The Correctional Association of New York, a nonprofit prison monitoring group, will ask a federal judge today to overturn a ban on the group’s chief inspector and to rescind new restrictions on association members responsible for producing an annual state of prisons report. The New York Times says the state imposed the restrictions in response to what a spokesman called scathing reports by the association that focus too much on what is wrong inside state prisons and not enough on what is right. The asociation’s prison-inspection director, Jennifer Wynn, was barred from visiting prisons after being accused of maintaining a secret personal correspondence with an inmate that violated the ground rules for prison inspectors. Wynn and her supervisors denied the charges.
Robert Gangi, the association’s executive director, said litigation was the last resort to defend the group’s statutory right to tour prisons and report to the legislature. Gangi said, “There is a history of New York State prison officials being very thin-skinned. This is definitely the negativity reasserting itself.”