Public Resources

Resources of the Week 2007

 

Each week, we choose a resource from the Reentry Net/NY library to highlight for advocates.  Often it is a new resource by one of many advocacy organizations around New York State that we are helping distribute; sometimes it is an older resource from the library that we think is particularly helpful and underused.  Below are all Resources of the Week from 2007.  Click here to access the archive of Resources of the Week for 2006.

 

To download individual items in the Resource of the Week archive, you must be a member of Reentry Net/NY.  If you are already a member, make sure you are logged in.  If not, you can register for a free membership by filling out the simple Join Form.

 

December 16, 2007

Favorable New York State Supreme Court Decision Upholding Due Process for DOE Certification Applicants With Criminal Records

Author Organization: Supreme Court of the State of New York

Description: Judge partially denies Department of Education's motion to dismiss in a case involving the application for certification of bus drivers/escorts who had criminal convictions where the Judge holds that there could be due process violations for those applying for certification, as well as those who already have certification.

 

December 10, 2007

Reentry Net/NY Links / Get Help

Author Organization: Reentry  Net

Description: The updated Links / Get Help page (formerly "Find a Service Provider" includes links to LawHelp and other legal referral services; links to directories of service providers for the reentry community in New York City, Westechester County, Albany & the Capital District, Rochester & Monroe County, and Ulster County; Resources for families, for attorneys representing institutionalized clients, for job-seekers, treatment seekers, and those wishing to post bail in New York City.

 

December 3, 2007
A 25-Year Quagmire: The War on Drugs and Its Impact on American Society
Author Organization: The Sentencing Project
Description: The report documents how the drug war has produced a record expansion of prison and jail systems and highlights additional indicators of the war's impact on the criminal justice system and communities, including: Drug arrests have more than tripled since 1980 to a record 1.8 million in 2005; Four of five (81.7%) drug arrests were for possession offenses, and 42.6% were for marijuana charges in 2005; Nearly six in 10 persons in statep rison fora drug offense have no history of violence or high-level drug selling; And only 14% of persons in 2004 who report using drugs in the month before their arrest had participated in a treatment program, a decline of more than half from participation rates in 1991.

The report also provides policy recommendations that can help effectively reinvest government resources in community safety by encouraging comprehensive drug treatment and prevention strategies to address drug addiction.


November 26, 2007
Unlocking America: Why and How to Reduce America's Prison Population
Author Organization: JFA Institute
Description:
This report focuses on how we can reduce the nation?s prison population without adversely affecting public safety. For this to happen, we will need to reduce the number of people sent to prison and, for those who do go to prison, shorten the length of time they spend behind bars and under parole and probation surveillance. People who break the law must be held accountable, but many of those currently incarcerated should receive alternative forms of punishment, and those who are sent to prison must spend a shorter period incarcerated before coming home to our communities. Our recommendations would reestablish practices that were the norm in America for most of the previous century, when incarceration rates were a fraction of what they are today. 

November 19, 2007
National H.I.R.E. Network Update on the Federal Second Chance Act
Author Organizatin:
National H.I.R.E. Network, Legal Action Center
Description: The US House of Representatives passed HR 1593 - the Federal Second Chance Act of 2007 - by a 347 to 62 vote.  The House bill authorizes up to $55 million in grants to state and local governments to develop reentry initiatives that will facilitate reintegration and support the reentry process for individuals released from jail and prison, and a $15 million reentry program for community and faith-based organizations to deliver mentoring and transitional services.  Click
here for additional background materials in the Reenry Net National Library.

November 5, 2007
The Future of Sentencing in New York State: A Preliminary Proposal for Reform
Author Organizatin: New York State Commission on Sentencing Reform
Description:
The preliminary report of the New York State Commission on Sentencing Reform.  The Commission was established by Governor Eliot Spitzer via Executive Order 10 in March 2007 to "conduct a comprehensive review of New York?s 'current sentencing structure, sentencing practices, community supervision and the use of alternatives to incarceration' in order to provide the State with 'crucial guidance to ensure the imposition of appropriate and just criminal sanctions, and to make the most efficient use of the correctional system and community resources.'"

