Projects of Note
PRAC works on a wide range of projects in support of the incarcerated. Highlights include:
"Release Bags" - filled with toiletries, a blanket, towel/washcloth, etc. provided - filled with in-kind items donated by the community - for women upon their release and who are going to live in a homeless shelter.
Fans - With the sweltering heat in the Summer of 2023 and climate change predicting increasingly hot summers, PRAC has worked with other organizations to make known the need for fans for the incarcerated. Enough fans were donated for the 800 people incarcerated in the two facilities. PRAC will continue working with DOCCS to examine longer term solutions.
Correctional Facility Employment - Opportunities for the Bedford Community: MaryAnn Carr and Sharon Ballen
Masks - for the women in prison during COVID: Anne Lloyd
Soap - The community has donated over 50,000 bars of soap for the women in our correctional facilities to use during COVID. The collection of soap continues, as does COVID. Donations may be left on the porch of the Church House of Katonah Presbyterian Church at 31 Bedford Road, Katonah. Coordinator: Elizabeth Friend-Ennis
Sidewalk Development - Working with former U.S. Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney who put funds for this sidewalk in his Biden Infrastructure Bill request, the new sidewalk will be built in 2024. This will permit families and staff to walk safely from the train station and the bus station.
Transgender Rights in Prison - Working initially with the Deputy Superintendents of Programs and the Superintendents of both Taconic and BHCF, and then with NYS DOCCS Associate Commissioner and Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Coordinator, as well as the DOCCS Assistant Deputy Superintendent for LGBTIQ+ Inclusivity, as well as with professionals from The LOFT and the Women's Prison Association, a support group of the transgender population in our local correctional facilities is being planned and formed and efforts are underway.
Endeavor Therapeutic Horsemanship - brought its therapeutic program (and its horses) within facilities beginning in April 2023. Each program lasts six weeks, and then a new group of the incarcerated start the program. It is an extremely popular and sought-after program.
Ambulance Corps - When the ambulance is called for an emergency to our correctional facilities, the process of entering the facility needs to be streamlined. PRAC is working with the Ambulance Corps and the Superintendents of both facilities to work on a shortened processing time.
Arts Committee - The Arts Committee works with local arts organizations to bring music, theatre, poetry readings, etc. into the facilities. This new committee has already brought the Caramoor Quartet-in-Residence into the facilities to perform. Their work is ongoing and expanding.
Steward House - PRAC is working with DOCCS to determine ways to possibly renovate the Steward House, located at the entrance of Bedford Hills Correctional Facility to be used for family reunification.
All Souls Day Prayer Service - attendance at this annual prayer service hosted by the Interfaith Prison Partnership and the leaders at the Taconic Correctional Facility. Click here to read 2023 coverage of the annual event.