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

LAC Praises “Right Priorities” Criminal Justice Initiative Announced by NY Governor Andrew Cuomo

Legal Action Center offered high praise for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the “Right Priorities” initiative he announced yesterday. Governor Cuomo’s initiatives would prevent young and other at-risk people from entering the criminal justice system and provide new support in the criminal justice system to help people succeed in the community.

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NY Governor Andrew Cuomo to Conditionally Pardon 10,000 Former Youth Convicted of Adult Crimes

Legal Action Center applauds Governor Andrew Cuomo for the bold, humane, and just plan he announced today to conditionally pardon people convicted of misdemeanors or non-violent felonies when they were 16- or 17-years-old, if they have not had a subsequent conviction in ten years. “These pardons are a huge step to reverse the devastating and perpetual harms caused by criminal records,” said LAC Director and President Paul Samuels.

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The Annie E. Casey Foundation Grant to Support LAC’s National H.I.R.E. Network

The Legal Action Center’s National Helping Individuals Reenter through Employment Network (National H.I.R.E. Network) has received a $40,000 grant from The Annie E. Casey Foundation to make it easier for people with criminal records to live with their families in safe and stable housing.

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NY Federal Court Grants Preliminary Approval of FCRA Class Action Settlement

On December 11, 2015, a New York federal court preliminarily approved the settlement in Legal Action Center’s class action lawsuit, Jones v. Halstead Management Co. et al., No. 1:14-cv-03125-VEC. The suit charged Halstead with criminal background screening practices that cost Mr. Jones a job as a doorman and violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Plaintiff Kevin A. Jones, who had no criminal record, lost a job with Halstead because a commercial background check conducted by Sterling Infosystems, Inc. mixed him up with a Kevin M. Jones, who had several convictions. Legal Action Center filed the suit in the Southern District of New York with co-counsel, Francis & Mailman, P.C.

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CoRA Announces Advocacy Priorities & New Website for NY Reentry Coalition that Includes LAC

The Coalition of Reentry Advocates, CoRA, works “to change laws and policies to ensure that people who have had contact with the criminal justice system have a fair chance to succeed as full community members.” Legal Action Center and twelve other coalition members recently announced CoRA’s advocacy priorities and the establishment of a new coalition website.

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In Memoriam: Jacqueline Berrien, Former EEOC Chairwoman

It is with great admiration and solemn gratitude that I write today in remembrance of Jacqueline Berrien. The former chairwoman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and associate director-counsel of the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Berrien passed away on November 9 at the age of 53 due to cancer.

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The Tow Foundation Grant to Support LAC Criminal Justice Reform Advocacy in New York

New York, NY – The Legal Action Center has received a $35,000 grant from The Tow Foundation that will improve tens of thousands of lives in New York State by expanding alternatives to incarceration and eliminating obstacles to reentry for people returning to their communities from prisons and jails.

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Beyond “Ban the Box”: Four Steps to Build on Fair Chance Hiring

“Ban the Box”, also referred to as fair chance hiring, is catching on as more and more jurisdictions adopt legislation applying to public agencies, private companies, or both. But is Banning the Box enough to secure a second chance for millions of workers with criminal records?

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Champions in the Treatment Community: Jim & Sue Cusack of Villa Veritas

I got to talk with Jim and Sue on the phone about their more than fifty years of experience in the field of addiction treatment. They told me about their remarkable journey, turning their own experiences with overcoming addictions to alcohol into lifetimes of healing service to others.

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Legal Action Center Celebrates Implementation of New York City Fair Chance Act

Legal Action Center celebrates implementation of the Fair Chance Act in New York City. LAC supported passage of this critical legislation which aims to eliminate another aspect of unfair discrimination against workers with criminal records. In combination with Article 23-A of the Correction Act, a national model for prohibiting employment discrimination based on criminal record information that is not job-related, the Fair Chance Act will ensure more equal opportunities for New York City workers with criminal records.

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