The Legal Action Center is the only non-profit law and policy organization in the United States whose sole mission is to fight discrimination against people with histories of addiction, HIV/AIDS, or criminal records, and to advocate for sound public policies in these areas.

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Glenn E. Martin: The Epiphany of My Advocacy Life

Glenn E. Martin, founder and president of JustLeadershipUSA, will be honored at LAC’s annual Arthur Liman Public Interest Awards Benefit. In anticipation of this event, he writes about his journey as a national criminal justice reform advocate that began at the Legal Action Center 15 years ago.

To Disclose or not to Disclose? Seven Things to Know About Medical Forms and HIV

If you are a person living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) or a physician treating PLWHAs, you may face a dilemma when completing medical forms – the type required for employment, school, camp, guardianship, and other activities. The following seven points should help you decide whether and how to disclose sensitive information about your status.

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News and Highlights


LAC Applauds Governor Cuomo and the NYS Legislature for Requiring Drug Courts to Permit Opioid Addiction Medication

The Legal Action Center (LAC) applauds Governor Cuomo’s decision to sign into law S4239B/A6255B, which requires drug courts to permit individuals to receive life-saving medication for opioid addiction. The law prohibits a common practice in some courts of requiring defendants to stop taking prescribed medication such as methadone, buprenorphine (Suboxone) or naltrexone (Vivitrol), regardless of how well they are working.


LAC President Paul Samuels Writes Op-Ed in Support of Eliminating Criminal Record Barriers

In his September 30 op-ed in the Huffington Post, “All Americans Deserve a Chance to Rebuild Their Lives,” Legal Action Center’s Director and President Paul Samuels lays out some of the most serious barriers that “confront millions of people with criminal records that include drug offenses.” To begin to eliminate the worst obstacles, Samuels calls on Congress to pass the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, REAL Act, and REDEEM Act to improve education opportunities for people with criminal records, eliminate harmful barriers to public benefits, and make it easier for them to compete for jobs and support their families.


LAC Hails Governor Cuomo’s New York Council on Community Re-Entry & Reintegration for 1st Year Achievements

Governor Cuomo held a press conference today at John Jay College of Criminal Justice to announce twelve major accomplishments of the Council, which promotes collaboration among state, local, and private agencies as well as community groups in order to address a wide range of issues related to successful re-entry, including housing, employment, healthcare, and education.


Bi-Partisan House Members introduce bill to reauthorize the Second Chance Act

Press Release: Legal Action Center is pleased to report that Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner and Rep. Danny Davis, along with 25 other bi-partisan members of the House of Representatives have introduced legislation to reauthorize the Second Chance Act. Originally passed in 2008, the Second Chance Act is already reducing recidivism and improving public safety. Recidivism rates are down by 11% in Texas, 19% in North Carolina and 9% in Wisconsin. Since 2009, Second Chance programs have served over 92,000 people in 49 states and the District of Columbia. After several years of implementation and study, it’s time to reauthorize and update the law to emphasize and improve the most effective programs.

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