the visitation authorized pursuant to this subdivision, the correctional association shall provide to the department on, at least, an annual basis a list of people who will be visiting the facility or facilities, including names, dates of birth, driver’s license numbers and their designation as an employee, board member, or designee in order for the department to perform prompt background checks. The department may place restrictions on such visits and inspections when a facility is locked down or experiencing a facility wide emergency. In addition, the department may restrict access to a portion of a facility in an emergency situation for the duration of the emergency. For the purpose of this subdivision, an emergency shall be determined by the commissioner or his or her designee and defined as a significant risk to the safety or security of the facility, or the health, safety or security of staff or incarcerated individuals, or an event that significantly compromises the operations of the facility.


Upon twenty-four hours advance notice, at the commencement of any visits to, or inspections and examinations of, state correctional facilities, the superintendent and executive team, to the extent practicable, shall meet with the correctional association. Upon twenty-four hours advance notice, the correctional association may meet privately with the incarcerated individual liaison committee and representatives of the incarcerated individual grievance resolution committee or any other organization of incarcerated individuals recognized by the department.


During the course of any such visit, inspection or examination, upon consent of the person being interviewed, the correctional association shall have the power to interview and converse publicly or confidentially with any correctional employee or any incarcerated individual. Such interviews shall not be restricted by the department or attended by anyone on behalf of the department nor shall there be any retaliation or adverse action taken by the department or other state agency against any incarcerated individual who agrees to speak with the correctional association. The department may not limit the number of individuals the correctional association may interview or the duration of the interviews, in any manner unreasonable under the circumstances. The correctional association shall have the power to conduct private, confidential meetings reasonable in number under the circumstances with incarcerated people in housing units and in attorney visiting rooms or other rooms in the facility in which their conversations will remain confidential. No department employee may attend or listen to any such meeting without the consent of the correctional association.


The correctional association shall periodically, but not less than every five years, conduct inspections of each state correctional facility and shall issue reports and recommendations to the governor, the legislature and the public about the conditions and issues at each such facility. When preparing such formal reports and recommendations, the correctional association shall submit a tentative copy of such report and recommendations to the commissioner. The commissioner may submit a written response to such tentative report within sixty days of the receipt thereof. When the correctional association thereafter submits its final report and recommendations, it shall contain a complete copy of the response, if any, submitted to the tentative report and recommendations.


The correctional association may send surveys or questionnaires to people in custody concerning conditions of confinement or other subjects within the scope of their mission without prior approval of the department. The correctional association may also receive phone calls from incarcerated individuals and/or set up a hotline for individuals to use if they choose to contact them.


The inspection of state correctional facilities by the correctional association pursuant to this subdivision shall be undertaken solely in furtherance of the correctional association’s lawful powers, duties and obligations, and information obtained pursuant to these powers shall be used solely in furtherance of the correctional association’s mission. Employees, board members and designees shall be required to sign a waiver as a condition of entry into a correctional facility pursuant to this subdivision.

Source: Section 146 — Persons authorized to visit correctional facilities, https://www.­nysenate.­gov/legislation/laws/COR/146 (updated Sep. 2, 2022; accessed Jul. 20, 2024).

Powers and duties of commissioner relating to correctional facilities and community supervision
Absence of incarcerated individual for funeral and deathbed visits authorized
Rehabilitation programs for women
Fiscal accounts and records
incarcerated individuals’ funds
Estimates of expenses
Custody and supervision of persons in Westchester county correctional facilities
Daily report concerning incarcerated individuals
Custody and supervision of persons in correctional facilities
Private ownership or operation of correctional facilities
Control of fiscal transactions and recovery of debts
Incarcerated individuals’ money, clothing and other property
Punishment of superintendent for neglect of duty
Custody of incarcerated individual sentenced to death and commuted by governor
Retaking of an escaped incarcerated individual
Superintendent to report concerning incarcerated individual believed mentally ill when crime was committed
Religious dietary requirements
Correctional education
Program of treatment, control, discipline at correctional facilities
Institutional rules and regulations for incarcerated individuals at all correctional facilities
Notification of visitation policies
Grievance procedures
Provision for routine medical, dental and mental health services and treatment
Contagious disease in facility
Fire in facility
Custody of persons convicted of crimes against the United States
Persons authorized to visit correctional facilities
Noncitizen incarcerated individuals of correctional facilities
Psychiatric and diagnostic clinics
Released incarcerated individuals

Jul. 20, 2024

Last modified:
Sep. 2, 2022

§ 146’s source at nysenate​.gov

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