Read all the latest LAC News, Blogs, Events and Highlights here.

LAC Praises HUD Guidance Prohibiting Housing Discrimination Against People with Criminal Histories

LAC applauds the U.S. Department of Housing Urban Development’s (HUD) guidance that declares it a violation of the Fair Housing Act for landlords to have blanket bans that exclude people with criminal records. HUD’s new Guidance extends its earlier efforts to increase opportunities for people with criminal histories to obtain safe and secure housing that is critical to successful reintegration and full societal participation.

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LAC Applauds Gov Cuomo and NYS Legislature For Significant New Addiction & Criminal Justice Funding in 2016 Budget

LAC praised Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature for their 2016 budget agreement, which contains several important measures to help people with substance use disorders and criminal histories.

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LAC Provides Template for Commenting to SAMHSA on Proposed Changes to 42 C.F.R. Part 2 Privacy Protections

LAC is in the process of drafting comments on the proposed rule to submit to SAMHSA. We encourage all stakeholders, including people in treatment and in recovery and their families and treatment providers, to take advantage of this important opportunity to provide feedback to SAMHSA by reviewing and commenting on the proposed rule. To assist with those efforts, LAC provides this template that stakeholders can draw from in drafting their comments to SAMHSA.

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Sign LAC’s Petition Calling on the Governor and Legislature to Include Language in the Budget to Improve Linkage to Healthcare for People Coming Home

Disruptions in medical care upon reentry, especially for those with behavioral health disorders and other chronic conditions, contributes to poor and costly health outcomes, including increased episodes of mental illness and drug use, as well as an increased risk of re-incarceration. There is also a 12-fold increase in the risk of death in the first two weeks after release.

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LAC Applauds Senate Passage of CARA

Legal Action Center applauds the United States Senate for passing CARA, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. Senate passage of CARA marks a significant step forward in the fight against heroin and prescription opioid addictions and overdoses. The Center urges the House of Representatives to pass the bill, and Congressional appropriators to fund CARA now.

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Public opinion favors criminal justice and drug policy reform, making now the time to act

Two emerging hot-button issues of the 2016 Presidential campaign are addressing the growing heroin and opioid epidemic and reforming our criminal justice system to make communities healthier, families stronger, and neighborhoods safer. We have also seen these issues take center-stage in Congress, where criminal justice and drug policy reform remain two areas where bipartisan progress appear possible. Given the trends in public opinion, it’s no surprise.

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SAMHSA Strikes Balance in Modernizing Confidentiality Rules

LAC welcomes the efforts of SAMHSA & HHS to modernize federal rules governing the confidentiality of substance use disorder patient records while maintaining needed privacy protections, including its release on February 9, 2016 of a proposed rule amending 42 C.F.R. Part 2.

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SAMHSA Issues Proposed Rule on Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Treatment Information

The Legal Action Center welcomes the efforts of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (“SAMHSA”) of the Department of Health and Human Services to modernize federal confidentiality rules while maintaining needed privacy protections, including its release on February 9, 2016 of a proposed rule on the law protecting the confidentiality of substance use disorder records, 42 U.S.C. § 290dd-2, codified as 42 C.F.R. Part 2 (“Part 2”).

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SAMHSA Releases Proposed Changes to 42 CFR Part 2 (Alcohol/Drug Confidentiality Rules)

According to SAMHSA, the goal of the proposed changes “is to facilitate information exchange within new health care models while addressing the legitimate privacy concerns of patients seeking treatment for a substance use disorder.”

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LAC Urges NY State to Expand Alternatives to Incarceration, Health Care Access For Justice-Involved People

In recommendations presented to the New York State Assembly Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees, the Legal Action Center urged the State to expand its commitment to Alternatives to Incarceration, increase health care access and provide other re-entry assistance to justice-involved people.

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