Minutes Mtg 10 - ECCC Advisory Board

Erie County Community Corrections Advisory Board
Minutes Meeting 10 - October 4, 2011


Chair Cummings called meeting to order at 1:05 and led the Pledge of Allegiance

Roll Call:


Dr. Lavonne Ansari (joined at 1:14)

William Burgin

Johnny Cabrera

Richard Carr

Anne Constantino

Barry Covert

Nan Haynes

Robert Koch

Michael Kubik

Rev. Eugene Pierce


Karima Amin

Charles Culhane

Cheryl Green

Michael Lex

Motion by Robert Koch to approve the Minutes from Meeting 8 and Meeting 9, second by Rev. Pierce.  Motion carried

Anne Constantino led a discussion of the informational discussion about the DOJ Settlement.  Barry Covert added his remarks

Discussion about the way the DOJ settlement will change the delivery of services and what the barriers are to any changes at the HC.

Representatives from the HC and CF were present to talk about programs – Tim Martin from HC and Captain Tim H (??) presented on:

Conditional release for inmates

Service Action Corps (work in community – highways, parks, non profits ie: firehalls)

Sheriff Vehicle Maint facility – 4 inmates

40 inmates who work in kitchen facilities

Maintenance crews – 4 inmates

Frontrunners – move paperwork around facility, empty trash

Inmates who clean the lobby after business hours end

Inmate assigned 3 times/day to collect trash

Hazardous material crew – blood, body fluid spill or hazardous clean up

4 inmates work in library – help County Librarian

Law Clerks – no legal background or training but good at research, help other inmates

Office cleaner inmates

9 inmates work in commissary

Crew working in intake – processing (3)

Porters in each housing unit

Other inmates assigned to food service in housing units

Inmates that assist chaplains

Barber shop run by 2 inmates that are trained

Beauty shop on 2nd floor, again inmate staffed

Narcotics and Alcoholics Anonymous

4 churches provide bible study

Muslim studies on Sunday evenings – inmate assigned by imam to conduct

Hay program to provide to county parks and ems for fire training tower

GED for children, Alden Central School system – funding and teachers

GED for adults, also provided by Alden

Transition program run by Alden

Group ministries for transitional assistance and work, housing

Covenant house same as above

Sister Ruby Graves – “makin it seminar” to help transition



(noted higher security risk and special needs inmates)

Crew of inmates assigned to work in kitchen, early in the morning, afternoon and evening

Inmates assigned to library both BECPL and Law library

2 crews who assist with laundry services – one during day to take laundry out and exchanging, another group works at night to get laundry ready to send out to clean

3 small groups who are assigned to some janitorial duties – primarily floors

Educational opportunities provided by BPS adult learning center – designed around GED program

Testing, classes and individual attention where needed

Life skills classes – to assimilate into workforce and maintain employment

               EPIC program – parenting workshops

Recreational programs

1 hour a day outdoor



Playing cards, board games

Religious services – catholic, protestant and muslim chaplains for services and individual counseling

Also other chaplains are available – ie: clergy

Kitchen staff can provide religious diets

Visitations – 4? Hrs week – all contact unless extenuating circumstance

Anne Constantino asked for more details about the educational evaluations and transition out of the HC.

Mr. Covert asked about the mental health screening process

Ms. Haynes asked if the forms had changed in the last 18 months.  Requested a copy of the form.  Mr. Koch indicated he would provide forms to Board

Mr. Cabrera asked about capacity of GED program at CF.  Accommodate everyone.  16-19 year olds are required to go to school if they do not have a diploma or GED

Rev. Pierce asked if inmates are paid.  Yes, small amounts.  Money deposited in trust accounts to purchase telephone times or discretionary items – they can withdraw money to take home

Ms. Haynes asked who wants to work – are there more that want to work than there are positions?  Yes  if they are not chosen to work, are not getting education, aren’t religious or have an addiction what do they do.  Answer – recreational activities, access most of the day.

Rev. Pierce asked about chaplains.  Do they receive stipends?  None are staff, some receive stipends

What programs are being paid for by County from budget or commissary accounts?

Mr. Koch answered that security for programs are paid for in budget

Mr. Koch mentioned military program

Discussion about re-entry and transition to community with regards to substance abuse problem or mental illness (diversion program)

Discussion of transition programs that help with housing, counseling, public assistance, etc…

Mr. Cabrera asked if there was funding available for classes do they have the space?

Mr. Koch answered that it would have to be the gymnasium

Mr. Burgin asked if there were grant writers on staff – Mr. Koch said no

Ms. Haynes asked for clarification on why the gym was not being used at the CF – same as holding center?  Mr. Koch said yes, COC disallowed use

Rev. Pierce introduced report under Comptroller Naples regarding the Commissary Fund

Ms. Haynes asked if someone can come in and talk about current state of the Commissary Funds

Anne Constantino agreed and asked if the Comptroller or Sheriff office should come in to account for commissary funds

Discussion about what the role of the Board can be in both inquiring about Commissary funds and requesting action of the Legislature and information from the Comptroller and the Sheriff Dept.

Mr. Covert asked about counseling options

Mr. Kubik left the meeting

Mr. Cabrera asked if we should focus the group’s efforts on addressing one issue area at a time – educational, mental health issues, commissary funds – Dr. Ansari brought up that there is a 4th in medical area

Dr. Cummings asked if there should not be a smaller group to talk about programming/grant opportunities

Mr. Covert asked Sheriff Dept staff what was their wish list for programs that could be potentially paid for by commissary funds

Mr. Koch said he thought job training programs are a priority

Mr. Burgin talked about a state job training program that is located in Buffalo but that the County is not currently utilizing

Mr. Covert pointed out that this group could create a list of programs and prioritize for spending Commissary funds to implement

Dr. Cummings said he thought they could also look for grant funding as well

Dr. Ansari asked about programming possibilities in conjunction with colleges and universities

Dr. Cummings indicated as related issue that they would request of the Sheriff Dept and Comptroller an update on the commissary funds

Ms. Constantino asked if there could be more opportunities for inmates to take the lead on mentoring

Mr. Carr asked who would staff these programs – deputies are already over worked

Ms. Constantino also asked what kind of support is there for the corrections officers at the facilities?

Discussion of what the COC may require for minimum staffing levels at the facilities and if the Dept would be able to find and train the new deputies.

Rev. Pierce requested that we see if the next meeting could be held at the Alden facility after a tour

Clerk will send out an email to survey if members would be able to make the meeting at Alden on November 1st.

Mr. Cabrera asked if they could get a copy of the inmate orientation as well as the mental health form.

Motion to adjourn Ms. Constantino, second by Mr. Burgin

Meeting adjourned at 2:41






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