On October 1st, The Erie County Prisoners' Rights Coalition (at that time known as the Buffalo Prison Abuse Project) convened before the Community Enrichment Committee of the Erie County Legislature in a public forum. On this occasion, we presented the Legislature with a resolution stating what we, as a community, demand the standards of our prisons be. The portion of this resolution that states our demands is reprinted below. For more information on the Commissary Fund or the condition of the prisons in general that has prompted these demands, please read our statement on the Home page:

1. Allow the U.S. Justice Department and the New York State Attorney General full and free access to the Erie County Holding Center and Correctional facility so as to complete their investigations.

2. Enact all recommendations contained in the U.S. Justice Department's report immediately.

3. Upon request, allow weekly access to these facilities to the general public.

4. Reestablish the Community Advisory Board, a citizen board placed in oversight of the prisons, which, for many years, prevented the prisons from stooping to such standards as they have regretably fallen into today.

5. Immediately take all steps necessary to end brutality committed against inmates, whether stemming from ill treatment by employees of the facilities or from violence between inmates/detainees; and to this end, immediately cease mandatory overtime requirements.

6. Immediately provide full and proper access to quality medical and mental health care and clean housing, adequate toilet facilities, and cleanliness products.

7. Ensure that all inmates/detainees commissary funds be spent only for prisoner's rehabilitation programs in compliance with New York State Correction LAw, section 45.

8. Ensure the freedom of religion for all inamtes, allowing proper access to prisoners of religious counselors/leaders of every faith.

9. Cease all practices of overcrowding.

10. Make racial, gender, class, religious and LGBT sensitivity training mandatory for all employees of these facilities.

11. Make Sherriff Department employees' salaries public knowledge, as posted on their website.

12. Acknowledge the responsibility and obligation to comply with these reasonable demands to restore the natural, human, consitutional and civil rights of the inamtes/detainees of the Erie County Correctional Facility and the Erie COunty Holding Center, or step down from office.

13. Provide prompt and speedy arraignment for new inamtes, under no circumstances exceeding 24 hours.

Prior to the Sherriff's Department's budget hearings with the County Legislature on October 27th, section 7 of our demands was expanded to more fully address the circumstances of inmates illegally misallocated commissary funds. We asked on this occasion that the County:

1. Reimburse the Commissary Fund the full $1,095,658 U.S. misapplied by the Sherriff.

2. Thereafter use the total $2,335,658 U.S. balance of the Commissary Fund exclusively for the purposes of prisoners' welfare and rehabilitation, in pursuance of NYS Correction Law 45 (6) Section 7016.1.

County Public Safety Committee Hearing - July, 2010