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SULLIVAN HUB - NY DOCS New York State Prisons & Institutions located inside the SULLIVAN HUB - Ulster, Eastern, Woodbourne, Sullivan, Shawangunk, Wallkill, Otisville, Mid-Orange.

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Old 10-26-2004, 06:08 PM
Manzanita's Avatar
Manzanita Manzanita is offline
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Thumbs up Woodbourne Correctional Facility

Woodbourne Correctional Facility
Riverside Drive
Woodbourne, New York 12788

(845) 434-7730

(Sullivan County)

Medium Male

Visiting hours are on saturdays and sundays from 8am til 2:30pm. depending on where the first letter of the last name falls in the alphabet determines the day. They don't get both days unless special permission is granted
In order to get permission your husband has to send a letter to the commisioner(I think) 2 weeks before the actual visit date. Then just wait for approval. However if you do go both days on a particular weekend he forfiets his next 2 visits.

There are 2 sections one for people w/o children and one for people with them. There really isn't much to tell. There are vending machines,and on the childrens side there is a section set up with books and toys and games for the kids to play.

Rules... I know if you bring in a package for them or money you have to leave it with the package room before you go in. You can't bring in any cosmetics including chapstick. Your money has to be kept in a clear container. You can't put your hands under the table.You are allowed to kiss your loved one

Lodging... There are different places to stay. There really isn't anything in woodbourne. I usually stay at the days inn in liberty which is about 7 miles from woodbourne. There is also an econo lodge there. You could also stay in Monticello which is about 7 or 8 miles in the opposite direction, woodbourne is between both. I'm not sure of all the moterls there, I think there is a best western and a days inn, I never stay in monticello. You can look up motels in that area on the internet.

Prison web site.... I have no idea, I never looked.

Pictures are $2.00 each. I don't think there is a limit.

FRP available: Yes

Opened: 1932, Capacity: 981 male (16+), Adult Correctional Institutions, Employees: 417, Cost of care: $55.46 per day

General Information:

If you have any additional information, you can PM Mrs G.- and it will be added accordingly

"Debating the origins of criminality"

Woodbourne Correctional Facility
"Whatever is brought upon you, take cheerfully and be patient: for gold is tried in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of adversity." This piece of food for thought, chiseled in Gothic letters above a mess hall door, is one of several scattered about Woodbourne. The messages were meant to inspire retarded men -Woodbourne's first inmates - to philosophic reflection.

Everywhere in this institution that visitors liken to a monastery, sculptured wood and sandstone reinforce the mood of seriousness. Images of crime and punishment frame arched doorways and cathedral windows and encircle pillars around a courtyard thc scales of justice, a book representing the law, an hourglass symbolizing time. Alpha and omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, summon up Biblical images of creation and birth, death and resurrection. Some seem quaint: a convict weighed down by ball and chain is unnoticed by a bewigged judge absorbed in his law book, a policeman with drawn pistol sneaks around the pillar in pursuit of a safecracker on the other side

Other architectural details are purely ornamental: varied patterns of colored bricks and masonry blocks, wrought iron chandeliers, steel cables for stairway handrails, decorative flourishes in wood and stone, a portcullis gate in a small square of sandstone in the middle of a brick wall arid concrete tables in the recreation yard with inlaid chess boards. Such ornate workmanship might seem an indulgence in a prison, though staff say it has a calming effect on the population. But like the builders of medieval churches, the builders of Woodbourne took their time.

Woodbourne was built under the Work Projects Administration, a New Deal program to combat Depression-era unemployment quick completion would have thrown the workers back on the bread lines. Construction was begun in 1932, but the first inmates did not arrive until November of 1935.

For the last 23 years, Woodbourne has functioned as a medium security prison son for 981 adult males. It is the only medium-security facility in New York with cell block housing, for 579 inmates. The rest of the population is housed in dormitories. This mix makes Woodbourne ideal for inmates who, after years in maximum-security, are reclassified to medium but have trouble adjusting to dormitory living. Woodbourne offers these inmates an opportu¬ nity for transition at an appropriate pace.

As a result, Woodbourne tends to receive inmates with characteristics unusual for medium security 80 percent are violent offenders. And in terms of age, prior record, time served and time remaining Woodbourne's inmates more closely resemble those in a maximum-security prison. Still, the facility is among the lowest in the State in terms of assaults on staff unusual incidents, grievances, disciplinary actions and other trouble indicators.

Woodbourne's achievements have resulted in requests to handle several special security assignments. In 1982, at the request of the Rockland County Sheriff's Department, Woodbourne housed the militant and high-profile Brinks robbery suspects two men and two women for nearly a year during their trial.

Within this security conscious environment, there is a tradition of programming innovation and excellence. The Department's Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment program (ASAT) was initiated at Woodbourne in 1975. In 1990, a delegation of Russian doctors toured Woodbourne as part of an effort to learn American methods of treating substance abuse especially alcohol. College programming was encouraged at Woodbourne, with courses in horticulture and hotel technology taught by local community college faculty. Woodbourne was the second facility in New York to offer a structured pre-release program, and one of the first to hire Hispanic Inmate Needs Coordinators.

