NYCHS presents Page 1 of the 19 original text pages of the Board of Correction's first publication (1978) of Minimum Standards for New York City Correctional Facilities.

Page 1 of 19 text pages.

SECTION 626 OF THE CITY CHARTER, EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 1977, Empowered the Board of Correction to set minimum standards governing all of the City's correctional facilities. After a lengthy process, the enclosed 16 standards were adopted by the Board on February 14, 1978. Pursuant to the Variance standard, the Board has granted delays in some of the effective dates. Additional standards are being prepared to meet the concerns of all relevant constituencies. Prisoners and correctional personnel should direct comments and questions concerning the standards to the Board representative in their institution. For more information, contact Dan Pochoda, Director of the Minimum Standards Unit.




Left is the Contents List of Parts. This web presentation links each entry in that list to its respective Part. Clicking a list entry takes you to its respective Part.

The above icon, linked back to the list, has been placed near the last Section in each Part, just before the start of the next Part.

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  1. Non-Discriminatory Treatment
  2. Classification
  3. Overtime
  4. Personal Hygiene
  5. Overcrowding
  6. Lock-in
  7. Recreation
  8. Religion
  9. Access to Courts
  10. Visiting
  11. Telephone Calls
  12. Correspondence
  13. Packages
  14. Publications
  15. Access to Media
  16. Variances


1.1 Policy
1.2 Equal Protection
1.3 Hispanic Prisoners and Staff
1.4 Different Languages
1.5 Effective Date

Section 1.1 Policy
Prisoners shall not be subject to discriminatory treatment based upon race, religion, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, age or political belief.

Section 1.2 Equal Protection
Page 1 of 1978 Minimum Standards.

Above is an image of Page 1 of the first publication (1978) of the Minimum Standards for New York City Correctional Facilities issued by the NYC Board of Correction, as given to NYCHS by former NYC DOC photographer Mark Mellett. NYCHS appreciates this and other archival material Mark Mellett has generously donated.

Click on the above image to bring up a larger JPG version (at the bottom of which is a link to click to return here).

Left is another image of Page 1 of the first publication (1978) of the Minimum Standards. Click on it to access an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) downloadable and printable scanned copy (892 Kb) of the original Page 1.

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(a) Prisoners shall be afforded equal protection and equal opportunity in all decisions including, but not limited to, work and housing assignments, classification, and discipline.

(b) Prisoners shall be afforded equal protection and equal opportunity in being considered for any available programs including, but not limited to, educational, religious, vocational, recreational, or temporary release.

(c) Each institution shall provide programs, cultural activities and foods suitable for those racial and ethnic groups with significant representation in the prisoner population, including Black and Hispanic prisoners.

(d) Nothing contained in this Part shall prevent the Department from utilizing rational criteria for a particular program or opportunity.

Section 1.3 Hispanic Prisoners and Staff
(a) Each institution shall have a sufficient number of employees and volunteers fluent in the Spanish language to assist Hispanic prisoners in understanding, and participating in, the various institutional programs and activities, including use of the law library and parole applications.

(b) Bilingual prisoners in each housing unit should be utilized to assist Spanish-speaking prisoners in the unit and in the law library.

(c) Communications on any significant matter from correctional personnel to prisoners, including, but not limited to, orientation, legal research, institutional programs, medical procedures, minimum standards and disciplinary code shall be in Spanish and English.

(d) Communications on any significant matter from correctional personnel to outside individuals or organizations regularly involved with New York City prisoners shall be in Spanish and English.

(e) Spanish-speaking prisoners shall be afforded opportunities to read publications and newspapers printed in Spanish, and to hear radio and television programs broadcast in Spanish. Institutional libraries shall contain Spanish language books and materials.

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NYC Board

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Bd. of
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Rose M.
Singer & Her
Rikers Jail

NY State Commission of Correction's current statewide
Minimum Standards for County Jails and Penitentiaries
and Minimum Standards for Police Lockups. Both PDFs.

Although the text of the 1978 NYC Board of Correction Minimum Standards for New York City Correctional Facilities is in the public domain, the other texts in this NYCHS presentation are not.
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They are copyrighted by the New York Correction History Society, with all rights reserved, either solely (such as image captions and various notes) or jointly with the respective identified authors.

NYCHS appreciates the board and board staff's cooperation and assistance during the presentation's preparation.

Although lacking the special features of this 2004 web presentation, an extremely large -- 20 Megabytes -- Adobe Acrobat PDF file of the 1978 booklet text is available.