Advocacy Day Update: Support Grows for Legislative Reforms (Video)

Here in New York, nearly 25,000 people return home from state prisons each year. Formerly incarcerated men and women face tough legal barriers to rebuilding their lives--barriers that contribute to high rates of unemployment, poverty, and increased recidivism.

On May 21, 2013, over 100 members of the New York Reentry Roundtable traveled to Albany to advocate for policies to help New Yorkers with conviction histories find stability and support in their lives after prison. In dozens of in-person discussions with elected officials, advocates from over 60 community organizations spoke out to increase awareness and support for four bills that comprise this year’s legislative agenda.

Watch a video about their journey, or read this post from Advocacy Day participant Angel Gavilanes of the Osborne Association.

Since Advocacy Day, several legislators have signed on to support our 2013 agenda:

• NYS Senator Bill Perkins has added his support to The Fair Application Act, which would help level the playing field for formerly incarcerated people seeking employment.

• NYS Assembly Members Nily Rozic and Dennis Gabryszak became co-sponsors of The Domestic Violence (DV) Survivors Justice Act, which establishes a more compassionate sentencing process for domestic violence survivors.

• Assembly Members Walter Mosley and Frank Skartados signed on to The Safe and Fair Evaluations (SAFE) Parole Act, which would make parole policies and practices more fair, transparent, and productive.

• Assembly Members Carmen Arroyo and Walter Mosley have added their support for TAP Grant Restoration to incarcerated persons. Studies have repeatedly shown that higher education reduces recidivism and its steep financial and social costs. 

Adding to the impact of our Advocacy Day “teams” in Albany were over 130 online supporters who wrote to urge their elected representatives to support the Advocacy Day Agenda. Join them by telling your state legislator to support strategies to help thousands of New Yorkers move forward as contributing members of their families and communities.

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