Helping Individuals with criminal records Reenter through Employment

New York

I. New York State Department of Labor

Contact:
New York State Department of Labor
State Campus, Building 12
Albany, NY 12240
518-457-2741
518-457-6908 (fax)
Web Site: www.labor.state.ny.us/

Information about State Department of Labor resources may be of interest to:

  • potential employers looking for incentives to hire individuals with criminal histories;

  • service providers and individuals with criminal histories who are looking for assistance in finding employment; and

  • researchers and policy makers looking at current programs to ascertain what programs are effective and serve their intended purpose.

A. Federal Bonding Program
The Federal Bonding Program provides fidelity bonding insurance coverage to individuals with criminal histories and other high-risk job applicants who are qualified, but fail to get jobs because regular commercial bonding is denied due to their backgrounds.

Contact:
Federal Bonding Program
New York State Department of Labor
Room 421
State Office Building Campus, Bldg. 12
Albany, NY 12240
518-485-2151
518-457-2625 fax

B. Tax Credits
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit to reduce the federal tax liability of private for profit employers to be used as an incentive for employers to hire individuals from eight different targeted groups: TANF recipients, veterans, ex-felons, high risk youth, summer youth, Food Stamp recipients, SSI recipients, and vocational rehabilitation referrals.

Contact:
New York State Department of Labor
Room 200, State Office Building Campus, Bldg. 12
Albany, NY 12240
518-457-6823
518-485-1815 fax
Web Site: www.labor.state.ny.us

C. Unemployment Insurance Office
Unemployment compensation is a social insurance program designed to provide benefits to most individuals out of work, generally through no fault of their own, for periods between jobs. In order to be eligible for benefits, jobless workers must demonstrate that they have worked, usually measured by amount of wages and/or weeks of work, and must be able and available for work.

The unemployment compensation program is based upon federal law, but administered by states under state law.

New Yorkers may apply for Unemployment Insurance benefits through the automated Tel-Claim System at 888-209-8124 or online at: www.labor.state.ny.us/UBC/Index.jsp

Contact:
New York State Department of Labor
State Office Building Campus
Albany, NY 12240
888-209-8124
518-485-1271 fax
Web Site: ui.labor.state.ny.us/UBC/index.jsp

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II. Criminal Record Repository

This is the agency individuals may contact to obtain a copy of their state rap sheet. The criminal record repository can also tell the individual who else is legally entitled to have access to his or her record.

Individuals may request a copy of their own criminal history record for personal use. If no record exists, a statement to that effect will be provided. To obtain a copy of one’s criminal history record, an individual must request an informational packet from the Records Review Unit of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.

Contact:
Record Review Unit
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services
4 Tower Place
Albany, NY 12203
518-457-6051
518-457-6550 fax

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III. State Attorney General

Employers and service providers may obtain information from the state attorney general regarding occupational bars, the licensing of individuals with criminal records in certain jobs, and whether the state has laws that limit what employers may ask job applicants or protections against employment discrimination based on a criminal record.

Contact:
Office of the Attorney General
New York Department of Law - The Capitol
Room 220
Albany, NY 12224
518-474-7330
Web Site: www.oag.state.ny.us

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IV. State Department of Corrections

Division of Correctional Industries/Corcraft

Corcraft employs approximately 2,500 inmates in real work situations producing goods and services. Many products are manufactured to be sold back to the Department of Correctional Services. Other customers include state agencies and local governments. Corcraft attempts to replicate working conditions in the outside working world through such mechanisms as punching in and having inmates work seven hours per day, five days per week, with the occasional authorization of overtime to meet deadlines. Products manufactured include seating, janitorial and maintenance supplies, tables, office furniture, storage, shelving, lockers, and miscellaneous office products such as bulletin boards. Services include optical, printing, engraving, signage, construction, asbestos removal and modular housing.

Contact:
Corcraft
555 Broadway
Albany, NY 12204
518-436-6321
518-436-6007 fax
Web Site: www.corcraft.org

New York State Department of Correctional Services

The Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) offers a three-phase transitional program, which is currently being restructured but will likely retain many of the same features. The first phase is a required three-week orientation program in which inmates are introduced to the 20 courses DOCS offers within six essential categories (change in circumstances, social living skills, communication, aggression and conflict management, career development, and community participation and preparation). Phase II is the core phase, a 90-day program at some point during the inmate’s stay, which provides training in a number of core areas. The last phase is the exit phase, which prepares inmates to reenter society. This phase involves skills training and preparation for employment, including preparing resumes and portfolios, dressing for interviews, and creating a list of objectives.

Contact:
New York State Department of Correctional Services
Building 2
1220 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12226
518-457-8126
Web Site: www.docs.state.ny.us

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V. New York State Division of Parole

New York State Parole Board

The Division of Parole supervises parolees in New York State who have been released through Board of Parole action. The division also supervises and/or has responsibility of inmates participating in temporary release (work release) programs of the Department of Correctional Services, out-of-state parolees, soon-to-be-released inmates, and those who are under post-release supervision.

Contact:
New York State Division of Parole
97 Central Ave.
Albany, NY 12206
518-473-9400
Web Site: parole.state.ny.us

Contact:
New York State Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
80 Wolf Rd.
Albany, NY 12205
518-485-2395
Web Site: dpca.state.ny.us

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VI. Legal Assistance

Free or low-cost legal resources, both in civil and criminal law, are helpful to individuals with criminal histories in learning about relevant state laws governing the expungement or sealing of criminal histories or addressing other legal issues resulting from having a criminal history.

A. State Public Defender

Contact:
New York State Defenders Association
194 Washington Ave., Suite 500
Albany, NY 12210
518-465-3524
518-465-3249 fax
Web Site: www.nysda.org

B. Legal Services

A list of legal service providers in a specific area is available on the following web site: www.nysba.org/. The City Bar Fund provides legal assistance to over 15,000 low-income New Yorkers annually.

Contact:
City Bar Justice Center
42 West 44th St.
New York, NY 10036
212-382-6600
Web Site: www.citybarjusticecenter.org

Association of the Bar of the City of New York

Contact:
The Association of the Bar of the City of New York
42 West 44th St.
New York, NY 10036
212-382-6620
212-398-6634 fax
Web Site: www.abcny.org

Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law

Contact:
Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law
161 Avenue of the Americas, 12th Fl
New York, NY 10013
212-998-6186
Web Site: www.brennancenter.org

The Bronx Defenders, Civil Action Project, provides civil legal representation to indigent clients on the full range of civil legal issues from housing and employment to police misconduct and welfare.

Contact:
The Bronx Defenders
360 E. 161st Street
Bronx, NY 10451
718-838-7878
Web Site: www.bronxdefenders.org

Harlem Neighborhood Defender Association

Contact:
Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem
317 Lenox Avenue, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10027
(212) 876-5500
Web Site: www.ndsny.org/links.html

C. State Bar Association

Contact:
New York State Bar Association
1 Elk St.
Albany, NY 12207
518-463-3200
518-487-5517 fax
Web Site: www.nysba.org

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VII. Local Service Providers

Community agencies are available to assist individuals with criminal records find employment. This information will inform individuals with criminal records about government agencies and community-based organizations that assist with employment, education or vocational training. Researchers and policy makers may find this information useful in identifying agencies and service providers in order to evaluate the effectiveness of these programs.

Center for Employment Opportunities

The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) provides rigorous pre-employment training, short-term work crew experience, and long-term job development services to prepare clients with criminal records entering permanent employment. CEO provides services to people with non-violent criminal histories who have completed New York State’s Shock Incarceration program or who are on work release, parole, or probation.

Contact:
Center for Employment Opportunities
32 Broadway
New York, NY 10001
212-422-4430
212-422-4855 fax
Web Site: www.ceoworks.org

New York Public Library

The New York Public Library publishes Connections, a directory of organizations in New York City that assist people with criminal records with various services. Connections also includes a guide of necessary information for assisting individuals with criminal records find employment. The guide is regularly updated and can be ordered from the New York Public Library. Some of the information is also available online. A copy of Connections can be ordered by writing to: Institutional Library Services The New York Public Library 455 Fifth Ave. New York, NY 10016 (Non-New York State residents are asked to send $15 per copy to defray mailing costs. Checks should be made out to “The New York Public Library.”)

