Advocates want free NY prison visitor bus back
Posted at: 08/06/2012 11:00 AM
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Advocates for nearly 56,000 New York inmates and their families are urging the state to resume free bus service to its prisons, saying visits have dropped since it was discontinued a year ago. They say the $1.5 million in savings doesn't justify the social cost.
In a report earlier this year, the Vera Institute of Justice cites studies that show far fewer violations by prisoners who get regular family visits. The institute also reports higher self-esteem and fewer behavioral problems among children who visit incarcerated parents.
Corrections officials say the decline in visitors has been modest, and that the free buses were often half-empty.
Meanwhile, they've launched "televisiting" between Albion prison upstate and a Brooklyn site, with plans to expand the program soon to Auburn, Chateaugay and Clinton prisons.
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