Advocacy

ICARE’S “RESTORATION OF RIGHTS” PLATFORM:

Proposals Adopted into NYS Laws and Corrections Policies

2007

Birth Certificates: Provides free, official birth certificates to NYC residents leaving state prisons and individuals leaving Riker's Island after 90 days of incarceration
Medicaid Suspension: Suspends rather than terminates Medicaid when a person becomes incarcerated.
Family Connections: Permanently lowers phone rates from prison and includes family members in decision-making process. Drafted by the Center for Constitutional Rights. See www.telephonejustice.org
Increased Employee Protection: Prevents employers from firing individuals with criminal conviction(s) if the employer did not inquire about criminal history at the time of hiring.
Identification Cards: Provides individuals leaving prison with all of the necessary documents required by the Department of Motor Vehicles for a non-drivers ID card.

2006

Reintegration as a Sentencing Goal: Adds a fifth sentencing goal to the Penal Law, promoting successful reentry and reintegration as a goal of the state. Drafted by the Center for Community Alternatives.
Certificates of Relief from Disabilities Application Reports: Clarifies the process by which applicants for Certificates of Relief from Disabilities access their reports. Drafted by the Legal Action Center.

Additional Agenda Items

Employment

Initiating policy changes to Certificates of Relief from Disabilities and Certificates of Good Conduct, documents that remove bars to occupational licenses
Providing opportunities for individuals to have their records sealed

Housing

Proposing legislation to protect tenants from public housing discrimination

Higher Education

Supporting reinstitution of Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) grants for higher education courses in state prisons
Initiating legislation that makes it illegal for colleges to ban the applications of formerly incarcerated individuals

Health Care

Supporting legislation that requires individuals’ enrollment on Medicaid 90 days prior to their release from prison

Voting

Advocating for people on parole to gain the right to vote
Supporting legislation that requires notification about voting rights to formerly incarcerated people and New York State election boards

Child Support

Proposing a system by which parents can reduce their payments while incarcerated and cap their arrears upon release from prison
Bill Webber, President Emeritus of New York Theological Seminary, congratulates a graduate of a Sing Sing higher education program.