Contact:
Correctional Services Librarian
New York Public Library, Mid-Manhattan Branch
455 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY 10016
212-340-0971
Web Site: www.nypl.org/

The Fortune Society

The Fortune Society is a self-help organization for individuals with criminal records. Membership extends on a national level. Fortune offers counseling, referrals to vocational training, job placement, tutoring in preparation for the High School Equivalency Diploma (GED), Basic Adult Literacy, English as a Second Language, and substance abuse treatment. It also offers a wide variety of alternatives to incarceration services for jail-bound defendants. Fortune provides discharge planning, case management and support groups for persons with AIDS or who are HIV positive.

Contact:
The Fortune Society
29-76 Northern Boulevard
Long Island City, NY 11101
212-691-7554
212-255-4948 fax
Web Site: www.fortunesociety.org

Osborne Association

The Osborne Association assists individuals with criminal records, defendants, people on probation or parole, prisoners and their families by offering a range of educational, vocational, support and health services, including defender-based advocacy, day reporting drug treatment and walk-in harm reduction services, acupuncture on demand for detox, and intensive AIDS/HIV case management. Also available are primary health care referrals, regular support groups, weekly NA and AA meetings, a Brooklyn-based youth entrepreneurship program, and an AIDS in Prison Hotline for prisoners.The Employment and Training Division of the Osborne Association provides comprehensive vocational services including assessment, testing, career and educational counseling, job-readiness workshops, job training and post-employment support in adjusting to the demands of the workplace and staying employed. Clients are encouraged to return for referrals for additional services or better jobs after working successfully at their first placement.

Contact:
Employment and Training Division
Osborne Association
36-31 38th St.
Long Island City, NY 11101
718-707-2600
718-707-3103 fax
E-Mail: info@osborneny.org
Web Site: www.osborneny.org

Wildcat Service Corporation

Wildcat provides counseling and work programs for the hard-core unemployed, especially ex-addicts, individuals with criminal records, welfare mothers, and out-of-school youth. The three major work categories are clerical, construction, and maintenance. Jobs last up to 12 months. Clients must be referred by correctional programs or legal service providers.

Contact:
Wildcat Service Corporation
17 Battery Place
New York, NY 10004
212-209-6000
Web Site: www.wildcatnyc.org/

STRIVE

The core program at STRIVE consists of an intensive three-week attitudinal adjustment workshop. Emphasis is placed on the development of "soft skills" (e.g., work ethic, verbal and non-verbal communication techniques, appropriate attire for the workplace, and the spirit of cooperation and team-work, etc.). Participants in STRIVE must undergo a lengthy intake procedure that includes a personal interview before they are admitted. Although there are very few restrictions on who may apply for the program, many factors are taken into consideration before an individual is selected. Once participants have completed their training, STRIVE’s job developers endeavor to match employers with the individuals in the graduate pool. Although placement opportunities are sought for graduates that offer benefits, skill development, and room for career advancement wherever possible, the main focus is to provide graduates with the beginning of a stable work history that can be built upon. Once an individual is placed, STRIVE offers follow-up services for two years. Lastly, STRIVE’s On Site-Social Services Program (OSSP) provides a comprehensive social service program that offers case management, short-term counseling, crisis intervention, advocacy, information and referrals. OSSP also provides gender-specific individual and group activities to address barriers facing young men and women.

Contact:
STRIVE Central
240 East 123rd St., 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10035
212-360-1100
212-360-5634 fax
E-Mail: strivehq@strivecentral.com
Web Site: www.strivenewyork.org/

Exodus Transitional Community

Exodus Transitional Community directly serves recently released people with criminal records and makes referrals for programs not offered in-house. Services offered include career counseling, employment workshops including interview techniques, resume writing, job referrals, housing referrals, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment referral and Alternatives to Violence workshops.

