Four reports by the NYCLU, Justice Mapping Center, The Sentencing Project and the Human Rights Watch find stark racial disparities in drug law enforcement and policing. The reports also show, among other things, racial bias in the implementation of the Rockefeller Drug Laws, and the ten-fold increase in the number of people arrested for possession of small amounts of marijuana in the past decade.
New York's Newly Increased Mandatory Surcharges and Crime Victims Assistance Fees: The 2008-2009 New York budget carries with it increases in fees and surcharges that will be imposed on most people convicted of crimes and vehicle traffic offenses, 80% of whom are indigent. The chart prepared by Center for Community Alternatives (CCA) lays out the new fees enacted and signed in 2008-2009. Click here (PDF) to read the chart. Also see the report, "Sentencing for Dollars" also by CCA on the financial consquences of a criminal conviction.
Enhancing Employment Opportunities for Previously Incarcerated: New report prepared by New York City Bar Association Task Force on Employment Opportunities for the Previously Incarcerated. The Report discusses enhancing employment opportunities for the formerly incarcerated and thereby reducing recidivism as a crucial aspect of the administration of criminal justice. The report suggests that employment barriers may be heightened by the failure of employers to understand the laws under which they operate, as well as employers’ generalized misperceptions about job applicants with conviction histories. The report recommends that legal and other employers become familiar with workforce intermediaries and turns to them for support and assistance in identifying and employing qualified applicants. Click here to read the report.
Criminal Background Checks: What are your Rights?:Article prepared by the National HIRE Network explains the rights of both job-seekers and current employees concerning criminal background checks. The article discusses employer and consumer reporting agencies duties under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), how a person can report inaccuracies on a criminal record report and misconduct by reporting agencies, and highlights additional protections in state laws. Click here (PDF) to read the report.
New York Reentry Roundtable Advocacy Day 2008 Legislative Proposals: This year's legislative proposals agenda by the New York Reentry Roundtable covers issues such as employment & restoration of rights, voting rights, higher education, sentencing, health care and financial debt. Click here (DOC) to read the Agenda. Click here(DOC) for Advocacy Day 2008 talking points on the legislations.
Remember to visit Past Resources of the Week for highlighted reports, toolkits, and training materials from the past year.
*Upcoming Events & Opportunities*
New York Reentry Roundtable Advocacy Day: The New York City Reentry Roundtable, will hold its second annual Reentry Advocacy Day in Albany on Tuesday, May 20, 2008. Join advocates, family members and formerly incarcerated individuals to speak with legislators and staff about the challenges facing formerly incarcerated New Yorkers. For more information, contact Gabriel Torres-Rivera at (212) 614-5306 or email@example.com.
Prisoner Art Show Exhibit: Critical Resistance NYC Presents an inside view of our talented, caged brothers and sisters. Curated by Carol Strick. Live performances by Spiritchild, Freeborn & Others.Food & Refreshments Available with Donation. The event is scheduled for Saturday, May 17 2008 and art work will be shown through May 31. For more information, call Critical Resistance at 718-676-1660.
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. Open Forum organized by Rights for Imprisoned People with Psychiatric Disabilities (RIPPD) is scheduled for June 4, 2008.Visit www.rippd.org to register or contact Lisa Ortega (firstname.lastname@example.org)