Letter from men at Central New York Psychiatric Center — effectively stand up for their rights and demand change

Arial Image of CNYPC at 9005 Old River Road Marcy, NY 13403 via Google Earth

The shadow prisoners at the Gulag in Marcy, New York are formally demanding better treatment.  The following letter was sent by a committee of men who are organizing themselves at the Central New York Psychiatric Center.  Just Future applauds their concise articulation of concrete demands coupled with clear citations to the statutory language being violated.  This letter might serve as an example for the people in the other 20 systems of pre-crime preventative detention on how to effectively stand up for their rights and demand change.

To: Director DEBORAH McCULLOCH c/o JEFFERY NOWICKI

August 1, 2019

From: SOTP RESIDENT LIAISON COMMITTEE

Subject:
PUNITIVE ENVIRONMENT

It has come to the attention of the residents here, and this committee that regulations exist that govern the conditions of our confinement that are not being complied with.  

14 NYCRR § 27.1 (b) states:

“Patience have a right to an individual program of services which will maximize their abilities to cope with their environment …”

14 NYCRR § 27.3 (a) states:

“Directors of facilities and their staff shall develop services which are commensurate with each patients’ needs and well-being, the well- being of others, and are least restrictive to a patients’ rights.”

Certainly the conditions her are not the least restrictive, nor being facilitated in a manner that maximizes our ability to cope.  

A few of the many examples of such are:  

  1. Access to items through a commissary or from family, friends, and outside vendors
  2. The costs associated with items and services available through our commissary, the NCIC phone system, and vocational programs (copies, laundry, stationary, etc. …)
  3. Inability to receive personal telephonic communications from family and friends 
  4. Requiring prior notification of visits from family and friends in violation of  14 NYCRR § 527.10
  5. Failure to issue clothing to indigent residents 
  6. Unreasonably restricting the hours of access to the {recreation} yard and dayroom 
  7. The unavailability of space, recreational equipment, and activities in the yard
  8. Law Library services / area (Lawyer’s Diary, and quiet space)
  9. Prohibition against maintaining and self-administering benign types of medication

We once again note that these are just some of the examples, and the overriding issue remains the failure to comply with state regulations and provide the ease restrictive environment –– a non-punitive atmosphere.  

The Committee believes the conditions here are a result of a bias on the part of this administration, and its failure to give appropriate weight to our rights and interests to a non-punitive based environment; and that the punitive based environment that exists has proliferated unchecked due to the state’s failure to properly appoint and maintain a Board of Visitors pursuant to Mental Hygiene Law § 7.33, and or to initiate other appropriate oversight.  

As a result, there is now a very tense atmosphere here, and immediate and urgent corrective action is warranted.  

Rauly Pesante-Davila

404 Resident Liaison Committee Representative

Street View of CNYPC at 9005 Old River Road Marcy, NY 13403 via Google Earth

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