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(a) Policy. People in custody shall not be subject to discriminatory treatment based upon race, religion, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, gender, disability, age or political belief. The term "person in custody" means any person in the custody of the New York City Department of Correction ("the Department"). "Inmate" and "prisoner" both mean "person in custody" throughout this Title, and the Board will modernize to person-forward language in promulgating rules, so as to phase out the use of "inmate" and "prisoner". "Detainee" means any person in custody awaiting disposition of a criminal charge. "Sentenced prisoner" means any person in custody serving a sentence of up to one year in Department custody.
(b) Equal protection.
(1) Prisoners shall be afforded equal opportunity in all decisions including, but not limited to, work and housing assignments, classification, and discipline.
(2) 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.
(3) Each facility 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.
(4) Nothing contained in this section shall prevent the Department from using rational criteria for a particular program or opportunity.
(c) Hispanic prisoners and staff.
(1) Each facility 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 facility programs and activities, including use of the law library and parole applications.
(2) Bilingual prisoners in each housing unit should be used to assist Spanish-speaking prisoners in the unit and in the law library.
(3) Communications on any significant matter from correctional personnel to prisoners, including, but not limited to, orientation, legal research, facility programs, medical procedures, minimum standards and disciplinary code shall be in Spanish and English.
(4) 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.
(5) 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. Facility libraries shall contain Spanish language books and materials.
(d) Different languages.
(1) Prisoners shall be permitted to communicate with other prisoners and with persons outside the facility by mail, telephone, or in person, in any language, and may read and receive written materials in any language.
(2) Provisions shall be made by the Department to assist in assuring prompt access to translation services for non-English speaking prisoners.
(3) Procedures shall be employed to ensure that non-English speaking prisoners understand all written and oral communications from facility staff members, including but not limited to, orientation procedures, health services procedures, facility rules and disciplinary proceedings.
(Amended City Record 7/22/2019, eff. 8/21/2019)