The Commission's preliminary report addresses:
- A historical overview of sentencing trends in New York State
- Sentencing reforms including 
     - Adoption of a primarily determinate sentencing scheme in New York;
     - Consdieration of drug sentencing reform (the "Rockefeller Drug Laws"); and
     - Quality and accessibility of substance abuse treatment
- Reducing Recidivism
- Crime Victims and Sentencing
- The establishment of a permanent Sentencing Commmission for New York State.


October 29, 2007
License to Work: How to Represent a Person With a Criminal Record in a Security Guard License Hearing
Author Organization:
MFY Legal Services
Description:
Employment as a private security guard in New York State requires licensing by the New York State Department of State.  While applicants for security guard licenses who have prior criminal convictions are likely to be denied in initial applications for licensing, they also have a right to a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to appeal the denial.  During this hearing, if the applicant can demonstrate sufficient evidence of her own rehabilitation since the time of her conviction the Judge may overturn the denial and grant the applicant a license.
This manual is a step by step guide than any advocate - including a paralegal, a caseworker, a job counselor, a family-member, or an attorney - can use to represent an applicant for a security guard license who has been denied on the basis of a criminal record.  While it is specific to security guard licensing hearings, it may also be useful for preparing for other employment licensing hearings before the Department of State.  Click here to access the folder containing the complete manual and all attachments.


October 22, 2007

Post "Lopez" Pro Se Materials for Immigrants with Multiple Drug Possession Convictions

Author Organization: Immigrant Defense Project, New York State Defenders Association

Description: Pro Se Advisory and Sample Brief for immigrants with multiple drug possession convictions wishing to challenge whether their convictions are "aggravated felonies."  These materials are based on the Supreme Court?s ruling in Lopez v. Gonzales, 127 S. Ct. 625 (2006).  These materials are for informational purposes and are not meant to substitute for legal advice. 

October 15, 2007
Repaying Debt

Author Organization: Council on State Governments

Description: This publication, created with support from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs' Bureau of Justice Assistance, provides an overview of the financial obligations faced by people released from prisons and jails.  The reports recommendations encourage states to review policies addressing financial obligations and systems for collecting them; to coordinate distinct agencies' systems with regard to fees, fines, restitution, and other obligation; to enact child support enforcement policies that encourage non-custodial parents returning from prison or jail to maintain labor market participation; to ensure that victims receive restitution; to make certain that the imposition of new fees and fines do not reduce the ability of those reentering to pay child support and restitution; and to introduce a range of sanctions and incentives to encourage payment of financial obligations.

 

October 9, 2007
The Immigration Consequences of Deferred Adjudication Programs in New York City

Author Organization: Association of the Bar of the City of New York ? Committee on Criminal Justice Operations

Description: This report explains why non-citizens face deportation and other negative immigration consequences as a result of pleading guilty through deferred adjudication programs. It then discusses in further detail how these consequences affect defendants, their families and communities, as well as the key players in the criminal justice system including prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, court programs, and reentry service providers. It then presents some alternative approaches that would enhance immigrant participation in diversion and rehabilitative programs and preserve their ability to rejoin their communities as productive and law-abiding individuals.

 

October 1, 2007

The Consequences of Criminal Proceedings in New York State

Author Organization: The Bronx Defenders/Reentry Net

Description: Comprehensive manual on the civil legal consequences of criminal proceedings in New York State and strategies for mitigating and overcoming them, updated as of September 2007.  Includes information about criminal records, restoration of rights, employment, housing, immigration, public benefits, forfeiture, education, and civic participation, as well as practice tips and New York State Resources.

 

September 24, 2007

Education and Public Safety Policy Brief

Author Organization: Justice Policy Institute

Description: First of four in a new policy brief series on public safety.  The key findings of the report include: Graduation rates were associated with positive public safety outcomes; States that had higher levels of educational attainment also had crime rates lower than the national average; States with higher college enrollment rates experienced lower violent crime rates than states with lower college enrollment rates; States that made bigger investments in higher education saw better public safety outcomes; The risk of incarceration, higher violent crime rates, and low educational attainment are concentrated among communities of color, who are more likely to suffer from barriers to educational opportunities. Disparities in educational opportunities contribute to a situation in which communities of color experience less educational attainment than whites, are more likely to be incarcerated, and more likely to face higher violent crime rates.

