The state of New York has one type of long-term facility to hold felons convicted of crimes; these are called prisons. There are fifty-three state prisons in New York. Each of them has a specific level of custody, ranging from minimum to maximum security. One is also a drug treatment center. Most of them hold only males, but some do have units for men and women. Three others are designated for women only.
The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision is the government agency in charge of all facilities, inmates and New York State prison inmate records. They have an inmate lookup feature on their website so that the public can conduct a New York State prison inmate search at any time of night or day.
The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision’s mission states: “To improve public safety by providing a continuity of appropriate treatment services in safe and secure facilities where all inmates’ needs are addressed, and they are prepared for release, followed by supportive services for all parolees under community supervision to facilitate a successful completion of their sentence.” They support this mission through the following guiding principles:
Along with rehabilitation and confinement, these prisons provide inmates with education (academic and vocational), guidance and counseling services, library services, ministerial and family programs, substance abuse treatment, and mental health services. Some specialized programming includes:
Most prisons allow visitation and the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision website have details on how to send money, gifts, and other helpful tips for family and friends.
There are about 46,000 inmates in prison in New York along with another 35,855 on parole. About 65% of male offenders are in prison and in maximum security units due to violent crimes. Ninety-five percent of all New York inmates are male; the remaining 5% are female. Almost half (48.2%) are Black, and equal numbers (24.3%) are white and Hispanic. Thirteen percent are in prison due to drug charges and 12% for property crimes.