Senator Montgomery's Legislation To Provide Services for Men And Women Transitioning From Prison To Community Life

Velmanette Montgomery

November 01, 2005

One of the biggest challenges people face when entering and leaving prison is the lack of constructive programming and services available to them BOTH behind bars and in the community. What do these men and women really need to help them FIND AND continue on a successful path? Senator Montgomery is taking action to find out. Here is a description of legislation she has introduced to help men and women make a successful transition from prison to community life.


New York State Justice Reinvestment Program & Fund (S.1063)

A new program is created under this legislation to improve the delivery of community-based criminal justice services. It will be operated by the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). Under the program, state and local criminal justice agencies will help community-based and faith-based organizations develop and deliver re-entry support services to returning inmates that offer job development, housing assistance, parenting programs, education and other supportive assistance.

The program will also provide for the development of alternatives to incarceration, including community service program, community youth court, alternative high schools, service-enriched supportive housing and community-based drug treatment.

A $10 million fund will be established to support the work of qualifying groups. The fund is to be operated jointly by DCJS and the State Comptroller. Groups would be invited to apply for funding awards.

Temporary State Commission on Re-entry (S.5977/A.9062)

This legislation creates theNew York State Criminal Justice Commission on Re-entry to study both the short- and long-term needs of men and women who are released from prison and the ability of New York’s state- and community-based agencies to meet them.

The temporary commission will include 18 members, 10 of whom are to be selected by the Legislature. The people nominated to the commission must be representative of community-based providers of employment, education, housing and other services needed by individuals released from prison, as well as criminal justice advocates and academic professionals in the field of criminal justice.

The New York State Criminal Justice Commission on Re-entry will be required to report its findings and recommendations for legislative action to the Governor and to members of the Senate and Assembly.