Correctional Services, Department of

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All amounts are in dollars
Category Available
Change From
State Operations 2,738,943,000 2,660,066,000 -78,877,000 65,437,000
Aid To Localities 6,276,000 200,000 -6,076,000 6,091,000
Capital Projects 320,000,000 320,000,000 0 568,129,000
Total 3,065,219,000 2,980,266,000 -84,953,000 639,657,000

Full-Time Equivalent Positions (FTE)
Program 2008-09
Estimated FTEs
Estimated FTEs
FTE Change
    General Fund 243 243 0
    Special Revenue Funds - Federal 671 653 -18
    Enterprise Funds 11 11 0
Correctional Industries
    Internal Service Funds 357 367 10
Facilities Planning and Development
    Capital Projects Funds - Other 32 32 0
Health Services
    General Fund 1,971 1,976 5
Program Services
    General Fund 3,480 3,340 -140
Supervision of Inmates
    General Fund 21,296 20,208 -1,088
Support Services
    General Fund 3,572 3,461 -111
    Special Revenue Funds - Other 40 40 0
Total 31,673 30,331 -1,342

Note: Most recent estimates as of 12/16/08.


The Department of Correctional Services is responsible for the safe and secure confinement of convicted felons, and the preparation of these individuals for successful reintegration into the community upon release.

Budget Highlights

The Executive Budget recommends $3.0 billion All Funds ($2.5 billion General Fund; $37 million Federal Funds; $36 million Other Funds; $78 million Internal Service Funds; $43 million Enterprise Funds; $320 million in Capital Projects Funds) for the Department of Correctional Services. A decrease of $100 million General Fund primarily reflects the closure of four camps and several annexes and other measures in response to the decrease in the inmate population. An increase of $15 million Other Funds primarily reflects the introduction of an option to house inmates from other jurisdictions.

The Executive Budget recommends a staffing level of 30,331 FTEs for the Department of Correctional Services, a decrease of 1,342 from the 2008 09 budget, reflecting the planned consolidation of the system.

Major budget actions include:

  • Elimination of Excess Capacity: Since 1999, the Department’s under-custody population has fallen by over 10,500 inmates, particularly in minimum security facilities, and has resulted in significant areas of unused prison capacity. Under current New York State law, the Commissioner is required to issue notification one year prior to closing a prison and to explore the potential for reuse. The Budget includes new legislation that would permit the Commissioner to eliminate excess prison capacity with only a 90-day notice in times of financial crisis. It is estimated that the closure announcement will be made in March 2009 with closure of the camps and annexes in June 2009. Staff at these facilities will be offered positions at other correctional facilities or can accept openings in other State agencies if they prefer.
  • Implementing Commission on Sentencing Reform Proposals: The Commission on Sentencing Reform, established by Executive Order to review New York’s complicated sentencing structure, is in the process of finalizing recommendations to simplify existing statute and to ensure that punishment is aligned with the nature of the offense. Even though the final report of the Commission is scheduled to be released after the Executive Budget, the Commission Members identified certain proposals upon which they had agreed that would immediately begin to produce savings if enacted expeditiously. These proposals are advanced in Article VII legislation accompanying the Budget.

    The Commission recommends the creation of a limited credit time allowance to provide for a six-month merit time allowance to certain violent felony offenders if the inmate displays good behavior during their term of incarceration and completes enhanced program requirements. The Commission also supports expanding eligibility to the Shock Incarceration program by increasing the age limit from 40 to 50 years of age and allowing for the selection of general confinement inmates once they are within three years of the earliest release date. Additionally, the Commission supports the implementation of graduated sanctions, utilizing a risk and needs assessment tool by parole officers for violations and the Board of Parole for releases, and removing re-entry barriers that could reduce the number of violations without negatively impacting public safety. Altogether, the proposals would reduce the prison population by approximately 1,600 inmates, allowing the Department to close an equivalent number of beds by January 2010.

  • Evaluation of Mental Health Programs: In 2008, the Legislature enacted the Special Housing Unit (SHU) Exclusion bill, imposing requirements for the housing of inmates with mental illness. While nearly all of the provisions of this bill are proposed to be delayed until July 1, 2014, the Department will remain in compliance with a Private Settlement Agreement that DOCS and the Office of Mental Health reached with Disability Advocates, Inc. in April 2007. Delaying the effective date of the bill will allow for an evaluation of the effectiveness of the new Residential Mental Health Unit, located on the grounds of the Marcy Correctional Facility, as well the magnitude of any additional capacity needs to fully implement this new program. It is also recommended that the provisions be limited to facilities that house inmates with the greatest mental health needs and the training requirements for the Department’s staff be amended.
  • Elimination of Board of Prisoner Payments: The Board of Prisoner payments made by DOCS were originally established at a time when DOCS correctional facilities were significantly overcrowded. Over the last ten years the prison population has fallen and the number of "State-ready" inmates incarcerated in county jails fell as well - from a high of 4,425 in 1999 to the current level of only 300 inmates. In recognition of this decline, payments to local jails for housing "State-ready" inmates are eliminated. The Department will be required to provide a bed in a reception center for all "State ready" inmates within ten business days, except in instances where there are circumstances outside of the Department’s control. In cases where the ten-day requirement is not met, the Department will reimburse the county for housing that "State ready" inmate in their jail.

2009-10 Executive Budget — Agency Presentation
Correctional Services, Department of (PDF)