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

Legislation to Strengthen Compliance with Parity Law Introduced in NY Senate and Assembly

The Legal Action Center strongly supports the proposed Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Report Act, a bill introduced in the New York Senate and Assembly to improve oversight of health insurers’ compliance with state and federal mental health and substance use disorder parity laws.

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ACT NOW! ACTION ALERT: TELL GOVERNOR CUOMO AND THE NEW YORK STATE LEGISLATURE TO ELIMINATE BARRIERS AND INCREASE ACCESS TO ADDICTION TREATMENT

LAC calls on all New Yorkers to contact their state legislators and the Governor and urge them to enact legislation to expand insurance coverage and access to treatment.

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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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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 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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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.

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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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New York City Bans the Box: Mayor de Blasio Signs Fair Chance Act

On Monday, June 29, 2015, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law the Fair Chance Act, New York City’s version of “ban-the-box” legislation. The law gives people with criminal records a fairer shot at employment by prohibiting employers from asking about criminal convictions until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. Dozens of advocates, activists and community members were at City Hall to witness this historic moment.

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Sen. Patrick Leahy, Sen. Rob Portman introduce bill to reauthorize the Second Chance Act

Legal Action Center is pleased to report that yesterday Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator Rob Portman 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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REAL Act would restore Pell Grant eligibility for students in prison

LAC is pleased to report that last week, Rep. Donna Edwards, along with Reps. Danny K. Davis, Barbara Lee , Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, Rosa L. DeLauro, and Cedric L. Richmond, introduced the Restoring Education and Learning Act (REAL Act), legislation that would restore Pell Grant eligibility for students learning in prison.

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