Reentry Resource Center - New York

Reentry Net/NY
Serving People from Arrest to Reintegration
April 2011 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 2,800 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*

Court of Appeals Affirms Apellate Division's Decision in Reversing Department of Education(DOE) Application of Article 23-A New York State Court of Appeals: New York State Court of Appeals concludes that DOE failed to comply with the minimum requirements of the Correction Law by not reviewing all of the documentation that the petitioner submitted and thus acted arbitrarily in denying petitioner's application for security clearance.

The Use of CHAIRS Reports as Criminal Background Checks:  In Onondaga County, many employers, volunteer organizations, and landlords use "CHAIRS" reports to screen applicants for jobs, volunteer opportunities, and housing. The CHAIRS report, however,  only a list of a person's arrests in Onondaga County without any information about whether or not the arrest actually resulted in a criminal conviction. The Center for Community Alternatives(CCA) conducted a study to evaluate the types and frequency of mistakes that occur on the CHAIRS reports. CCA's study reveals that a significant majority of CHAIRS reports includes information about one or more arrests that is protected from disclosure by New York's sealing statutes, Human Rights Law, and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NYSACDL) Supports Parole Reform: Article published in Atticus highlights NYSACDL's support for parole reform and makes a case for the for amending New York State's existing parole statute. The article written by Center for Community Alternatives highlights the significant number of people who are subject to a flawed parole release system; judicial concerns about the Parole Board engaging in defacto resentencing and its reliance on nature of the offense; and aligning Parole in accordance New York penal law's goal of successful reintegration as reasons for reform. The article also expresses support for the SAFE Parole Act and review some of the changes proposed. For more information about the SAFE Parole Act, visit the NYS Parole Reform Campaign's website or email parole.reform@gmail.com

Making Reform Reality blog: The Center for Community Alternatives (CCA) promotes reintegrative justice and a reduced reliance on incarceration through advocacy, services and public policy in pursuit of civil and human rights. CCA is pursuing the full implementation of the New York Drug Law Reforms, supported by a grant from the Open Society Institute. The Making Reform Reality blog tracks all recent case decisions related to resentencing and diversion under the 2009 Drug Law Reform Act

Reentry Courts: Looking Ahead: A Conversation about Strategies for Offender Reintegration: This report by the Center for Court Innovation summarizes a discussion of reentry courts by a group of policymakers, court practitioners, parole and probation administrators, and researchers. The discussion which was convened by the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance focused on reentry courts' achievements, challenges, and future prospects.

*New* Visit Reentry Net/NY Issue Modules: Visit Reentry Net's Padilla v. Kentucky Compliance Guide module to access useful resources on immigration consequences.  Along with our modules on Employment & Licensing, Housing and Discharge Planning, these serve as a starting point for accessing the resources available on Reentry Net, and direct users the most useful and frequently accessed resources from the Library. 

Remember to visit our Monthly Mailing Archive for highlighted reports, toolkits, and training materials from the past year.


*Upcoming Events*

Prisoners Are People Too! Community Education Meeting: Monthly meetings include documentary films and guest speakers discussing criminal justice and prison issues. The event will be held on April 25 at 6:30 PM. For more information, contact Karima Amin at or 716-834-8438.

The NEXT New York Conversation - Stop and Frisk: Even as violent crime rates in New York have dropped dramatically in the past 15 years, this controversial police procedure continues to divide law enforcement and community groups. Is "stop-and-frisk" an effective preemptive strategy for crime prevention or a case of racial profiling? The Greene Space partners with The New Press to present panelists on both sides of the issue in a discussion about how "stop-and-frisk" affects New Yorkers in their everyday lives. The event will be held on Monday, May 2 at 7PM. The event is free but registration is required.

New York State Prisoner Justice Network Legislative Awareness Day: Prisoner justice activists from around the state will gather in Albany on Tuesday, May 3 to talk with legislators and their staffs about issues including parole reform, the implementation of the SHU bill, prison closures, and others. Participants will network with each other, be briefed on the issues, and go in delegations to pre-arranged meetings with legislators. Participation is free but registration is required. Visit www.nysprisonerjustice.org to register, or call 518-434-4037 or e-mail nysprisonerjustice@gmail.com for more information.

The Use of Criminal Records in College Admissions Reconsidered: This event sponsored by the Prisoner Reentry Institute at John Jay College will feature a discussion on the findings from a first-of-its-kind study exploring the use of criminal history screening in college admissions procedures. panelist from Center for Community Alternatives, New York State Department of Correctional Services, and Exodus Transitional Community will lead the discussion. The event will be held on Friday, May 6 at 9 AM. For more information or to RSVP, email to pri@jjay.cuny.edu.

I’m Home . . . What Next? A Community Forum and Resource Fair: A FREE hands-on community forum for understanding what it takes to come home after incarceration, sponsored by the Bronx Reentry Working Group.  The event will be held 9AM-4PM on Saturday, May 7 at Bronx School for Law, Government, and Justice. For more information, contact Pamela Valera at 718-920-5682 or pamela.valera@einstein.yu.edu.

New York Reentry Roundtable Advocacy Day: The New York City Reentry Roundtable, a project of the Community Service Society of New York (CSS), will hold its annual Reentry Advocacy Day in Albany on Tuesday, May 10. 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 grivera@cssny.org.

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