The Prison Association of New York, founded in 1844, officially changed its name to the Correctional Association of New York on March 1, 1961. The Correctional Association of New York today “strives to make the administration of justice in New York State more fair, efficient and humane.” Currently it has four working projects: the Public Policy Project, the Women in Prison Project, the Prison Visiting Project and the Juvenile Justice Project. The Prison Visiting Project is concerned with creating public knowledge:
The Prison Visiting Project produces reports, presents at forums, and engages in activities aimed at educating the public about prison conditions, the high cost of incarceration and the need for alternatives. The Project also works with legislators, corrections officials, former prisoners, service providers and community organizations to develop more humane prison policies.
The Prison Visiting Project’s activities are broadly consistently with the Prison Association’s mission from its founding in 1844. That mission has tended to devalue, rather than promote, prisoners’ ordinary communication with their family and friends.
Many of the nineteenth-century annual reports of the Prison Association of New York are available online through Google Books and the Internet Archive. Nineteenth-century reports of the prison inspectors of New York are similarly available. The Prison Association of New York and the prison inspectors of New York engaged in an early bureaucratic turf battle.