 

September 17, 2007

State-by-State Survey - Employer Legal Liability for Hiring Individuals with Criminal Records

Author Organization: Commissioned by Goodwill Industries International, Inc.

Description: This memorandum reviews state laws governing an employer?s liability in the situation where an individual with a criminal record, hired by and working for the employer, commits a criminal act that causes injury to a third party.  Whether the injured party is a customer of the employer or a stranger, the employer may be liable for the employee?s criminal acts, or omissions.  Commissioned by Goodwill Industries International, Inc. and completed for distribution in September 2007.

 

September 10, 2007

Venturing Beyond the Gates: Facilitating Successful Reentry with Entrepreneurship

Author: Nicole Lindahl, Prisoner Reentry Institute, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Description: Nationwide, many formerly incarcerated individuals operate thriving businesses, and many microenterprise professionals work with currently and formerly incarcerated people to develop and grow their businesses. At the same time, representatives from the field of criminal justice are hungry for fresh approaches to prisoner reentry, and the nation?s attention is focused on questioning the last several decades of mass incarceration and effectively addressing the challenges posed by prisoners returning home.  This monograph explores opportunities that might emerge from collaboration between the fields of entrepreneurship and reentry.  The information, case studies and stories contained herein aim to inspire professionals across entrepreneurship, workforce development and criminal justice fields to recognize and embrace entrepreneurship and self-employment as appropriate and valuable tools for reintegration.

 

September 4, 2007

CEO's Rapid Rewards Program: Using Incentives to Promote Employment Retention for Formerly Incarcerated Individuals

Author: Jennifer L. Bryan, Alana Gunn, and Stephanie Henthorn, CEO Learning Institute

Description: Overview and findings of an evaluation of CEO?s Rapid Rewards Program begun in 2004.  This paper reports early results from a follow-up analysis of all participants who enrolled in CEO and were placed in jobs between July 1 and December 31, 2005, and after placement, worked at least 30 days in those jobs. We chose to include only those participants who worked at least 30 days because during a portion of this time period, enrollment in Rapid Rewards was only open to participants who met this criterion. We chose this particular time period in order to ensure that participants had a minimum of twelve months from their initial job start date to the close of the follow-up period (December 31, 2006). A total of 189 CEO enrollees met this criterion and comprised the study sample, including 98 (52 percent) participants who enrolled in the Rapid Rewards (RR) Program and 91 (48 percent) who chose not to enroll (NRR).

 

August 13, 2007

Finding Work on the Outside: Results from the Returning Home Project in Chicago

Author: The Urban Institute

Description: In 2002, researchers at the Urban Institute launched a longitudinal study of men being released from state correctional institutions in Illinois and returning to Chicago as part of the multi-state Returning Home project. This chapter presents an analysis of data gathered from interviews with these former prisoners before and after their release from Illinois prisons. Specifically, the chapter examines the workforce experiences of 400 men prior to their incarceration, then at an average of two months and six months after release. Few studies have focused on the characteristics of released prisoners who are successful in finding employment after leaving prison. Analyses reported in this chapter add the perspective of self-reports from a recent cohort of former prisoners to existing research. Data on pre-prison and in-prison employment histories and other individual, family, and community factors are analyzed, with an emphasis on how they relate to employment outcomes at about six months after release. Analyses reveal that less than 30 percent were employed at the time of the interview at six months after release and about half (49 percent) reported having worked at least one month since their release. Employment before prison, participation in job training during prison, strong family relationships, and an absence of health problems led to a greater likelihood of finding work after release. Implications of these findings for future research on the employment outcomes of former prisoners are discussed.

 

August 6, 2007

*Updated* Tips for Judges to Mitigate Collateral Sanctions

Author: The Bronx Defenders / Reentry Net

Description: Two-page summary of actions Judges can take to mitigate collateral sanctions of criminal proceedings in the areas of immigration, criminal record access and sealing, order of protection, financial consequences, and certificates of rehabilitation.  This resource has been updated as of July 2007.  For additional bench guides on the Collateral Consequences of Criminal Proceedings in New York State, Certificates of Relief from Disabilities, and Criminal Record Errors, visit the Judicial Training Materials folder in the Reentry Net/NY library.

 

July 30, 2007

Uneven Justice: State Rates of Incarceration by Ethnicity and Race

Author: The Sentencing Project

Description: A new analysis by The Sentencing Project provides a regional examination of the racial and ethnic dynamics of incarceration in the U.S., and finds broad variations in racial disparity among the 50 states. The report, Uneven Justice: State Rates of Incarceration by Race and Ethnicity, finds that African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six (5.6) times the rate of whites and Hispanics nearly double (1.8) the rate.

 

July 16, 2007

Prison Action Network Radio Interview Archive

Author: Prison Action Network

Description: Archive of interviews by the Prison Action Network, including "Voices from the Prison Action Network" stories of people most directly impacted by the criminal justice system and by incarceration, for use by not-for-profit organizations and for educational purposes.  Archives also include interviews with Glen Martin, co-director of the National H.I.R.E. Network, and Reentry Net NY Upstate Coordinator Ray Barnes.  Also visit the Reentry & Criminal Justice in the Media folder on Reentry Net/NY, for stories and reporting about reentry and the criminal justice system in audio, video, and print.

 

July 9, 2007

Resources on Criminal History and Eligibility to Participate in the Childcare Subsidy Program as a Childcare Provider

Author: Compiled by Reentry Net/NY

Description: These documents provide information about criminal history restrictions for individual child care providers working under the childcare subsidy program, overseen by the Office of Children & Family Services (OCFS).  Individuals wishing to participate in the program as childcare providers are subject to the same protections against criminal record-based discrimination as other job applicants.  The policy is stated briefly in the "Revised Health and Safety Requirements" and in more detail in on page 4 of "Attachment D: Guide to Reviewing Enrollment Form for Providers of Legally-Exempt Group Child Care." However, OFCS maintains a list of Crimes Against Children and Violent and Other Serious Crimes (Attachment H), which amount to presumptive disqualification from the program for potential providers.  Note that the policy does allow for exceptions to these disqualifications in "extraordinary circumstances." 

 

July 2, 2007

Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2006

Author: Bureau of Justice Statistics

Description: Presents data on prison and jail inmates collected from National Prisoner Statistics counts and the Annual Survey of Jails, 2006. This annual report provides the number of inmates and the overall incarceration rate per 100,000 residents for each State and the Federal system. It offers trends since 2000 and percentage changes in prison populations since midyear and yearend 2005. The midyear report presents the number of prison inmates held in private facilities, the number of prisoners under 18 years of age held by State correctional authorities, and the number of noncitizen prisoners. It includes total numbers for prison and jail inmates by gender, race, and Hispanic origin as well as counts of jail inmates by conviction status and confinement status. The report also provides findings on rated capacity of local jails, percent of capacity occupied, and capacity added.  Highlights include the following: On June 30, 2006, an estimated 4.8% of black men were in prison or jail, compared to 1.9% of Hispanic men and 0.7% of white men; For the 12 months ending June 30, 2006, State systems reported a larger increase than the Federal system in the number of inmates housed in private prisons; Between July 1, 2005 and June 30, 2006, the number of persons held in local jails increased 2.5% to reach 766,010 inmates, the lowest growth since the 1.6% increase in mid-year 2001.

Please also see The Institute on Women & Criminal Justice Responds to the Bureau of Justice Statistics' Report, prepared by the Institute on Women & Criminal Justice of the Women?s Prison Association.

 

June 25, 2007

Briefing Sheets on Women in the Criminal Justice System

Author Organization: The Sentencing Project

Description: The Sentencing Project is pleased to announce the publication of a series of briefing sheets on Women in the Criminal Justice System. The series documents the gender implications of changes that have occurred over the last 20 years within the criminal justice system, including expansive law enforcement, stiffer drug sentencing laws and re-entry barriers. The briefing sheets delve into family, socioeconomic and physical and mental health issues that women ? and their families ? face as a result of being incarcerated. Women in the Criminal Justice System contains five sections: Overview; Involvement in Crime; Mothers in Prison; Inadequacies in Prison Services; and Barriers to Reentering the Community.