Woodbourne's irrepressible inventiveness may be due to its history of change. Before assuming its current functions, the facility led two former lives first serving mentally retarded offenders, then drug addicts. Woodbourne's staff believes its history with shifting special populations gave it an ability to adapt creatively, preparing it for the unique role it plays today.

Discovery of Defective Delinquents

Until 1921, no institution in New York was set aside for "defective delinquents." But with the opening of Woodbourne in 1935, three entire prisons in New York were designated for this group. These three facilities had a combined capacity of approximately 2,200, or about a sixth of the total prison population. Taking into account the increase in population since then, that is more than 70 times greater than the 176 Special Needs Unit beds the Department maintains today for intellectually-limited inmates.

What happened? Where did all these inmates come from, and where did they go?

With tremendous advances during the 1800's in biology, medicine, psychiatry, psychology and sociology, the world turned to science for new answers to old riddles, including the problem of crime. Doctors sought physical explanations to replace the ancient notions of demonic possession and natural depravity. One such explanation was phrenology, which held that behavioral tendencies had a physical existence in the brain. For instance, if a trail such as greed became overdeveloped, the corresponding area of the brain would enlarge like a weightlifter's biceps, pushing outward and making lumps on the skull that a trained phrenologist could "read." A later theory, developed by Italian criminologist Cesare Lombroso, held that the criminal was a genetic "throwback" to a primitive stage in evolution ion and could be identified by caveman traits such as long arms, big ears or a sloping brow.

The attempt to identify criminal tendencies by studying the body was abandoned as a dead end. But Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel's discoveries about heredity took the search in other directions. It often seemed to people that crime ran in families, and the new discipline of sociology offered several studies of "degeneracy" spread over generations.

At the same time, toward the end of the Nineteenth Century, an influx of non--English speaking immigrants was said to be swelling the lists of the "dangerous classes - Hebrew, Italian, Colored." Social ills of every stripe were laid to heredity -- crime, disease, immorality, drunkenness, pauperism, insanity and "feeblemindedness." Overbreeding by "degenerate stock" was polluting the American gene pool. A eugenics movement called for isolation and sterilization of the unfit.

Prison wardens had a long-standing fondness for making lists of crime causes, with intemperance and bad companions the favorites. Now the prison physicians joined together and the lists took on a scientific cast. In 1901, the Elmira Reformatory an-announced need that 16 percent of its population was feebleminded. Further investigation of this promising lead was bolstered by a new scientific instrument, the intelligence test, developed in France in 1905 and quickly adapted for use in the U.S. By 1912, using the new measuring tool, the percentage of defectives at Elmira had risen to 42 percent. Sing Sing's Psychiatric Clinic reported 21.8 percent and Auburn 35.6 percent defectives. In 1911, the New York State Reformatory for Women at Bedford Hills reported that of 100 white admissions, not a single inmate tested higher than the 12-year-old level.

Estimates of feeblemindedness in a nationwide survey of juvenile institutions ranged from 28 to 89 percent. And the prevalence of the feebleminded extended beyond the institutional setting. When the U.S. Army tested over a million men for service in World War 1, it found that 47.3 percent of white draftees had mental ages of less than 13. One would think that finding should have prompt ccl a rethinking of the whole business. But it didn't.

A spate of publications in the 1910's aroused public alarm with titles such as 'The Menace of the Mentally Defective," "The Prevention of Mental Defect: The Duty of the Hour," "Crime as an Expression of Feeblemindedness" and 'The Extinction of the Defective Delinquent."

The New York State Charities Aid Association in 1910 recommended "supervision and care that will last during the whole lifetime of the feebleminded individual, certainly during the reproductive period."

New York passed an involuntary sterilization law in 1912. Before it was declared unconstitutional in 1915, operations were performed on 41 female patients in state hospitals and one male at Auburn prison, although not on any mental defectives. (Similar laws were passed in some 30 states, as well as in two Canadian provinces and other nations from Scandinavia to Australia and Japan. The eugenics movement would eventually be discredited at after it was embraced by Nazi Germany to create a "master race.")

Designation of Defective Delinquents in New York State

Elmira staffed a special training school for mental defectives in 1913. Still, Elmira complained the number of defectives threatened to overwhelm and destroy the whole reformatory program. Relief was obtained in 1919 with the passage of the Mental Deficiency Law and redesignation in 1921 of the Eastern Reformatory in Napanoch as the State Institution for Male Defective Delinquents. It was the first institution of its kind in the U.S. Ten years later4 the Department's female prison in Albion was converted into the Institution for Mentally Defective Delinquent Women. Mental Deficiency Law authorized indefinite life sentences for mental defectives, as determined by the court after certification by two qualified examiners, "charged with, arraigned for or convicted of criminal offenses." It provided for the transfer to Napanoch of any convict with a definite sentence who was later found to be mentally defective. It further provided that the superintendent . could apply for "an order of retention" to continue holding such convicts, just as insane inmates could be held after the expiration of their criminal terms.

