FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 19, 2011
STATEMENTS OF MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, PROBATION COMMISSIONER SCHIRALDI AND ASSEMBLY MEMBER AUBRY ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE LEGISLATION EASING BARRIERS TO REHABILITATION
Legislation proposed by the Bloomberg Administration and signed today by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo will ease probationers' successful return to society by requiring courts to determine an applicant's eligibility for a Certificate of Relief prior to or at the time of sentencing. Certificates of Relief allow the Court to waive certain restrictions that would ordinarily accompany a conviction, such as the automatic loss of an occupational license. This new law will allow Judges and probation officers to retain the same level of discretion they currently hold to deny or recommend against the issuance of Certificates while also helping eliminate barriers to rehabilitation and successful reentry into society by allowing New Yorkers with conviction histories to unlock the door to opportunity and self-sufficiency.
Statement of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg:
"Along with the justice interventions that are part of our recently launched Young Men's Initiative, this new law will help individuals with misdemeanor convictions or one felony conviction obtain employment. Promoting employment for ex-offenders is the single best way we can stop what has become a revolving door out of, and back into, the criminal justice system - that will help us make the safest big city in America even safer. I want to thank Governor Cuomo for signing this bill into law, and I want to thank the bill sponsors, Senator Stephen M. Saland and Assembly Member Jeffrion L. Aubry for carrying this important legislation."
Statement of Department of Probation Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi:
"This important legislation will allow many of our clients to obtain professional licenses, pursue higher education and avoid eviction. By helping them help themselves, we are also promoting public safety. I'd like to thank Bronx Defenders, The Fortune Society and the Legal Action Center for the instrumental role they played in helping pass this bill."
Statement of Assembly Member Jeffrion L. Aubry:
"This important piece of legislation will increase the successful reentry and reintegration into society of thousands of probationers every year. Certificates of Relief from Disabilities allow these men and women to continue their journey toward employment and full citizenship. I commend Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg for their efforts to enact this needed legislation and look forward to continued cooperation to reduce recidivism and improve public safety."
Stu Loeser/Samantha Levine (212) 788-2958
Ryan Dodge (Probation) (212) 361-8957
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