Contact:
Exodus Transitional Community
161 E. 104th St., 4th Floor
New York, NY 10029
917-492-0990; 212-722-6037 development
917-492-8711 fax
E-Mail: exodusdev@aol.com
Web Site: www.etcny.org/

ComALERT

ComALERT is a project of the Office of the District Attorney of Kings County. ComALERT acts in several capacities. One is a service broker, referring clients to various community partners for services such as employment/job development, vocational training; second it monitors the progress of clients in the program; third it acts in a mediation role between probation and social service agencies. It actively works in the community to enhance relationships between the community and the criminal justice system.

Contact:
ComALERT
Office of the District Attorney, King County
350 Jay St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201
718-250-2665
Web Site: www.brooklynda.org/ca/comalert.htm

Developing Justice Project

Developing Justice Project is a project of the Fifth Avenue Committee, a community-based not-for-profit organization that promotes social and economic justice in South Brooklyn, New York. In addition to promoting criminal justice reform, the Developing Justice Project offers walk-in support to individuals with a criminal history. Transitional supportive services in the areas of housing, permanent employment, education and skills development are available through individual case management services.

Contact:
Developing Justice Project
Fifth Avenue Committee
141 Fifth Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217
718 237-2017
718 237-5366 fax
E-Mail: fac@fifthave.org
Web Site: http://www.fifthave.org/

Making Career Connections

Making Career Connections is a supported employment program for low or no-income persons, including individuals with criminal histories, who face barriers to employment. Services include barrier assessment and removal, job readiness training (soft skills), job placement assistance and post-employment follow-up. Links are provided to other agencies to help provide stabilization for clients.

Contact:
Making Career Connections
278 Clinton Ave.
Albany, NY 12210
518-432-0499
518-432-0826 fax

Good Help Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce is a business-driven employment service designed to help Brooklyn businesses and unemployed residents of Brooklyn. The organization works with employers to find job openings, screen potential employees, check references, and follows up with placements.

Contact:
Good Help Program
Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce
25 Elm Place, Suite 200
Brooklyn, NY 11201
718-875-1000
E-Mail: info@brooklynchamber.com
Web Site: www.ibrooklyn.com/site/chamberdirect/goodhelp

Urban Pathways

Urban Pathways provides shelter and support services to homeless men and women in New York. In addition to providing housing programs and services to chemically addicted homeless individuals, Urban Pathways offers the ESTEEM (Employment Skills, Training, Education, Employment, Motivation) program. Services of ESTEEM include vocational and educational opportunities (i.e. counseling, job placement, and GED). The vocational program includes job training, coaching, and development in the areas of administration, messenger, services, food service, etc.

Contact:
Urban Pathways, Inc.
575 8th Avenue, 9th Fl.
NY, NY 10018
212-736-7385 ext. 29
212- 736-1388 fax
Web Site: www.urbanpathways.org

America Works, Inc. – Criminal Justice Program

America Works, a for-profit job placement agency, assists hard-to-serve clients obtain employment in the private sector. In addition to addressing issues such as criminal records as a barrier to employment, America Works utilizes a supportive model including: job readiness; job placement; supported and/or unsubsidized work experience; case management; job retention services for at least 6 months in unsubsidized jobs; supportive services; and advancement services.

Contact:
America Works, Inc. – Criminal Justice Program
575 8th Ave., 14th Floor
New York, NY 10018
212-244-5627
212-244-5628 fax
Web Site: : http://www.americaworks.com

Judicial Process Commission

The Judicial Process Commission (JPC) offers a mentoring program for individuals with criminal records in Monroe County, NY. Working with county inmates prior to release, JPC addresses concerns about re-entering society and offers job readiness training, including resume writing, interview techniques, a Job Club and assistance in networking to find employment.

Contact:
Judicial Process Commission
121 N. Fitzhugh Street
Rochester, NY 14614
585-325-7727
585-325-2165 fax

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