 

June 18, 2007

Returning Home: Exploring the Challenges & Successes of Recently Released Texas Prisoners

Author Organization: The Urban Institute

Description: This research brief presents highlights from Returning Home - Texas, a longitudinal study of the challenges and successes of those leaving prison and returning to Houston area communities. Based on interviews with 352 men and women both before and up to a year after their release, this brief examines the role of in-prison and post-prison programs in the reentry process. Findings indicate that those who participate in job training, educational programs, and substance abuse treatment while incarcerated have better reentry outcomes and are less likely to return to prison. In addition, those on post-release supervision have greater access to community-based treatment.

 

June 11, 2007
Sex Offender Management and Treatment Act - Flow Chart for Civil Management
Author Organization: Center for Community Alternatives
Description: The Sex Offender Management and Treatment Act (SOMTA) was signed by Governor Spitzer in March 2007.  This flowchart was created by the Center for Community Alternatives to help advocates advise clients about the consequences of criminal convictions for sexual offenses. 
Click here for additional resources including the full text of SOMTA, sentencing guidelines and post-release supervision terms under SOMTA.

 

June 4, 2007

*Updated* Connections and the Job Search 2007

Author: The New York Public Library

Description: Connections is a resource directory of organizations serving people returning home to New York City from jail or prison, and people with criminal records.  The directory includes organizations that help with employment, housing, financial assistance, health, family services and counseling, addiction, and other legal problems; organizations that specifically serve women, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and people with disabilities; and organizations whose specific mission is to serve formerly incarcerated people.  The Job Search is a guide for formerly incarcerated people to the various steps involved in hunting for work. It discusses not only such issues as job interviewing and resume writing, but also such important questions as what you can do before leaving prison, how to avoid job discrimination as a formerly incarcerated individual, and telling the truth about your conviction(s) on a job application.

 

May 28, 2007

Information about the Federal Second Chance Act on Reentry Net

Description: The Second Chance Act currently has 92 bipartisan sponsors in the House of Representatives.  To approve the Second Chance Act under the suspension calendar, two-thirds of the House, or 290 Members, must vote in favor of the legislation.  The bill?s sponsors are currently working with the House leadership to schedule another vote and address concerns raised by several Republican members who are opposed to the bill.  Links to full text of the proposed legislation, co-sponsors, summary, and more information is available in the Reentry Net National Policy Library.

 

May 21, 2007

New York City Reentry Roundtable 2007 Advocacy Day Legislative Agenda

Sponsored by: Community Service Society of New York

Description: This legislative agenda brings together proposals and policy priorities affecting the reentry community on topics including Healthcare, Employment, Family Connections, Child Support, Education, Housing and Voting Rights.  The agenda was created and endorsed by members of the New York City Reentry Roundtable, convened by the Community Service Society in preparation for Advocacy Day in Albany, NY on May 22, 2007.  For more information contact Gabriel Torres-Rivera at grivera@cssny.org.

 

May 14, 2007

Impacts of Jail Expansion on New York State: A Hidden Burden
Author
: Dana Kaplan, Center for Constitutional Rights

Description:  This report on the expansion of jails in upstate and suburban New York finds that the recent increase in jail expansion is most often driven by the wishes of a little-known state agency ? the State Commission of Corrections (SCOC) ? rather than the needs and wishes of local municipalities. The jail expansion also comes at a time when the overall need for correctional space in New York State is decreasing, which raises questions about the motivation behind building new jails or expanding existing ones. Findings include: Between 1999 and 2006, the New York state prison population had dropped from 71,000 to 62,928 people, but the combined capacity of jails in upstate and suburban New York increased by 20 percent to a total of 19,984 beds in 2006, with 6,000 more beds due to be added by the end of 2007; jail construction has cost counties an estimated $1 billion with pursuant increases in property taxes; the growth in the number of people incarcerated in jails has not been caused by an increase in crime or by an increase in population.

