Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced he is advancing comprehensive reforms to streamline the process for incarcerated individuals to return to the community upon release from prison. The reforms will help improve access to jobs and licenses, expand eligibility for merit release and limited credit time allowances, create a new "geriatric parole" provision, and reduce financial burdens after release. The proposal is part of the Governor's five-pronged reform package to overhaul the State's criminal justice system as part of the FY 2019 Budget.
"These reforms promote both public safety and the rehabilitation of individuals who have paid their debt to society," Governor Cuomo said. "By eliminating outdated and unnecessary barriers to opportunity, we will help these individuals reintegrate into their communities, break the vicious cycle of recidivism and create a safer, fairer New York for all."
"Criminal justice reform is a top priority in New York and this proposal is yet another step in the right direction toward attaining that goal," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "Together, we can eliminate the stigma of criminality and provide a positive and encouraging re-entry experience to those who wish to return to society a better version of themselves than when they left it."
Remove Bans on Occupational Licensing
Expanding on existing laws outlawing blanket employment discrimination against people with criminal convictions, the Governor's proposal removes outdated bans in occupational licensing for professions outside of law enforcement. Applicants for these licenses will instead be assessed on an individualized basis. Eliminating these antiquated bans will effectively increase the number of occupational fields formerly incarcerated individuals have the opportunity to enter, promote economic stability after release, and aid in successful re-entry into society.
Click here for the full announcement.
Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo