E D U C A T E
BREAKING FREE FROM THE CHAINS OF A CRIMINAL RECORDWORK
What is the purpose of the EDUCATE Workshop?The goal of this program is to increase gainful employment for people with criminal records
This program significantly increases their chances of employment by:Providing education on how to utilize laws and recourses established to protect them from unfair discrimination
What exactly do you mean by helping them take advantage of the law?New York has passed powerful legislation to protect ex-offenders from discrimination based upon their criminal record.
Laws such as Article 23-A, Human Rights Law, and Certificates of Relief from Disabilities & Good Conduct, are highly unique and powerful safeguards for ex-offenders in New York State
With all these protections New York has established to protect this population, it is crucial to ensure they are being utilized to their upmost potential.
The EDUCATE Workshop is all about maximizing the benefits of these protections by teaching the stakeholders how to use them to their advantage.
How does this program teach ex-offenders to use these laws & protections to their advantage?The workshop will consist of 4 Modules
Module #1Understanding Your Rights to a New Life
A rigorous break-down of Article 23-A, Human Rights Law, and Certificate of Relief from Disabilities / Good Conduct
Module #2Proving You Are Worth More Than The Words on a Rap Sheet
Brainstorming ideas to gather evidence of rehabilitation and supporting documentation; and assistance with writing a letter regarding their criminal history and rehabilitation journey
Module #3Certificates of Relief from Disabilities &Certificates of Good Conduct
Assistance with applying for a copy of criminal RAP Sheet & applying for a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities and/or Certificate of Good Conduct
Module #4 Putting Your Knowledge to the Test
Training on how to present these materials to an employer and stand out above the rest
What will the EDUCATE Workshop look like in my county?The format of the workshop can be customized to suit the needs of your community resources
Re-Entry Task-Force Coordinators could oversee the implementation of the workshop
Professional staff should be used as trainers in the workshop. Volunteers can also participate
Ex-offenders could be trained as volunteers to help educate and connect with the participants
There should be 1 helper per 2 participants during 2nd & 3rd module for time efficient and quality purposes
The workshop would be held as a bi-weekly or monthly event lasting between 3-5 hours
Modules can also be separated into weekly one hour sessions for one month until participants graduate from the program
Isnt there already programs to help ex-offenders with employment issues?
DCJS is doing an excellent job at addressing employment needs among ex-offenders. There are already highly successful programs implemented throughout New York State such as:
Employment MattersReady, Set, Work!Retention Counts!Along with many more
What makes this program different?While some of these programs do indeed address the issue of employment discrimination for ex-offenders
The EDUCATE Workshop is solely and uniquely designed to address the largest barrier to an ex-offenders employment:
That is THE SCAR OF A CRIMINAL RECORD.
This program is specifically targeted to focus on discrimination issues, and thoroughly train ex-offenders how to take advantage of the laws and safeguards established to protect them.
This program consists of 4 hours worth of modules, making it time efficient and accessible to agencies who are looking to focus solely on the criminal record barrier.
This is an issue that deserves its own attention
What is the need for this program?Research has consistently shown that the existence of a criminal record significantly reduces the likelihood of receiving a call back from an employer.
This program will serve to increase the self esteem and confidence of ex-offenders who feel they have no hope.
This training will help to level the playing field for ex-offenders so that they can thrive from the training they receive from other workforce development programs.
EDUCATE Workshop is a valuable addition to any program
Performance Measures & OutcomesOngoing program oversight will be provided quarterly to measure cost and outcomes
Evaluation StrategiesDocument all cost associated with program implementationIntake survey used to form baseline:Length of unemploymentLength of time since release from prisonTotal length of time in prison How many jobs applied for Follow up survey 3 months later or follow up monthly phone call to track anticipated outcomes:Has employment been found?SalaryAny incarcerations?Length of total employmentHow many jobs applied for Calculate cost of previous incarceration and previous unemploymentCalculate money saved staying out of prison and finding employment.Subtract cost of EDUCATE Workshop to determine total savingsIf the recidivism rate has dropped by 10% and the employment rate has increased by 25%, then these numbers can be used to determine exactly how much money the county or state is saving by sustaining the program.
Distributing BrochuresBrochures can be used to advertise this workshop to your clients. In order to print the brochure:Make sure you select Print on Both Sides (Flip Page Short Edge)Look for dashes and fold each dash
Email: email@example.comPhone: 570-906-0168
Module #1Understanding Your Rights to a New LifeWORK
Unemployment & Recidivism67% of those paroled will be rearrested within 3 yearsOver 50% will return to prison
Failure occurs quickly, often within the first months of release
There is a 60% unemployment rate one year after release from prison
In New York, 89% of parole violators are unemployed during violation
A 10% decrease in real wages of low-skilled workers results in a 10- 20% increase in criminal activity
(Adapted from Center for Employment Opportunities)
Why Working Works: Recidivism Outcomes
Three year re-incarceration rate, 1999*(clients who returned to prison/Life Skills graduates)(Adapted from Center for Employment Opportunities)
The Mark of a Criminal Record (Pager, 2003)
A total of 350 employers from various industries were audited during the course of this study: 150 by the white pair and 200 by the black pair.
Each pair had equal qualifications and credentials and were applying for the same position. However, one applicant had a criminal record and the other did not.
The ratio of callbacks for non-offenders relative to ex-offenders for whites is 2:1, this same ratio for blacks is nearly 3:1.Black Bar = criminal recordStriped Bar = no record
Criminal Background Checks
Breaking Free FromThe Chains of a Criminal Record:What can be done to stop this cycle?New York State is ahead of its time in advocating for people with criminal records and offers many protections that are often unknown by the people who are depending on them.