 

May 7, 2007

Lawsuit Settlement Will Increase Treatment and Housing and Limit Solitary Confinement for Prisoners with Psychiatric Disabilities

Description: Disability Advocates, Inc. v. New York State Office of Mental Health and Department of Correctional Services, was filed in federal court in New York City in May, 2002.  The lawsuit alleges that individuals with psychiatric disabilities in Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) custody were spending up to 23 hours per day in solitary confinement as a result of untreated mental illness, were not receiving adequate mental health services, and as a result were experiencing further mental health deterioration.  The settlement provides minimum standards for treatment for individuals with serious mental illness, increased residential and out-of-cell treatment, improved mental health screening and suicide prevention assessments, limits on use of observation cells and the use of punitive measures, including solitary confinement.  More information, including a downloadable version of the complaint, can be found on the Disability Advocates, Inc. website.  

 

April 30, 2007

Reentry Net/NY Grants Clearinghouse

Description: A joint project of the New York City Discharge Planning Collaboration, the National H.I.R.E. Network, and Reentry Net, the Clearinghouse is a one-stop shop for information about funding opportunities and collaborative partnerships for the statewide reentry community.  Features of the Grants Clearinghouse include posted funding opportunities updated weekly, links to government agencies, and a list of private foundations that fund initiatives in the reentry field.  Organizational users are also encouraged to sign up for the Funding Partnerships E-mail Group, a low-volume e-mail discussion group designed to facilitate collaboration among grant-seekers in the reentry community.  Agencies seeking co-applicants for grants can e-mail the group with summary information about the grant and the types of organizations sought as partners.  To join, e-mail: FundingPartnerships-subscribe@mail.lawhelp.org

 

April 23, 2007

One Year Out: Experiences of Prisoners Returning to Cleveland

Author: Christy Visher, Shannon M.E. Courtney (The Urban Institute)

Description: This research brief presents findings from the Returning Home study in Cleveland, Ohio. Returning Home is a longitudinal study of prisoner reentry in Maryland, Illinois, Ohio, and Texas based on personal interviews with prisoners before and after their release from prison. Previous reports from the Ohio project examined prisoners' expectations for life after prison and their experiences in the first few months after release. This final report?"One Year Out: Experiences of Prisoners Returning to Cleveland"?describes the lives of nearly 300 former prisoners at least 12 months after release, including their ability to find stable housing and reunite with family, and identifies factors associated with getting a job, and avoiding substance use and return to prison (recidivism).  Also see the Impact and Cost Benefit Analysis of the Maryland Reentry Partnership Initiative.

 

April 16, 2007

Comments of The Legal Aid Society Prisoners' Rights Project on the Proposed Amendments to the Minimum Standards for NYC Correctional Facilities
Author: The Legal Aid Society, Prisoners? Rights Project

Description: These comments were submitted to the New York City Board of Correction, the oversight body responsible for setting minimum standards for conditions in New York City?s correctional facilities.  Proposed amendments to the current minimum standards include raising the cap on the number of people living in dorms from 50 to 60, 23-hour lock-in of all inmates who request protective custody, reduction of Spanish-speaking staff, denial of contact visits to newly admitted inmates, and requirement that pre-trial detainees wear uniforms.  Testimony based on these comments will be presented at the Public Hearing on the proposed amendments on April 17, 2007 in New York City.  Comments also include extensive information about conditions in jails in other cities with emphasis on crowding, and arguments about the effects of crowding on safety in jails. 

 

April 9, 2007

Article 78 Petition to Review Employment Denial by Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disability (OMRDD)

Author: Monroe County Legal Assistance Center

Description: Petitioner challenges employment denial that was based on a single misdemeanor conviction five years prior, for which she had obtained a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities (CRD).  Petition argues that Respondent violated New York State Human Rights Law and New York State Corrections Law Article 23-A by disregarding the statutory presumption of rehabilitation conferred by the CRD.  Petition includes model language demonstrating rehabilitation, outlines the administrative and appeal remedies available to Petitioner, and argues Causes of Action under Human Rights and Corrections Laws.  Petitioner won a Stipulation and Consent Order reversing the denial, available here.