It was not long before Napanoch was overcrowded and the state Legislature appropriated $1.5 million for the Woodbourne Institute for Defective Delinquents. Woodbourne received its first inmates, by transfer from Napanoch, on Nov.21, 1935. Woodbourne was intended for inmates with a greater chance for parole, while Napanoch would specialize in longer term inmates who needed closer supervision. Things didn't work out so neatly.

Woodbourne's Population Shifts Toward Normal

Despite its intended constituency of defective delinquents, overcrowding in the corrections system soon forced Woodbourne to accept inmates of all ages and often of normal intelligence; by law, the "normals" and defectives were housed in separate sections of the prison. In the beginning, Woodbourne offered few pro-grams to its special population, mainly because they were expected to be short-termers. There was little in the way of education. There was no industrial equipment at the facility and vocational training consisted principally of routine maintenance work.

By 1947, the Department terminated the unsatisfactory mixing of normal and defective inmates. Inmates committed under the defective delinquent law were gradually transferred out. Woodbourne was redesignated as a reformatory For inmates aged 16 to 21 deemed to be of borderline or dull normal intelligence, with IQ's from 71 to 85. Routines and programs already in place at Woodbourne were suitable, with slight modifications, to the lim¬ ited capabilities of the new "borderline ." inmates who were not committed under the defective delinquent law. Emphasis was placed on academic, vocational and social training.

In 1950, the facility was renamed the Woodbourne Correctional Institution.

Defective Delinquent Institutions Closed

Almost from Woodbourne's opening, the number of defective in the Department's custody declined. By 1966, all defective delinquents, who 30 years earlier had taken up three entire facilities, were housed in the small Beacon State Institution on the grounds of the Matteawan State Hospital in Fishkill. Several court rulings in the late 1960's extended due process protections. They resulted in the transfer of retarded inmates, who were unsentenced or whose sentences had expired, to civil institutions operated by the Department of Mental Hygiene. The Beacon Institution closed in 1970. For a short time afterward, Glenham Correctional Facility, also a unit at Matteawan, treated sentenced defectives. It closed in 1974. Since then, New York has not maintained a separate facility For intellectually-limited inmates, though our Special Needs Units now provide them with proper care within the correctional setting.

Meanwhile, a new threat had emerged---addiction to illegal drugs and drug-related criminal activity. Woodbourne took a front-line position in addressing the problem. In 1967, when New York established the Narcotic Addiction Control Commission (NACC), Woodbourne was made available to NACC. As the Woodbourne Rehabilitation Center, the facility functioned as a secure treatment site the narcotics addicts committed under the so-called Rockefeller Drug Laws.

Security and support staff were provided by Corrections. NACC's program staff---among them a young counselor named Glenn S. Goord --- provided treatment including intensive group and individual counseling. NACC's heavy emphasis on continuing staff education would become an integral part of the Department of Correctional Services' ASAT program.

Return to Corrections

By 1975, the prison population had resumed its usual growth pattern. Corrections needed Woodbourne back--fortuitously, NAEC had in the meantime shifted its emphasis from incarceration to community treatment. In September, the renamed Woodbourne Correctional Facility assumed its present role in the department.

A number of the NACC era staff elected to stay at Woodbourne and were instrumental in continuing the intensive programming tradition built up during the drug treatment years. As seen earlier, Woodbine's staff continued its substance abuse treatment program. They also developed some valuable new programs, and eagerly appropriated For their own benefit programs developed at other facilities.

In addition to academic education, vocational training and ASAT, Woodbourne programs today include Pre-Release, Osborne Society I Parenting and Children's Center, Veterans Residential Center Sex offender Therapy a Sensorially Disable Inmate program and an Islamic Therapeutic Program.

The need to adapt and re-adapt is believed to have contributed to a creative attitude respecting security issues as well. In addition to responding to the special situations presented to it, Woodbourne was selected as the first facility in the State to implement double celling. In 1995, double celling was implement in 56 cells. Double celling proceeded smoothly, although a group of inmates filed a lawsuit protesting the practice.

After extensive investigation and expert testimony court, the Department scored a major victory upholding Double celling. In January, Federal Judge Sidney Stein ruled that the double celling initiative did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment and thus did not violate the constitutional rights of' inmates.

A "can do" spirit pervades Woodbourne. And why not? Woodbourne survived the defective and NACC eras, out lasting a menace that wasn't then, and an agency that isn't now.

Woodbourne not only survived, it thrived. Now it occupies a very special niche in the delivery of correctional services to the people of the State of New York.

I no longer work for PTO and do not have updated information to share
please go to the NY Forum for help from current staff and members!
Good Luck to you!

Last edited by Manzanita; 01-19-2005 at 06:31 PM..
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Manzanita For This Useful Post:
his big sister (06-20-2015), marksbuddy (07-27-2014)
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