|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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*Tell Governor Patterson to Sign the Safe Harbor Act (A.5258C/S.3175-C)*
Under New York State Law, a child younger than 17 cannot legally consent to sex, yet children as young as 11 and 12 are locked up for prostitution. While New York State’s recent human trafficking legislation protects victims of the international sex trade from criminal prosecution, it fails to provide the same safeguards to New York’s youth.
The New York State Legislature recently passed The Safe Harbor Act for Exploited Children which recognizes that children arrested for prostitution should be treated as victims, not as juvenile delinquents or criminals. The bill protects children under 16 from punitive and traumatic sanctions and requires the state to create short-term safe houses and establish community-based services—such as community outreach, crisis intervention, and long-term housing—that more appropriately meet the needs of sexually exploited youth.
Please call Governor David Paterson's Office at 518-474-8390 to show your support. You can call between 9am-5pm and let the Governor know that you are a New York State voter who supports The Safe Harbor Act, which would protect youth forced into commercial sexual exploitation from prosecution and criminalization.
*Call Today! Support the Negligent Hiring Bill (S/4956-A/A.7847-A)*
The Negligent Hiring Bill (A.7847-A/S.4956-A) protect employers who hire qualified individuals with criminal records in compliance with the New york State Human Rights Law from negligent hiring lawsuits. It amends the human rights law to create a rebuttable presumption in favor of excluding evidence of an employee's past criminal record in a negligent hiring case where the employer has complied with article 23-A of the Corrections Law, which provides guidance to employers on how to consider a criminal record in the employment context.
Please call Governor David Paterson's Office at 518-474-8390. You can call between 9am-5pm and let the Governor know that you are a New York State resident who supports S.4956-A/A.7847-A, which provides protection against negligent hiring lawsuits for employers who follow Article 23-A when hiring people with criminal records.
Also, please remember to voice your support for the following legislation as well, if you have not already done so:
S.6731 / A.9727: Restores discretion to Board of Parole
S.8521 / A.11558:Clarifies Discharge from Parole for presumptively released persons with drug convictions
S.7638-A / A.10288-A: Educates employers about hiring laws for person with a criminal record.
S.7214 / A.10502:Seals Accusatory Instruments(court documents) filed in court against eligible youth
Going to Work With a Criminal Record: New report from Public/Private Ventures (P/PV) shares fundamental lessons workforce organizations should consider as they help formerly incarcerated people move toward stable employment, and discusses in detail along with a more detailed discussion of how program staff can put these lessons into practice. It outlines mistakes and tips for developing important relationships with employers, parole officers and local child support enforcement agencies. Click here to read the report
Coming Back to Ulster County- A Guide and Resource List For those Returning From Prison or Jail: Newly updated resource guide for those returning from prison or jail by the Restorative Justice Group of the Social Action Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation. The guide contains a variety of information and resources including education and library services, health and HIV/AIDS services, jobs and training services, domestic violence services and much more. Click here (DOC) to read the guide.
Do More Prisons Equal Less Crime?: Briefing paper by The Sentencing Report which responds to a recent syndicated column ("More Prisons, Less Crime") by commentator George Will which argues that the world record incarceration rate in the United States has produced safer streets and has been beneficial in particular to African Americans, who are disproportionately victims of crime. The Sentencing Project refutes Will's argument on prison racial disparities, federal crack cocaine sentencing and the impact of incarceration on crime. Do More Prisoners Equal Less Crime? provides an assessment of some of the key arguments raised in the Will column. Click here(PDF) to read the article.
Remember to visit Past Resources of the Week for highlighted reports, toolkits, and training materials from the past year.
*Upcoming Events & Opportunities*
Criminal Justice Hearing on the Topic of Re-entry: Individuals Returning from Prison and Jails to the Community: Senator Eric Adams presents a hearing on the issue of reentry which includes a panel of representatives from Ulster Co. Jail Re-entry Program, The Kingston Hospital, Ulster Co. Probation Department, "Save Them Now Program", Unitarian Universalist Congregation, M. Evers College, and NYS Parole. The hearing will be held on July 23rd at 10:00 AM at The Ulster Country Law Enforcement Center.
Understanding & Navigating the Criminal Justice System: The Center for Alternative Sentencing & Employment Services (CASES) is pleased to announce the 101 introduction to the NYC Criminal Justice System. This is a free, all day training intended for case managers, ACT, day treatment, clinic, shelter and supportive housing staff working with the mentally ill population. The training follows the process from arrest through conviction showing the various places where there is room for interventions. Various alternatives to incarceration (ATI), diversion, mental health court and re-entry programs are reviewed as well as discharge planning services and consumer perspectives. The training will be held on July 29 and July 31, 2008. Click on link for more information.
Prison Families Anonymous: The PFA suport group is a safe, non-judgemental place for families to connect with each other by providing compassion, support and information. PFA meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at Community Prebystrian Church 1843 Deer Park Avenue, Deer Park, NY. For more information, contact Barbara Allan at email@example.com or 631-943-0441
Prisoners are People Too! Community Education Meeting: Monthly meetings include documentary films and guest speakers who enlighten the community about criminal justice issues and prison issues. For more information, contact Karima Amin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 716-834-8438.
Employment Law Training:This free training will provide an overview of the federal, state, and New York City laws protecting workers, including: employment discrimination statutes, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), whistleblower protection law, and state and city laws protecting employees with criminal or arrest records. To register, please send an email to CLE@nylag.org (also indicating if you are an attorney and would like to receive CLE credit). The training will be held New York Legal Assistance Group on July 29, 2008.
Remember to visit Reentry Net for full calendar listings and new job opportunities!