 

April 2, 2007

Changing Direction?  State Sentencing Reforms 2004-2006

Author: Ryan S. King, The Sentencing Project

Description: Between 2004 and 2006, at least 22 states enacted legislative reforms to their sentencing policies, or adopted policy changes affecting probation and parole revocation procedures.  This report considers reforms driven by budget crises and falling crime rates, as well as established and new sentencing policies that put upward pressure on prison populations. 

 

March 26, 2007

Defender Toolkit: Using Knowledge of Collateral Consequences to Get Better Results in the Criminal Case

Author Organization: The Bronx Defenders

Description: From the moment of arrest, people are in danger of losing hard-earned jobs, stable housing, basic public benefits, and even their right to live in this country.  Recently, this landscape has changed drastically for the worse.  Recognizing this landscape, we must redefine ?reentry? as a process that begins at arrest and continues through community reintegration.  This toolkit offers tips for defenders for how to use knowledge of collateral consequences as a direct advocacy tool in criminal cases, as well as to mitigate long-term civil consequences of criminal proceedings.

 

March 19, 2007

Immigrants and Pleas in Problem-Solving Courts: A Guide for Noncitizen Defendants & Their Advocates

Author Organization: Immigrant Defense Project, New York State Defenders Association

Description: Problem-solving courts can give some defendants a chance to participate in rehabilitation programs and rejoin their communities rather than face time in jail or prison.  However, if you are a noncitizen, you might face deportation or other negative immigration consequences if you participate in certain problem-solving court programs. This guide explains why you are at risk, and what you and your attorney or reentry service provider can do to help you avoid these risks when working with problem-solving courts.  Also see additional new publications from the Immigrant Defense Project in the ?Training & Pro Se Materials for Advocates and Clients? subfolder of the Immigration folder in the Reentry Net/NY library.

 

March 12, 2007

Public Safety, Public Spending: Forecasting America?s Prison Population 2007-2011

Author Organization: Public Safety Performance Project, Pew Charitable Trust

Description: This report was prepared for the Public Safety Performance Project by the JFA Institute, a well-respected, Washington-based, nonprofit consulting firm. JFA is led by James Austin, Wendy Naro and Tony Fabelo, three nationally renowned researchers with deep expertise in state criminal justice policy and statistics. JFA conducts prison population forecasts under contract with a number of states, and several other states use JFA?s software to make their projections.

 

March 5, 2007

Advocacy Toolkits to Combat Legal Barriers Facing Individuals with Criminal Records

Author Organization: The Legal Action Center

Description: People with criminal records face a daunting array of counterproductive, debilitating legal barriers that make it much more difficult for them to succeed in almost every important aspect of life.  In order to help advocates eliminate these unfair roadblocks, the Legal Action Center has developed advocacy kits on 12 critically important policy, funding and legal issues that can be used to remove nearly all of the most harmful roadblocks to re-entry. Each advocacy kit contains some or all of the following: brief explanation of the roadblocks, why they need to be eliminated, and how to eliminate them; model laws and policies; action alerts; sample advocacy letters; and links to relevant sections of After Prison: Roadblocks to Reentry that provide additional information.

 

February 26, 2007
Recommendations of the American Bar Association Commission on Effective Criminal Sanctions

Author Organization: American Bar Association

Description: On February 12th the House of Delegates of the ABA approved all six recommendations of the Commission on Effective Criminal Sanctions, without dissent.  Access the summary of the recommendations and the four full reports.  The comprehensive recommendations provide a blueprint for change, including strategies to reduce reliance on incarceration, to avoid unnecessary revocations of parole and probation supervision, to improve representation relating to the collateral consequences of conviction, to mitigate the legal barriers to employment of people with convictions, to limit access to and use of criminal records for noncriminal justice purposes, and to train prosecutors and other criminal justice professionals in the exercise of discretion.

 

February 19, 2007

Sentencing for Dollars: The Financial Consequences of a Criminal Conviction

Author Organization: Center for Community Alternatives

Description: This paper looks at the current status of these penalties in New York State and provides examples of how these costs mount up for people who are unlikely to have the resources to pay these debts. In one example, we show how the various fines, fees and surcharges for a person convicted of a class E felony DWI can add up to more than $7,500. In another example, someone convicted of a drug offense can face more than $33,000 in surcharges, fees and child support upon their release from prison.

