About This Training:

Overcoming Employment Barriers for People with Criminal Records (Slides) (Recording) explains how New Yorkers with criminal records can improve their chances of finding employment despite the barriers a criminal record might pose. The training has four parts:

  1. Framework
  2. Criminal Records
  3. Laws Protecting Individuals with Criminal Records
  4. Evidence of Rehabilitation

This Training Is For:

  • New York-based health and social service providers working with HIV-positive individuals who have criminal records – especially those seeking employment;
  • Anyone working with people with criminal conviction histories;
  • People with criminal conviction histories;
  • Anyone else interested in the topic.


  • Voting and Criminal Records (2018). This booklet explains how most people in New York with criminal records can vote.  It describes who is able to vote in local, state and federal elections with a criminal record and how to overcome criminal record-related barriers to voting.
  • Sealing Old New York Convictions (2018). This booklet discusses New York State’s 2017 law (CPL § 160.59) that allows people to seal up to two criminal convictions that are at least ten years old. It also discusses additional eligibility requirements and how to apply for this sealing.
  • How to Gather Evidence of Rehabilitation(2016). Explains how job and housing applicants with criminal records and/or alcohol and drug histories can get evidence of rehabilitation to help obtain employment or housing.
  • Protect Yourself! Learn Your Rights! (2016) This brochure is for New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS who want to know how to: avoid HIV discrimination, protect their privacy, overcome criminal record discrimination, get access to substance use treatment and get support for their families.
  • Are you Somebody with HIV/AIDS? An Alcohol or Drug Addiction? A Criminal Record?… (Updated 2017) This booklet is for New Yorkers with HIV or AIDS, a substance use disorder and/or a criminal record who want to know their rights to be free of discrimination. It explains: laws that forbid discrimination; limits on what employers, landlords, and others may ask; how to get a job or housing despite the stigma associated with HIV, addiction, and having a criminal record; and what to do when confronted with illegal discrimination.
  • Your New York State Rap Sheet: A guide to getting, understanding, and correcting your criminal record (2015). This booklet tells you how to get a copy of your criminal record and correct any mistakes in it. It also explains how and what information employers get about your record and when they can get it.
  • Lowering Criminal Record Barriers: Certificates of Relief/Good Conduct and record sealing (2015). This booklet explains which cases are eligible to be sealed and how to seal them. It also explains who is eligible for a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities or a Certificate of Good Conduct and how to apply for them.  These certificates can improve your chances of getting a job or housing. Please note: New York’s new sealing law, CPL 160.59, allows people who have been convicted in no more than two cases (only one of which can be a felony case) to apply to seal certain conviction(s) from New York, if it has been at least 10 years since their sentencing or release from jail or prison. Only certain convictions are eligible for sealing, and there are other requirements as well.  A 2019 version will be released soon.
  • Criminal Records and Employment: Protecting yourself from discrimination (2013) This booklet explains what New York employers may and may not ask about your criminal record and how you should describe your record. It also covers your right to be free of discrimination in the workplace. Please note: It has not been updated to include the NYC Fair Chance Act and other “ban-the-box” laws.  A 2019 version will be released soon.
  • Certificates of Relief and Good Conduct: What You Should Know (Part 1) (short video)
  • Certificates of Relief and Good Conduct: What You Should Know (Part 2) (short video)
  • Video: Your Rights, Your Future: Preparing for Reentry. This 29 minute-long video helps people leaving prison get the skills and knowledge they will need to find jobs and prepare for the challenges of re-entry. This project was the result of a collaboration with the Organization for Visual Progression.
Share this

Need Legal Help?

¿Necesita ayuda en español?

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) and other legal resources.

View Here Ver aquí

Support Us

You can become a partner in the fight against stigma and discrimination and for smart, effective public policies by making a tax-deductible donation.

Lend your support