EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT SUBDIVISIONS
Current Functions. The Department of Correctional Services is responsible for the confinement and habilitation of approximately 52,000 inmates held at sixty-two State correctional facilities. The department confines offenders at appropriate security levels and maintains order through disciplinary action when necessary; fulfills the basic daily needs of inmates and provides necessary medical and dental care; and offers habilitation opportunities through academic, vocational, maintenance, and industrial programs. In addition, the department administers programs for inmates who require protective custody or specialized treatment for mental or physical handicaps or who have drug, alcohol, or emotional problems. Finally, the department helps inmates adjust to their eventual return to the community by allowing the release of qualified inmates on a temporary basis.
Organizational History. From the opening of the first State prison in 1797 until the present day, New York State's correctional system has had a wide influence on the direction of criminology and penology in the United States. Among the important early institutions established in New York State were: Newgate Prison (1797), Auburn Prison (1818), New York House of Refuge (1824), Sing Sing Prison (1828), Dannemora Prison (1845), Western House of Refuge (1849), Elmira Reformatory (1876), and Bedford Hills Reformatory for Women (1901). Newgate, Auburn, Sing Sing, and Dannemora were instrumental in the development of the nineteenth-century penitentiary movement throughout the country. In particular, the Auburn system of discipline -- congregate work by day, solitary separation in cells at night, enforced silence, lockstep formations, and severe corporal punishment -- served as a model for similar institutions elsewhere. Elmira Reformatory was the first adult reformatory in the country and precipitated a national reformatory movement. Elmira's innovative, highly publicized program included indefinite sentences based on conduct and performance, individualized treatment of inmates, and the extensive use of parole. In the development of reformatories for women, Bedford Hills was extremely important and its programs were emulated at many other institutions. Most influential were Bedford's programs for the scientific study of "feeblemindedness" and "defective-delinquency" as causes of crime.
Until 1846, the State's corrections system was administered by a board of inspectors that in turn appointed wardens for each prison. The State constitution of 1846 established a single Board of Prisons to oversee all State prisons, and in 1876 this board was replaced by the Office of Superintendent of State Prisons.
The reorganization of State government in 1925-26 abolished the Office of Superintendent of State Prisons and created a Department of Correction headed by a commissioner appointed by the governor (Laws of 1926, Chapter 606). In addition to continuing the work of the superintendent of state prisons, the Department of Correction also assumed the functions of the State Board of Charities relating to correctional institutions. Since 1867, the State Board of Charities and its predecessor, the Board of State Commissioners of Public Charities, had been responsible for supervising correctional institutions (except prisons) and reformatories in the State.
The new department was comprised of four divisions: a Division of Administration, responsible for custody of inmates and maintenance of institutions; a Division of Prison Industries, supervising prison and reformatory production shops and farm work; a Division of Parole; and a Division of Probation. In 1930 (Chapter 824), the Division of Parole was transferred from the Department of Correction to the Executive Department.
In 1970 (Chapter 475), the present Department of Correctional Services was created. It consolidated the previous Department of Correction, the State Commission of Correction (established in 1926), and the Division of Parole. A companion 1970 law (Chapter 476) changed the designation of most institutions to "correctional facility." Another 1970 law (Chapter 479) removed the Division of Probation from the new department and transferred it to the Executive Department. In 1972 (Chapter 399), the department's Division of Criminal Investigation was transferred to the newly formed Division of Criminal Justice Services in the Executive Department. In 1973 (Chapter 398), the Commission of Correction was also separated from the department and made an independent agency within the Executive Department. In 1977, administration of hospitals for mentally ill inmates was transferred to the Department of Mental Hygiene (Chapter 978) and the Division of Parole was again removed from the department and made an independent Executive Department agency (Chapter 904).
Department of Correctional Services
General Agency-level Records
17620 Inmate release files, 1956-1975. 0.1 cu. ft. (1 magnetic tape reel)
Bureau of Records and Statistical Analysis
17619 Inmate "under-custody" statistical files, 1956-1975. 4 magnetic tapes.
Bureau of Research and Evaluation
19128 Facility population research files, ca. 1952-1984. 2.3 cu. ft.
19129 Daily prison population/capacity reports, 1976-1993. 3.75 cu. ft. (61 volumes)
Division of Administration
14610 Inmate case files, 1894-1981, bulk ca. 1925-1956, 1976-1980. 3,954.3 cu. ft. R
Pertinent information is scattered throughout this series, but the following accretions may be particularly relevant:
14610-89A Woodburne Correctional Facility inmate case files [ca. 1930-1970] (bulk 1935-1968) 315 cu. ft.
