Reentry Resource Center - New York

Reentry Net/NY
Serving People from Arrest to Reintegration
March 2008 Resource Updates and Highlights

You are receiving this newsletter because you are a member of the New York State Reentry Resource Center, a network of more than 1,000 advocates and direct service providers from all around the state. Each month, we bring you resource highlights, news, and policy updates from the online resource center.

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* The City Shelves its Proposal for a $375 Million Jail in the South Bronx *
The Bloomberg administration has withdrawn its plan to build  the Oak Point Detention Center in the Bronx, which has been oppossed by community groups as well as elected officials. The Department of Corrections has noted that it will, however, continue to seek a suitable site for a jail in South Bronx.

* Study Finds 1 in 100 Americans are Incarcerated *
A new report from the Pew Center on the States says 2,319,258 Americans were in jail or prison at the start of 2008 — one out of every 99.1 adults. Black men between the ages of 20-34 had the highest rate of incarceration with one in nine currently serving time. 1 in 36 of Hispanic adults are also currently behind bars. The reports also notes that prison spending has risen from $11 billion to more than $49 billion with an average annual cost of  $23, 876 per person. Click here to read the report.

* US Senate Passes the Second Chance Act *
On Tuesday, March 11, the U.S. Senate passed The Second Chance Act of 2007 (HR 1593), legislation designed to aid former prisoners coping with the challenges of reentry.  The Second Chance Act authorizes $362 million to states, local governments and nonprofit prisoner reentry organizations to help former prisoners obtain job training, literacy training, substance abuse treatment, counseling, housing and mentoring services. The legistlation passed the House in November 2007 and now awaits the signature of President Bush before it can become law.  

* Advocates Push for Legislative Reforms for Incarcerated Women *
The Coalition for Women’s Prisoners gathered in Albany on March 4 to advocate policies that protect the rights of incarcerated women. Hundreds of formerly incarcerated women, concerned citizens, social service providers, students, faith leaders, and many others pushed for legislation that would give foster care agencies greater discretion to make fair decisions about termination of parental rights when a parent is incarcerated. The coalition is also supporting legislation that would allow women in prison as a result of domestic violence to be eligible for merit time and early release, and a bill that would require the state Department of Health to oversee and monitor HIV and Hepatitis C care in prisons. Additionally, the group is seeking legislation that would repeal the state's Rockefeller Drug Laws, and increase funding for drug treatment and alternative to incarceration programs. Click here to learn about the Correctional Association’s Women In Prison Project and its work with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women.


*Resource Highlights*

Understanding the Experiences and Needs of Children of Incarcerated Parents: The Urban Institute partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters organizations to obtain a qualitative perspective on the experiences and needs of children with incarcerated parents through a series of focus groups with adult volunteers mentoring those children. The following report describes the results of the focus groups, with particular attention to differences within this population and to comparisons to similar children who do not have a parent involved in the criminal justice system. Click here (PDF) to read the report.

A Worker's Guide to the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) Application, Appeal and Waiver Process: A guide prepared by the National Employment Law Project (NELP), which provides an overview of the Transportation Security Administration's background check process for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), focusing primarily on the criminal record portion of the background check. Click here (PDF) to access it from the Reentry Net Library.

The Importance of an Individualized Assessment: Making the Most of Re-sentencing Under the Amended Crack Cocaine Guidelines:
This document written by Justice Strategies of the Center for Community Alternatives discusses the hurdles counsel may encounter in using the recent amendments to the federal crack cocaine guidelines to obtain a full re-sentencing of their clients, strategies for overcoming these hurdles, and the importance of a full mitigation investigation in taking advantage of this re-sentencing opportunity. Click here (PDF) to read the report.

Remember to visit Past Resources of the Week for highlighted reports, toolkits, and training materials from the past year.


*Upcoming Events & Opportunities*

Race, Crime and Justice: A Fresh Look at Old Questions: The 2008 Orison S. Marden Lecture presents Jeremy Travis, president of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. For decades, lawyers have been concerned about racial profiling by the police and racial disparities in the criminal justice system. In today's era of mass incarceration and aggressive quality of life policing, a new concern has emerged about the combined effect of law enforcement and criminal justice activities in communities of color. The Lecture will explore the phenomenon of the penetration of the justice system in these communities and is scheduled for March 19, 2008. 

Advocacy Day to Repeal the Rockefeller Drug Laws: On March 27, 2008, join the Drop the Rock Coalition for an Advocacy Day in Albany to speak out for repealing of the Rockefeller Drug Laws. To Sign up or for more information, visit the Drop the Rock website or contact Caitlin Dunklee at 212-254-5700 or

Upcoming Forum on Pre-Booking Jail Diversion: Come join people directly affected, advocates, government officials, academics, and legal providers as they engage in an open discussion about the current state of the criminal justice system and how pre-booking jail diversion can be implemented to best service people with psychiatric disabilities. This Open Forum organized by Rights for Imprisoned People with Psychiatric Disabilities (RIPPD) is scheduled for June 4, 2008. Visit to register or contact Lisa Ortega (

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