NY Lawmakers Call For 7-Day Visitation at Medium Security Prisons
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Several New York lawmakers and advocates are calling for the reinstatement of seven day visitation at medium security prisons, as well as free public transportation to and from prisons.
Melissa Tanis is no stranger to visiting prisons. As a family member of a now deceased prisoner she said it was always hard to find the time and the resources to see her father.
"Our relationship consisted mainly of letter writing, phone calls, and occassional visits when I could afford it," Tanis said. "Family members in New York State who are visiting medium security prisons know how difficult it is to maintain contact with some one who is incarcerated."
Right now, seven day visitation is only offered at minimum and maximum security prisons. Assembly Member Carmen De La Rosa said the ability to have family visits serves as a lifeline for some prisoners.
"What are we saying when they [the prisoners] are ultimately released to re-enter into our communities?" De La Rosa asked. "They no longer have that connection if we do not allow them to make those connections and keep those connections with their families."
Free transportation for families to prisons across the state was cut in 2011 to save money.