Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

New York Prisoner's Crime and Sentence Prevents Family Reunion Program Participation

New York state prisoner Steve Williamson appealed the 2006 dismissal of his pro se action against the Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) for denying him participation in the Family Reunion Program (program). The state appellate court affirmed the judgment.

Williamson was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for beating and stabbing his sister in law, which resulted in her death. His 2004 application to enroll in the program was denied. DOCS personnel determined that his life sentence precluded participation in the program because it was designed to prepare family relations for a prisoner's release. The heinous nature of his crime was also taken into consideration. Two visits by Williamson’s mother were approved in 2005, the second being cancelled when the approval error was realized. Williamson filed suit, and then appealed after his case was dismissed by the trial court.

The Appellate Division for the New York Supreme Court held that the DOCS had appropriately considered all factors and that its determination was supported by a rational basis. See: Williamson v. Nuttall, 35 A.D.3d 926, 825 N.Y.S.2d 802 (N.Y.A.D. 3 Dept., 2006).

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login

Related legal case

Williamson v. Nuttall