Reentry Resource Center - New York

Reentry Net/NY
Serving People from Arrest to Reintegration
September 2010 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 2,000 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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*Resource Highlights*

Decision on De Minimis Breach of Bawdy House Exclusion Stipulation: In this Bronx Civil court post-hearing decision won by The Bronx Defenders, Judge McClanahan articulated the standards for de minimis breach of a stipulation and affirmed the court's ability to relieve a tenant of unduly harsh consequences. The issue before the court was whether a 66-year old rent controlled tenant and life-long resident of the same apartment should be evicted under a stipulation of settlement agreeing to the permanent exclusion of her long term partner after a criminal conviction. The landlord restored the proceeding to the court's calendar, seeking a warrant of eviction after the excluded household member allegedly returned to the premises a number of times. Judge McClanahan looked to the duration of the tenancy, the education level of the litigant, and the harm to the petitioner in his determination to reaffirm the court's decision.

How to Help: When a Person with Mental Illness Goes to Prison: This guide by The Urban Justice Center's Mental Health Project and the National Alliance on Mental Illness - New York State provides comprehensive information about the New York State prison mental health system and contains suggestions for supporting people with psychiatric disabilities in prison. The guide describes the services currently available for people with mental illness in prison as well as reforms related to disciplinary confinement, which take effect in July 2011. It explains how family members can best advocate for their loved ones to receive mental health treatment while in prison and assistance preparing for their release back to the community. The guide also includes information about how family members can get support for themselves and become involved in larger advocacy efforts to combat the criminalization of mental illness.

Partnering with Jails to Improve Reentry: A Guidebook for Community-Based Organizations: This guidebook by the Urban Institute provides community-based organizations(CBOs) with an overview of jail reentry and concrete steps to develop and sustain a reentry partnerships with their local jails. It also addresses difficulties that might arise and provides examples of strong partnerships between CBOs and jails that could serve as models.

Money Well Spent: How Positive Social Investments Will Reduce Incarceration Rates, Improve Public Safety, and Promote the Well-being of Communities: Using the District of Columbia as a case study to illustrate national concerns, this report by the Justice Policy Institute examines the relationship between poverty and involvement in the justice system. It highlights policies that have led to the rise of prison population and its effect on communities. The report also makes evidence-based recommendations to policy makers to prioritize and divert resources to housing, education, mental health services and job training in order to improve public safety and strengthen communities.

The Justice Atlas of Sentencing and Corrections: The Justice Atlas of Sentencing and Corrections is a public online tool created by the Justice Mapping Center for mapping the residential distribution of people involved in the criminal justice system. The tool serves as an additional dimension to help government agencies and non-profit organizations understand and address challenges to sentencing, prison population management, prisoner reentry, community supervision, and justice reinvestment policies. Using aggregate address data, the Justice Atlas allows users to view incarceration rates, probation parole numbers and the cost of imprisonment for 22 states.

11th Circuit Decision holds that Affirmative Misadvice on Civil Commitment is Ineffective Assistance of Counsel: Decision by the 11th Circuit held that affirmative misadvice on the risk of civil commitment resulting from a plea is ineffective assistance of counsel. The court applied the reasoning of Padilla v. Kentucky to describe the duty of defense counsel to provide specific, individualized advice on the risk of all penalties enmeshed with the criminal charges: "Even if one could argue that the law was unclear, the Supreme Court has noted that when the law is unclear a criminal defense attorney must advise his client that the 'pending criminal charges may carry a risk of adverse [collateral] consequences."

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


*Upcoming Events*

Coalition for Women Prisoners Conditions and Reentry Committee Meeting: Join the Coalition for Women Prisoners for a monthly meeting focused on improving conditions inside prisons and eliminating barriers that women face when they return home. The committee works to improve health services in prison and monitor the implementation of recently passed legislation that allows the NYS Department of Health to oversee HIV and Hepatitis C care in prison. The Committee is also creating a housing booklet to help women coming home to navigate the difficult process of securing housing. The meeting will be held on Thursday September 23 from 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM. For more information, contact Serena Alfieri at or (212) 254- 5700.

Prison to Prosperity Fair: The Prison to Prosperity Fair is a FREE day-long event to help the formerly incarcerated successfully reintegrate into society. The event will feature various workshops on entrepreneurship, employment, education , building social networks, legal protections , battling post-prison depression & stress, dress for success, strengthening family ties, personal finance, and much more. There will also be free books and giveaways, breakfast and lunch and information booths, plenary session, speakers. The event is sponsored The Riverside Church Prison Ministry, Fortune Society, Osborne Association and Exodus Transitional Community. The event will be held on Saturday, September 25th from 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM at The Riverside Church. Space is limited, please RSVP by clicking here.

Re-Entry Clinic: Certificates of Relief from Disabilities & Certificates of Good Conduct: Facing garriers to employment or housing because of a criminal record? The Office of Bronx Borough President and The Bronx Defenders present a free clinic to help individuals with conviction histories apply for Certificates of Relief from Disabilities and Certificates of Good Conduct. The event will be held on Thursday, October 14th from 10am - 3pm at the Rotunda of The Bronx County Courthouse 851 Grand Concourse. Space is limited. Please RSVP to (718) 590-3914.

Community Re-Entry Nights: Cephas/Peaceprints prison ministries and Catholic Family Center in Rochester:  Cephas/Peaceprints will hold an event geared towards employment and education for individuals re-entering the community. Food and refreshments will be served as potential employers talk and and engage in discussion. This is an ongoing event held on 4th Monday of each month, and is open to the public. The next event will be held onMonday September 27 from 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM Catholic Family Center Reentry building. For more information, contact Mark Swail at or 585-760-9193.

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