How You Can Help

ADVOCATE ON BEHALF OF PLS

PLS is primarily funded by New York State. In January of every year, when the Governor issues his Executive Budget, he has to make decisions about what programs to fund. When the Legislature votes to adopt the budget, it too has to make decisions on what programs should be funded. 

For 40 years the State has chosen to fund PLS, but the funding we have received has not kept up with the demand. This year the Governor has once again included PLS in his Executive Budget, but we need your help to encourage the Legislature to add to the Governor’s proposed funding so that PLS will have the funding needed to do the job we have been tasked to do.

Contacting your elected representatives and letting them know that funding PLS is a wise investment for New York State can go a long way to ensuring PLS’ continued existence.

Below are things you can do to encourage state lawmakers to continue to provide funding for PLS.


1. Contact the Leaders of the Assembly and the Senate.

Speaker Carl Heastiehttp://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/Carl-E-Heastie/bio/
District Office
1446 East Gun Hill Road
Bronx, NY 10469
Phone: (718) 654-6539
Fax: (718) 654-5836

Albany Office
LOB 932
Albany, NY 12248
Phone: (518) 455-3791
Fax: (518) 455-4812
E-mail: Speaker@assembly.state.ny.us

 
Speaker Pro Tempore Jeffrion Aubry: http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/Jeffrion-L-Aubry/
District Office
98-09 Northern Boulevard
Corona, NY 11368
Phone: (718) 457-3615
Fax: (718) 457-3640

Albany Office
646 LOB 12248
Phone: (518) 455-4561
Fax: (518) 455-4565
Email: AubryJ@assembly.state.ny.us
 

Assembly Majority Leader Joseph D. Morelle: http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/Joseph-D-Morelle/
District Office
1945 East Ridge Road
Rochester NY 14622
Phone: (585) 467-0410
Fax: (585) 467-5342

Albany Office
926 LOB
Albany, NY 12248
Phone: (518) 455-5373
Fax: (518) 455-5647

 
Senate Majority Leader John J. Flannigan: 
https://www.nysenate.gov/senators/john-j-flanagan
District Office
260 Middle Country Road, Suite 102
Smithtown , NY 11787
Phone: (631) 361-2154
Fax: (631) 361-5367

Albany Office
Room 330, State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-2071
Fax: (518) 426-6904
Email: flanagan@nysenate.gov

 
Deputy Majority Leader Senator John A. DeFrancisco: https://www.nysenate.gov/senators/john-defrancisco
District Office
800 State Office Building, 333 E. Washington Street
Syracuse, NY 13202
Phone: (315) 428-7632
Fax: (315) 472-4157

Albany Office
416 CAP
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-3511
Fax: (518) 426-6952

 

2.  Contact the Chairs of Important Assembly and Senate Committees

Call or write them on our behalf.


Assemblyman David Weprin, Corrections Committee Chair: http://nyassembly.gov/mem/David-I-Weprin/
District Office
185-06 Union Turnpike
Fresh Meadows, NY 11366
Phone: (718) 454-3027
Fax: (718) 454-3178

District Office
111-12 Atlantic Ave., #5
Richmond Hill, NY 11419
Phone: (718) 805-2381
Fax: (718) 805-2384
Email: weprind@nyassembly.gov


Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol, Committee on Codes, Chair: http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/Joseph-R-Lentol/
District Office
619 Lorimer Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Phone: (718) 383-7474
Fax: (718) 383-1576


Albany Office
632 LOB
Albany, NY 12248
Phone: (518) 455-4477
Fax: (518) 455-4599


Senator Patrick M. Gallivan, Crime, Victims, Crime and Corrections, Chair: https://www.nysenate.gov/senators/patrick-m-gallivan
District Office
272 Transit Road #116
Elma, NY 14059
Phone: (716) 656-8544
Fax: (716) 656-8961
 
Albany Office
512 LOB
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-3471
Fax: (518) 426-6949
Email: gallivant@nysenate.gov

 
Senator Jamaal Bailey, Crime Victims, Crime and Correctionshttps://www.nysenate.gov/senators/jamaal-bailey
District Office
959 E. 233rd Street
Bronx , NY 10466
Phone: (718) 547-8854
Fax: (718) 515-2718
Email: bailey@nysenate.gov

Albany Office
Room 707 Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-2061
Fax: (518) 426-6998


Senator Velmanette Montgomery, Crime Victims, Crime and Correction; Children and Families:

https://www.nysenate.gov/senators/velmanette-montgomery
District Office
30 Third Avenue
Brooklyn , NY 11217
Phone: (718) 643-6140
Fax: (718) 237-4137

Albany Office

903 Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-3451
Fax: (518) 426-6854 
Email: montgome@nysenate.gov

 

3.  Contact your Local Assembly Members and Senator


If you do not know who your Assembly or Senate representative is go to: http://www.elections.ny.gov/district-map/district-map.html type in your address and hit enter. Information on your elected representatives will appear on the right-hand side of your screen. If you click on the name of your representative, you will be able to access contact information for that person.

Support from rank and file members of the Assembly and Senate is very important in making the legislative leaders see that PLS has broad support. Particularly important are Assembly and Senate members in locations where PLS has an office. When you call or write their offices, identify yourself as a constituent.

4.  Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, especially in locations where PLS has an office.

Local education makes a difference. Let your elected representative know about PLS and need for adequate legal services to protect the basic human rights of incarcerated New Yorkers.

 



Dear Editor:

I am writing today to encourage the New York State Legislature to include funding for Prisoners’ Legal Services (“PLS”). Without funding, PLS will not be able to provide critical legal services to incarcerated individuals in New York State.

Over 40 years after the Attica riots and their devastating results, New Yorkers are still aware of how critical it is to provide non-violent conflict resolution. PLS was created to provide exactly that – access to non-violent conflict resolution, competent legal advice and effective representation for all of New York States 51,000 incarcerated men and women.

Their dedicated work enables PLS to respond to over 10,000 annual requests for assistance, improve prison conditions, correct jail time and sentencing errors, provide prisoners with sound legal advice, and reverse wrongful disciplinary actions. Consequently, PLS has created a safer and more cost-effective prison system by saving the State millions of dollars, reducing tensions in the prisons, avoiding unnecessary pro-se litigation, and contributing to the successful re-entry of inmates across the State. In fact, PLS saved New York taxpayers over $4 million in 2016 by correcting jail time and sentencing errors, restoring illegally withheld good time and removing people from being placed illegally in extreme isolation.

With national concern regarding the over-use of extreme isolation,  increases in allegations of brutality throughout the State and continued increases in prisoner complaints, it would be the cruelest of ironies for New York State to inadequately fund such an essential service as PLS.

5. Visit PLS at: www.plsny.org or on Facebook: Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York.


6. Please pass this information on to your family members, co-workers, friends and anyone who will listen and are willing to act now to ensure that PLS can continue to provide legal services to prisoners.