3 Protections that are unique to the State of New York:Article 23-A of the New York Corrections LawNew York State Human Rights LawCertificates of Relief from Disabilities and Good Conduct
New York State Human Rights LawStates that an employer cannot inquire about or consider arrests that did not lead to a conviction, sealed violation-level offenses, or youthful offender adjudications. You are not required to answer any questions (written or verbal) about an arrests that did not lead to a conviction, sealed violation-level offenses, or youthful offender adjudications. The New York State Human Rights Law also provides some protection to employers from negligent hiring claims, as long as the employer complied with Article 23-A. This makes them more likely to hire a person with a criminal record.The Human Rights Law does not protect against questions regarding criminal convictions.
(Criminal conviction is a guilty plea, or a courts finding of guilt for a crime or an offense)
Article 23-A BasicsNew York State law established in 2009 meant to promote employment opportunities for individuals with one or more criminal convictions.It seeks to provide a level playing field for individuals with criminal convictions who are looking for work and/or licensureProhibits an employer from unfairly discriminating against a person previously convicted of one or more criminal offenses. Requires employers to evaluate qualified job seekers and current employees with conviction histories fairly and on a case-by-case basis. The law specifies eight factors that employers must consider when evaluating an applicant with a prior conviction in ordered to determine whether or not to hire an applicant with a prior conviction. Each factor must be considered in light of the others. It is important to remember that no single factor should determine the outcome of the hiring process.
License, Registration & CertificateThese laws also apply to individuals who are seeking a license, registration, or certificate required by the state to work more than 100 occupations. Municipalities (e.g. New York City) may also have occupational licensing requirements that work to exclude people with a history of criminal convictions. Some common occupations requiring licensure include:Bus DriverBarber/HairdresserCertified Nursing Assistant (CAN)Certified Public Accountant (CPA)Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)EngineerLicensed Practical Nurse (LPN)Registered Nurse (RN)TeacherSocial WorkerIn situations where licensure is necessary for employment, the responsible state or municipal agency is required to follow the provisions of Article 23-A in the same manner as employers.
What are the eight factors?New York States public policy of encouraging the employment of persons with prior convictions.The specific duties and responsibilities necessarily related to the job The bearing, if any, the criminal offense(s) for which the person was convicted will have on his ability to perform one or more duties The time which has elapsed since the occurrence of the offense(s)The age of the person at the time of the occurrence of the offense(s)The seriousness of the offense or offenses. Any information produced by the person, or produced on his behalf, in regard to his rehabilitation and good conduct.The legitimate interest of the employer in protecting property, and the safety of specific individuals or the general public.
New York States public policy of encouraging the employment of persons with prior convictions.
This factor must be considered in making a hiring decision
It is the policy of the State of New York to encourage employers to hire applicants with prior convictions.
Article 23-A aims to eliminate bias and illegitimate obstacles people with prior convictions face when seeking work
The specific duties and responsibilities necessarily related to the license or employment sought.
What does the job entail?What are the responsibilities of the job?Are any special skills required? What is the job like on a day-today basis?
An employer must think about these questions before making their hiring decision
The bearing, if any, the criminal offense for which you were previously convicted will have on your ability to perform one or more such duties
Do the job responsibilities share any qualities with the activities that led to the conviction? Does this offense make the applicant less suitable for the job?A person convicted of burglary or credit card fraud may not be suitable for a job counting money at the bank.That same person may be well suited for a position as a chef or waiter in a restaurant, auto mechanic, a nurse, social worker, construction etc.A drug conviction does not necessarily affect your ability to work in a hospital that administers narcotics if you do not have access to the drugs or authorization to administer them yourself.A theft conviction does not affect your ability to work in a retail store if you are not the employee responsible for handling the money and financesA violent conviction does not necessarily affect your ability to take care of people in a healthcare or human service setting.More examples?
THIS FACTOR CANNOT BE USED ALONE WHEN MAKING A HIRING DECISION
The time which has elapsed since the occurrence of the criminal offense or offenses.Research shows that if a person is conviction-free for four to seven years or longer, the likelihood of future arrest is about the same as for someone who has never been convicted of a crime. Even if an applicant has a recent conviction, an employer is obligated to consider evidence of rehabilitation and other facts and circumstances that indicates that the applicant does not present a significant risk of re-offending.
The age of the person at the time of the occurrence of the criminal offense(s)It is not uncommon for someone who exercised poor judgment when they were young to mature into a productive, hard working, law abiding adult.An older adult who was convicted of crimes in their twenties could likely have become a fully rehabilitated individual.A person who is convicted of a felony at 16 years old can be tried as an adult and sent to prison.
The seriousness of the offense(s)
The title of the criminal conviction is not the end of the story.Questioning the circumstances of an offense will often provide greater insight into the seriousness of the conviction. A reckless, inexperienced driver who causes a fatal accident is quite different than someone who, under the influence of illegal drugs, chooses to go on a joyride that ends in a fatal crash, even though both may receive a similar criminal conviction.An individual who throws an object no matter how big or small, light or heavy at another individual while in a heated dispute may be charged with assault with a deadly weapon. A youth who may have taken another youths book bag off his body to toss it around can be charged with robbery. Therefore, the circumstances of the case may more accurately reflect the seriousness of the conviction.
The interest of the employer in protecting property, and the safety and welfare of specific individuals or the general public.
Examples from the courts include:A court found that an applicants nine-year old man...