 

February 12, 2007

Reconsidering Incarceration: New Directions for Reducing Crime

Author Organization: Vera Institute of Justice

Description: Little empirical study had been done to confirm or refute the effectiveness of incarceration in reducing crime rates when America began its historic reliance on prisons in the 1970s. Today, conversely, policymakers are faced with a large, complex, and sometimes contradictory body of research. This paper seeks to help officials make sense of this information and offers an up-to-date understanding of what works best. It also examines research on several of the other factors that might be developed as part of an expanded notion of public safety. Informed by this more inclusive understanding of current research, it suggests that effective public safety strategies should move away from an exclusive focus on incarceration to embrace other factors associated with low crime rates in a more comprehensive policy framework for safeguarding citizens.

 

February 5, 2007

New York County Supreme Court Decision Vacating an Order to Unseal a Criminal File in an Eviction Proceeding (People v. Diaz)

Author: Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York, Judge Brenda Soloff

Description: Decision holds that pursuant to statute (CPL 160.05) an unsealing order must be sought by a law enforcement agency and the request for unsealing must be one that "justice requires".  Judge Soloff held that neither prong is met when the DA seeks to unseal a file of a case it failed to successfully prosecute so that an eviction action can be instituted.  This decision should be very helpful to clients facing DA instituted drug related evictions as well as NYCHA termination hearings based on drug-related allegations.  In both contexts sealed files are frequently "unsealed" for prosecution of eviction actions.  The briefing papers for this case and other cases involving sealed records in housing court are also accessed in the Housing & Shelter folder of the Reentry Net/NY library.

 

January 29, 2007

Forging a Legal Strategy to Remove Barriers to Employment of People with Criminal Records - Conference Materials (June 1-2, 2006)

Author: National Employment Law Project and Community Legal Services, Inc.

Description: Organized by the National Employment Law Project and Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, this conference was held in June of 2006 and brought together advocates from around the country.  All conference materials are now available in the Reentry Net National Research and Policy Library.

 

January 22, 2007

*Updated* Tips for Judges to Mitigate Collateral Sanctions

Author: The Bronx Defenders

Description: Two-page summary of actions Judges can take to mitigate collateral sanctions of criminal proceedings in the areas of immigration, criminal record access and sealing, order of protection, financial consequences, and certificates of rehabilitation.  This resources has been updated as of January 2007.  For additional bench guides on the Collateral Consequences of Criminal Proceedings in New York State, Certificates of Relief from Disabilities, and Criminal Record Errors, visit the Judicial Training Materials folder in the Reentry Net/NY library.

 

January 16, 2007

Colossal Collateral Consequences of Criminal Conviction: The DWI Reform Act of 2006 Author: Glenn E. Murray, Esq.

Description: The DWI Reform Act (Chapter 732 of the Laws of 2006) became effective on November 1, 2006, with drastic impact for any motorist charged with DWI.  This article addresses various complex consequences of the new law. 

 

January 8, 2007

Bringing Families In: Recommendations of the Incarceration, Reentry and the Family Roundtables

Author: New Jersey Institute for Social Justice and Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice

Description: The Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice and the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice convened a series of problem-solving roundtables on ?Incarceration, Reentry and the Family? over a 7 month period in 2005 and 2006. Building on the findings of the New Jersey Reentry Roundtable and a growing concern around the state about how to improve outcomes for the more than 70,000 individuals expected to return home from prison over the next five years, the roundtable examined the complex role that families ? broadly defined ? play in the lives of prisoners during incarceration and after their release.

 

January 2, 2007

Reentry: Criminal Law 101: What Every Poverty Lawyer Must Know About the Criminal Justice System

Hosted by: Western New York Law Center and Empire Justice Center

Description: Webcast of a training presented by McGregor Smyth of The Bronx Defenders, Nancy Rosenbloom of the Legal Aid Society, and Alan Rosenthal of the Center for Community Alternatives on the basics of criminal law in New York State, directed to an audience of civil legal aid providers.  This training is presented thanks to the Western New York Law Center and Empire Justice Center, which recorded and host the training.  Please consider downloading the supplemental materials and printing them before viewing the Webcast. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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