1936/1944 Jail Rules Booklet
Forerunner to Current Statewide Minimum Standards
The New York State Commission of Correction's 1936/1944 Regulations for Management of County Jails, whose booklet page texts and page images are featured in this New York Correction History Society presentation, were forerunners to the SCOC's current Minimum Standards for County Jails and Penitentiaries, Title 9, (Executive) Part 7000.
To appreciate the significance of the booklet regulations, here is some background information:
The State Commission of Correction, like many other agencies in New York State (Health, Agriculture & Markets, Mental Health) is authorized to write and promulgate rules and regulations that have the force and effect of law.
New York State Correction Law Section 45(6) requires the Commission to use that rule-making authority to (among other things) promulgate rules and regulations establishing minimum standards for the care, custody, treatment of inmates and for the management of all correctional facilities.
So the regulations are the standards, but they are somewhat unique because they are enforceable in court as though they were laws. Many other states do not have this arrangement.
The State Commission of Correction's regulations that set the Minimum Standards enforced by SCOC, are found in Title 9, Executive. There are Chapters for county jails, state prisons, town and village lockups, etc. The citation for, say, health services in a county jail would be 9NYCRR Part 7010 Health Services.
The Commission was an independent oversight body from 1895 to 1926 when it was subsumed into the Department of Correctional Services. That Commission was abolished in 1973 (after the Attica uprising) and the modern Commission established in 1975.
The Commission had first adopted Regulations for City Jails, Town and Village Lockups in 1924, then Regulations for Management of County Jails in April 1936. At that time there was no comprehensive compilation of New York State regulations, each rule-making agency maintained its own.
In 1945 the State compiled them in one set of volumes with a uniform format and rationalized numbering system. This is called the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations (NYCRR).
They were grouped by programmatic subject, e.g.,Health, Correctional Services, Mental Health, Education, etc. The program areas were referred to as Titles and were assigned numbers. Health as Title 10; Correctional Services as Title 7.
In the first compilation of regulations of the various agencies of the state made in 1945, the Commission's standards appeared as Title 7(Correctional Services), NYCRR Part 100. Part 100 was repealed and renumbered as 7NYCRR Part 5100 in 1970, substantially amended in 1972, then moved to Title 9, (Executive) Part 7000 et seq. in 1976, the modern Commission having been removed from Correctional Services and reestablished as an independent body in 1975.
So to summarize, in New York, the Minimum Standards are standards that are written as regulations and have the force and effect of law. They aren't advisory or guidelines, they are the law, an important distinction. The current ones in NYCRR Title 9, (Executive) Part 7000 have among their antecedents the 1936/1944 regulations presented here.
Alan J. Croce,
The actual text of the SCOC's 1936/1944 Regulations for Management of County Jails is in the public domain. But the NYCHS web pages on which that text appears in this presentation are not in the public domain.
Nor are NYCHS' cropped, enlarged and enhanced JPG and PDF images of the 1936/1944 Regulations printed pages. NYCHS reserves and retains all its rights with respect to its web presentation pages and such images.
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