Rescind correctional facilities new manual to eliminate visitor/inmate contact!

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Many families travel hundreds of miles to visit their incarcerated loved ones and look forward to physical contact with their loved ones. Some facilities such as Collins Correctional Facility and Elmira Correctional facilty (many others) has recently implemented a memo which removes single adult visitors from sitting next to the inmate. The memo only allows an adult to sit next to the inmate if there are at least two adult visitors. The NYS Department of Corrections visiting room directive #4403 does not state this type of limitation. The directive clearly states that acceptable physical contact includes; resting head on each other shoulders, hands around each other waist and brief kisses and hugs during the visit while sitting next to the inmate.  Facilities such as Collins has implemented a facility manual which they are stating supersedes a statewide directive (#4403).  The facility operation manual (FOM 3055)  at Collins Correctional Facility deprives families from this allowed physical contact as a single visitor (1 person) has to now sit across from the inmate and will not be able to engage in the acceptable contact listed in the statewide directive. The FOM #3055 does state that visitors may rest their head upon shoulders but only if there are two adult visitors. The directive does not state the allowed contact is if there is more than one visitor!  Therefore, the facility is adding to the directive to minimize the allowed physical contact that is allowed in the statewide directive.The memo attempts to minimize family connections though eliminating contact while also deferring families from visiting. The purpose of the visiting program is to promote better community adjustment upon release, however, the facility operation manual contradicts this as well as what is allowed in the directive. Collins Correctional Facility has implemented this manual (FOM 3055)) and other facilities may implement a similar manual. Please rescind these manuals as they are not in compliance with directive 4403 and does not support family integration reunification efforts.



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