New York City Council Header
File #: Res 0232-2004    Version: * Name: Second chance rehabilitation program.
Type: Resolution Status: Filed
Committee: Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Services
On agenda: 3/24/2004
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to enact a “Second Chance” rehabilitation program of civic service, education and job training to assist non-violent felony offenders in reintegrating successfully into society.
Sponsors: Helen D. Foster, Charles Barron, Leroy G. Comrie, Jr., Alan J. Gerson, Robert Jackson, Bill Perkins, Christine C. Quinn, Philip Reed, James Sanders, Jr., Yvette D. Clarke, Maria Baez, Tracy L. Boyland, Letitia James, John C. Liu, Margarita Lopez, Joel Rivera, Larry B. Seabrook, Kendall Stewart, Albert Vann
Council Member Sponsors: 19

Res. No. 232

 

Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to enact a “Second Chance” rehabilitation program of civic service, education and job training to assist non-violent felony offenders in reintegrating successfully into society.

 

By Council Members Foster, Barron, Comrie, Gerson, Jackson, Perkins, Quinn, Reed, Sanders, Clarke, Baez, Boyland, James, Liu, Lopez, Rivera, Seabrook, Stewart and Vann

 

                     Whereas, According to statistics complied by The Sentencing Project, the number of inmates in state and federal prisons increased more than five-fold from less than 200,000 in 1970 to 1,159,000 in 1997; and

 

                     Whereas, These same statistics show that 5.7 million Americans are incarcerated or on probation or parole, an increase of 209% since 1980; and

                     

                     Whereas, A significant number of those who are under some type of correctional control (incarceration, probation or parole) have committed a nonviolent felony offense, such as drug possession; and

                     

                     Whereas, Non-violent felony offenders who have completed their prison sentence or term of probation or parole often find it difficult to reintegrate successfully into society because their records prevent them from securing employment and providing for their families; and

 

                     Whereas, Former Mayor Edward Koch, Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network and Professor Charles Ogletree of Harvard Law School have initiated a proposal called the “Second Chance” program; and

 

                     Whereas, Under the “Second Chance” program, eligible non-violent felony offenders would have to remain crime free for a specified period of time, make a substantial contribution to public service and fulfill certain conditions, such as the attainment of a GED, development of job skills and successful completion of alcohol and drug abuse treatment; and

 

                     Whereas, After successful completion of the program, such individuals would be eligible to apply to a court to have their criminal record sealed; and

 

                     Whereas, The sealing of a criminal record would assist a program graduate in securing employment and thus help the graduate to provide for a family as a productive citizen of society; and

 

                     Whereas, A graduate of the “Second Chance” program would be able to regain the right to vote and participate in full citizenship; and

 

                     Whereas, The stigma that can result from a conviction record, and the obstacles to successful rehabilitation and reintegration into society that such stigma can cause, will be mitigated while protecting public safety and maintaining community trust; now, therefore, be it

 

                     Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the New York State Legislature to enact a “Second Chance” rehabilitation program of civic service, education and job training to assist non-violent felony offenders in reintegrating successfully into society.