14610-94C Bedford Hills inmate case files (psychology files), [ca. 1930-1976] 9 cu. ft.
ALBION STATE TRAINING SCHOOL (Albion Correctional Facility)
B0090 Psychological evaluation tests and reference information, 1952-1966. 1 cu. ft. R
DANNEMORA STATE HOSPITAL (Adirondack Correctional Facility)
A1505 Inmate data cards, 1900-1972. 9 cu. ft. R
A1502 Inmate commitment files, ca. 1900-1961. 5 cu. ft. R
B1680 Transfer records and daily census reports, 1911-1972. 1 cu. ft. (5 volumes)
B0149 Psychiatric examination case files, ca. 1968-1971. 1.5 cu. ft. R
A1503 Protestant chaplain interview files from Dannemora State Hospital and State prisons, ca. 1940-1973. 0.5 cu. ft. R
AUBURN PRISON (Auburn Correctional Facility)
B1681 Director of Classification Clinics correspondence,1932-1933. 0.2 cu. ft. R
B1686 Psychiatric and psychological statistical reports, 1964-1965. 0.1 cu. ft. R
B0065 Psychological evaluation reports, ca. 1935-1942. 1.5 cu. ft. R
B0085 Psychological evaluation tests, 1938-1961. 4.5 cu. ft. R
B0010 Psychological examination reports, 1955-1962. 3 cu. ft. R
CLINTON PRISON (Clinton Correctional Facility)
B0123 Medical and psychiatric diagnostic files, 1934-1967. 132 cu. ft. R
FISHKILL CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
A1525 Admission and discharge registers, 1949-1977. 0.3 cu. ft. (2 volumes)
A1523 Inmate transfer register, 1973-1977. 2 volumes.
A1526 Correction officers' observation log, 1975-1976. 0.2 cu. ft. (1 volume) R
A1527 Security check registers, 1974-1977.
A1506 Daily ward log report books, 1972-1977. 2 cu. ft. (18 volumes) R
A1514 Physical examination and ward transfer registers, 1957-1977. 0.2 cu. ft. (2 volumes) R
A1511 Nurse's register, 1975-1977. 0.2 cu. ft. (2 volumes) R
A1513 Log of inmate visits to physicians, 1974. 0.1 cu. ft. (1 volume) R
A1508 Assault registers, 1965-1977. 0.2 cu. ft. (3 volumes) R
A1515 Search logs, 1977. 0.4 cu. ft. (4 volumes)
A1518 Special watch logs, 1976-1977. 0.2 cu. ft. (11 volumes) R
A1509 Suicide attempt register, 1967-1976. 0.2 cu. ft. (1 volume) R
A1507 Visitor log books, 1959-1977. 1 cu. ft. (6 volumes)
A1510 Yard visitor log, 1976-1977. 0.2 cu. ft. (1 volume)
A1519 Requisition log, 1976. 0.2 cu. ft. (1 volume)
A1516 Inmate clothing registers, 1964-1977. 0.6 cu. ft. (6 volumes)
A1520 Clothing room log, 1975. 0.1 cu. ft. (1 volume)
A1517 Packages received registers, 1969-1976. 0.3 cu. ft. (3 volumes)
A1528 Inmate trip register, 1975-1976. 0.1 cu. ft. (1 volume)
A1512 Certificates of search from Matteawan State Hospital and Fishkill Correctional Facility, 1971-1975. 0.1 cu. ft.
MATTEAWAN STATE HOSPITAL (Fishkill Correctional Facility)
A1504 Inmate identification cards, ca. 1938-1956. 2 cu. ft. R
A1501 Inmate identification files, 1934-1974. 36 cu. ft. R
A1500 Inmate case files from Matteawan and Dannemora State hospitals, ca. 1880-1960. 230 cu. ft. R
A1522 Commissary register, 1963-1965. 0.1 cu. ft. (1 volume)
A1524 Inmate medical prescription registers, 1964-1967. 0.3 cu. ft. (2 volumes) R
WESTERN REFORMATORY FOR WOMEN (Albion Correctional Facility)
B0089 Psychiatric and psychological statistical reports, 1959-1971. 1 cu. ft. R
B0091 Psychological evaluation reports, ca. 1960-1970. 4 cu. ft. R
WESTFIELD STATE FARM (Bedford Hills Correctional Facility)
B1022 Inmate record cards, ca. 1929-1940. 1 cu. ft. R