RESOURCE GUIDE FOR PEOPLE WITH CRIMINAL RECORDS
The following organizations have programs in place to help people with criminal records regain their right to vote, and also many other services. For more information about the wide-range of services available from each of these organizations, please visit their individual websites.
The Voter Enfranchisement Project (VEP) at The Bronx Defenders is a nonpartisan effort working to promote civic participation among people who have been through the criminal justice system by helping them understand their voting rights; connect the issues in their lives to candidates; and cast a meaningful ballot at the polls. VEP provides various voting rights materials for individuals and community based organizations, voter registration, and on-site voter education workshops. VEP staff are available to answer questions on general voting rights and eligibility as well as to offer guidance to organizations interested in doing voter registration and education drives for their constituents. For more information, please contact Dawit Getachew at (718) 838-7878 or email email@example.com. For more information about the Bronx Defenders, please visit the organization’s website at http://www.bronxdefenders.org.
Citizens Against Recidivism works to achieve the restoration of all the rights and attributes of citizenship among people in prison or jail and those who have been released in collaboration with other community and faith based organizations at each of the overlapping phases of the community integration process – the institutional phase, the structured re-entry phase and the on-going reintegration phase. Citizens Against Recidivism also runs a Delinquency Intervention Program and the Muslim Re-Entry Initiative. For more information about Citizens Against Recidivism, please visit the organization’s website at http://www.citizensinc.org.
The Correctional Association of New York is an independent, non-profit organization founded by concerned citizens in 1844 and granted unique authority by the New York State Legislature to inspect prisons and to report its findings and recommendations to the legislature, the public and the press. Through monitoring, research, public education and policy recommendations, the Correctional Association strives to make the administration of justice in New York State more fair, efficient and humane. Currently, there are four working projects: the Public Policy Project, the Women in Prison Project, the Prison Visiting Project and the Juvenile Justice Project. The Correctional Association also coordinates the Drop the Rock campaign to repeal the Rockefeller Drug Laws. The Correctional Association’s Women in Prison Project publishes reports and policy papers; manages ReConnect, a leadership training program for formerly incarcerated women; conducts public education and legislative advocacy; and coordinates the Coalition for Women Prisoners, a statewide alliance of more than 1,000 individuals from over 100 organizations. The Juvenile Justice Project coordinates the Juvenile Justice Coalition, produces reports, position papers and fact sheets, educates the public and state and local legislators about juvenile justice issues through media outreach, public forums, and advocacy days in Albany, and trains young people to become leaders in the movement to transform juvenile justice policies in New York. For more information about the Correctional Association and its campaigns, please visit the organization’s website at http://www.correctionalassociation.org.
The staff of The Fortune Society’s David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy (DRCPP) offers guidance to people with criminal records to determine their eligibility to vote; guides those who are eligible through the registration process; and provides information pertaining to Certificates of Relief from Disability and Certificates of Good Conduct, which, if granted, restore voting rights to people on parole. The Fortune Society serves formerly incarcerated people and those at-risk through a “one-stop” model of service that includes: counseling, career development, education, housing services, HIV/AIDS-case management, substance abuse treatment and lifetime aftercare. DRCPP coordinates The Fortune Society's technical assistance, training, policy development, advocacy and community education efforts related to counterproductive barriers facing people with criminal records. For more information on voter eligibility for people with criminal records, please contact Larry White, Community and Policymaker Liaison, at (212) 691-7554. To learn more about The Fortune Society, visit http://www.fortunesociety.org.
Interfaith Coalition of Advocates for Reentry and Employment
The Interfaith Coalition of Advocates for Reentry and Employment (ICARE) educates and engages communities of faith to work with direct service providers and policy organizations to advocate for the restoration of rights of people marginalized by criminal convictions. Since voting can play a significant role in a formerly incarcerated person's investment in their community and reduce recidivism,) ICARE will provide regular action alerts about the voting rights of people with criminal convictions on its listserv and will communicate relevant voting rights information to congregations in the coalition to enable them to reach out in their local area. Faith communities and individuals may contact ICARE at 212-280-1386, http://www.nyicare.org or firstname.lastname@example.org for information on voting rights of people marginalized by criminal convictions.
The Legal Action Center helps people who face discrimination in employment, housing, government benefits, or elsewhere because of their criminal justice history, alcohol or drug problem or HIV/AID status. Center staff offers legal advice, representation and other help on issues such as voting rights of individuals with criminal records, “cleaning-up” rap sheets, discrimination protections, and privacy rights. Potential clients must call for an appointment; walk-ins are not accepted. You can visit the Legal Action Center on the web at http://www.lac.org/ or call (212) 243-1313.
Other organizations that provide reentry services to people with criminal convictions: