Center for Employment Opportunities applauds New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s bold criminal justice reform proposals
From the CENTER FOR EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York, NY, January 4 — Yesterday New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a package of bold criminal justice reforms titled “Restoring Fairness in New York’s Criminal Justice System” as part of his 8th State of the State address (watch). The reform package includes a series of reentry-specific proposals including laws that govern occupational licensing and parole revocations. The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) applauds the Governor’s leadership on these important matters and will work with his administration to support these measures.
CEO works with thousands of New Yorkers every year who have served their time but often face unfair laws or other barriers to employment upon their return home. Gov. Cuomo’s announcement openly and honestly acknowledges the glaring shortcomings of the criminal justice system, including bail/class disparities, unnecessary court delays, and the many financial challenges that burden formerly incarcerated people. By way of its transitional work and job placement programming, CEO sees the day-to-day hardships these barriers create for countless men and women, and commends Governor Cuomo and his administration for their commitment to real systemic reform.
More specifically, Gov. Cuomo’s proposal includes
— the removal of outdated statutory bans on occupational licensing for professions outside of law enforcement the removal of several financial constraints that negatively impact many New Yorkers’ abilities to successfully return to their communities — these include parole supervision fees;
— adjustments to child support payments so that an individual can come home without the crushing weight of unpaid support;
— and a review of parole revocation guidelines and practices.
“Gov. Cuomo’s progressive criminal justice reforms will increase fairness, reduce incarceration, and promote public safety,” said Christopher Watler, Executive Director of CEO New York. “Under Gov. Cuomo, New York has been a leader in cost-effective investments and policies that support strategic diversion and reentry services. CEO commends these common-sense legislative proposals and urges the state legislature to pass these reforms.”
The Center for Employment Opportunities is a nationally recognized leader in helping individuals recently released from incarceration gain the necessary work experience, skills, and confidence to find and retain employment. CEO’s highly structured and tightly supervised programs help over 2,800 New Yorkers annually overcome significant barriers to employment and successfully transition to stable, productive lives.