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 Employer Education Act Goes From Concept to Practice*
The Employer Education Act, drafted by the David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy (DRCPP) and signed into law by the Governor, requires employers to provide a copy of Article 23-A of the Correction Law to job seekers when relying on a criminal background check during the hiring process. It also requires them to conspicuously post Article 23-A in the work place. Recently, the Labor Law Compliance Center (LLCC), one of the largest suppliers of Labor Law Posters in the United States, has contacted all of its NYS customers to advise them to purchase the updated 2009 poster with the requirements specified in the Employer Education Act. DRCPP is currently working on a larger education and communications campaign, which will further educate New York State employers, jobseekers and other stakeholders about protections against employment discrimination based on criminal records.
*The Exempt Income Protection Act Protects Low Income New Yorkers from Abusive Debt Collection Practices*
The Exempt Income Protection Act (EIPA) which was signed into law last year and went into effect on January 1, 2009 prevents banks from freezing the first $2,500 in a bank account when people's bank accounts contain directly deposited exempt funds such Social Security, SSI, Veteran Benefits, Unemployment, Child Support and others. Those who do not receive Social Security or other exempt funds will also have up to $1,716 of their earned income protected by the law.
OSPRA Appeals Hearing Overturns Denial of Clearance of Employment Based on Old DWI Convictions: After an appeal by Monroe County Legal Assistance Center, Office of School Personnel Review and Accountability(OSPRA) overturns denial of clearance for employment for a public school district custodian who had worked in such capacity for years without incident because of his past DWI convictions. Decision was based on the fact that Appellant's employment did not create an "unreasonable risk" to any individual or property, as well as his substantial progress towards achieving rehabilitation, and because of the district's decision to consistently allow him to return to work even with the knowledge of his criminal record. Click to read the decision and Memorandum.
Transition Paper for the Federal Trade Commission: It’s Time to Regulate the Background Screening Industry: Authored by Community Legal Services in partnership with several other legal organizations, this report is directed to the transition team of the Federal Trade Commission about the need for federal oversight and application of the Fair Credit Reporting Act to background screeners. Click here to read the report.
Report on Collateral Consequences of Non Criminal Adjudications: Report by The New York County Lawyers' Association (NYCLA) calling for the immediate creation of a procedure to address the collateral consequences of non-criminal convictions to petty offenses. The report acknowledges the worsening problem of collateral consequences for non-criminals, particularly with the advent of electronic databases. The report also offers legislative proposals to directly address the matters. Click here to read the report.
Public Defense - Leading the Way to Racial Justice: In the summer of 2008, the Community Oriented Defender Network ("COD") and the American Council of Chief Defenders ("ACCD") convened Public Defense: Leading the Way to Racial Justice. Over 50 individuals from over 20 public defender offices came to New York City to attend the two-day training conference. Discussion addressed the myriad ways in which racial and ethnic bias pervade the criminal justice system and creative ways in which defenders can confront these issues with an eye toward harnessing the power of government to effect change. Visit the Brennan Center's website to access download videos and conference materials.
Remember to visit Past Resources of the Week for highlighted reports, toolkits, and training materials from the past year.
*Upcoming Events & Opportunities*
New Directions for New York: A Public Health and Safety Approach to Drug Policy: The New York Academy of Medicine and the Drug Policy Alliance have come together to convene a conference to develop new policy solutions that take advantage of existing, effective public health and safety tools in our city and state. The New Directions for New York conference will encourage participants to develop concrete intervention and policy proposals for New Yorkers affected by substance use and misuse.The confference will be held on Thursday evening, January 22 & Friday, all day, January 23, 2009 at The New York Academy of Medicine. For more information, please contact Simone-Marie Meeks at 212.822.7372 or firstname.lastname@example.org
New York Reentry Roundtable: The monthly roundtable series on the issues affecting the formerly incarcerated as they reenter the community will convene to discuss "Challenges of Reentry and the Service Systems" with guest speaker Robert Carmona, founding executive director & President of East Harlem Employment Service Inc/STRIVE. The New York Reentry Roundtable is hosted by the Community Service Society and will be held on January 21, 2009 from 1-3PM. For more information, please contact Gabriel Torres-Rivera at 212.614.5306 or email@example.com
From Prison to Empowerment: Women Advocates Take on the Criminal Justice: Women are the fastest growing segment of the prison population yet their voices are often marginalized in criminal justice reform debates. This panel will highlight how formerly incarcerated women are advocating to influence and guide public policies that directly affect their lives. Food and refreshments will be served. The event is sponsored by NYU Students for Criminal Justice Reform, Women in Prison Project, Women's Prison Association will be held on January 28 , 2009 at 6:30PM. Visit the website to register.
Investing in Education in Prison and in the Community: Please join members of the sixth class of the Women's Advocacy Project of the Women's Prison Association as we present our policy recommendations on the topic of Investing in Education in Prison and in the Community and celebrate our graduation from the year-long program. The event will be held on January 29, 2009 at 5:45PM. Please RSVP by January 22 by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a voicemail at 646-292-7755.
Making Your Business Work: Employing Qualified Individuals with Criminal Records: The National H.I.R.E. Network, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce , Workforce Professionals Training Institute present a forum bringing together employers and workforce providers to better understand the legal issues surrounding employment and strategies for the successful hiring and retention of qualified workers with criminal records. Major Topics will include: Information about wage subsidies, tax incentives and other financial supports for employers, the legal framework for hiring and supervising individuals with a criminal record and understanding the role of workforce development organizations. The event will be held on January 29, 2009 from 9AM to 12PM. Please register at the website.
Drugs, Pregnancy and Parenting: What the Experts in Medicine, Social Work and the Law Have to Say: This program features medical, social work, and legal experts as well as people with direct experience who will help distinguish myth from fact, evidence-based information from media hype and provide meaningful tools for improved advocacy, representation, care and treatment. Panelists will discuss current research on marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, as well as other areas of research regarding drug use, prenatal exposure to drugs, recovery, treatment and parenting. Recommended for those who practice or area of study involves criminal law, family law, child welfare law, advocacy on behalf of children, parents or families, pregnant and parenting women and their families or issues of drug use. The day-long event will be held on February 11 at 9AM. CLE/CEU credits are available. For more information, please contact Allison Guttu at 212.255.9252 or email@example.com
Connecting the Neighborhood Dots: Promoting Solutions to Dismantle the Pipeline to Prison: Please join CDF-New York, CUNY Medgar Evers College and Casey Family Programs for a one-day summit to kick off CDF's Cradle to Prison Pipeline Campaign in New York. This summit will bring together community and faith leaders, public officials, policymakers, youth, educators, child advocates and professionals in the fields of early childhood, health, mental health, child welfare, juvenile justice and youth development to develop a concrete plan of action to halt the pipeline to prison in New York. The summit is a partnership between CDF-NY, CUNY's Medgar Evers College and Casey Family Programs. To register, please visit www.childrensdefense.org/nysummit.
Remember to visit Reentry Net for full calendar listings and new job opportunities!