Bill aiming to help prisoners reenter society passes Assembly, Senate

ALBANY, N.Y. – A bill aiming to provide prisoners with better access to services when they’re released has passed the State Assembly and Senate.

The legislation A00231/S1353 will help prisoners reenter society and reduce crime and reincarceration, according to its sponsors, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh and Senator Kevin Parker.

The bill, which the Assembly passed Tuesday and the Senate passed earlier this month, requires the Department of Corrections to provide prisoners with information and referrals to transitional services available in their communities, including medical, mental health, employment, housing, and substance abuse services.

It also requires that other state agencies assist DOC in lining up services. Agencies would include the Departments of Education, Labor, Health, and Mental Health, and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

“Experience has shown us that former prisoners returning to communities like ours do best when we provide them with knowledge of the services available to help them transition healthfully to life on the outside,” said Senator Parker.

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