|SAME AS||SAME AS S03740|
|COSPNSR||Sepulveda, O'Donnell, Rozic, Wright, De La Rosa|
|MLTSPNSR||Arroyo, Hevesi, McDonald, Mosley|
|Add Art 23-B §§770 - 776, Cor L; amd §296, Exec L|
|Relates to college admissions for persons previously convicted of one or more criminal offenses.|
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NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A1792 SPONSOR: Peoples-Stokes (MS)
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the correction law and the executive law, in relation to college admission for persons previously convicted of one or more crimi- nal offenses   PURPOSE: Vivian's Law, also known as The Fair Access to Education Act, is named for Vivian Nixon who experienced the devastating impact of criminal history screening in college admissions. After serving time in prison, Vivian was determined to transform her life, and a college education became central to her goal. The first college to which she applied and for which she was academically well qualified denied her admission based upon criminal history screening. Vivian's college application experience is not unique. A growing number of colleges and universities are screening applicants and erecting barriers to admission for people with past criminal justice involvement despite the fact that there is no evidence that doing so makes college campuses safer. There are many negative consequences that flow from this practice. Access to higher education is highly correlated to economic stability and social mobility It is also linked to reduced recidivism for people with past criminal justice involvement. Moreover, because of the well- documented existence of racial disparities in our criminal justice system, screening applicants for past criminal justice involvement has a disparate impact on applicants of color. As a result, screening college applicants for past arrests and convictions undermines the gains made during the civil rights era to increase higher education opportunities for all people, regardless of their race or ethnicity. This bill will promote enhanced public safety, greater racial fairness, and the economic and social well-being of all New Yorkers by removing the needless barriers to higher education faced by people with past criminal justice involvement.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: The Correction Law would be amended by adding new provisions that explicitly prohibit colleges from asking about or considering appli- cants' past arrests and/or convictions during the application and admis- sion decision-making process. In addition, a new subdivision would be added to section 296 of the Executive (Human Rights) Law to make it an unlawful discriminatory practice for colleges to ask about or consider prior criminal justice involvement during the application and admission decision-making process. This bill would not prevent colleges from asking about or using informa- tion about past criminal justice involvement once an applicant is admit- ted to make post admission decisions, such as housing and support services. In making such decisions, colleges are urged to consider the reentry benefits of allowing students with past criminal convictions full access to all aspects of college life, as well as the disparate impact on students of color that will necessarily follow if decision- making is based on criminal histories. Long ago, in the landmark decision Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S.493, the United States Supreme Court recognized the critical role that education plays in our society and the importance of ensuring that all people have access to education, stating as follows: (Education) is required in the performance of our most basic public responsibilities, even service in the armed forces. It is the very foundation of good citizenship. Today it is a principal instrument in awakening the child to cultural values, in preparing him for later professional training, and in helping him to adjust normally to his environment. In these days, it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education. Such an opportu- nity where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms. This legislation will make the aspirations of Brown v. Board of Educa- tion a reality for people with past criminal justice involvement. Furthermore, it is to the benefit of our great state's economy to have more of its citizens as gainfully employed tax-payers than either re-in- carcerated, or reliant on public assistance because they are unable to compete in our demanding economy. By removing barriers to higher educa- tion, those with past criminal justice involvement will be equipped with the tools necessary to become fully reintegrated into society, in turn strengthening families and the fabric of New York's communities.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2013-14: S.6437/A.8574 Referred to Correction A3363 of 2015/2016   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
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STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1792 2017-2018 Regular Sessions IN ASSEMBLY January 13, 2017 ___________ Introduced by M. of A. PEOPLES-STOKES, SEPULVEDA, O'DONNELL, ROZIC -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. ARROYO, FARRELL, HEVESI, McDONALD, MOSLEY -- read once and referred to the Committee on Correction AN ACT to amend the correction law and the executive law, in relation to college admission for persons previously convicted of one or more criminal offenses The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem- bly, do enact as follows: 1 Section 1. The correction law is amended by adding a new article 23-B 2 to read as follows: 3 ARTICLE 23-B 4 COLLEGE ADMISSIONS FOR PERSONS PREVIOUSLY CONVICTED 5 OF ONE OR MORE CRIMINAL OFFENSES 6 Section 770. Definitions. 7 771. Legislative intent. 8 772. Prohibition against inquiries about arrests that did not 9 result in a criminal conviction and criminal convictions 10 that have been sealed. 11 773. Pre-acceptance prohibition against inquiry into criminal 12 history. 13 774. Post-acceptance inquiry about criminal history permitted. 14 775. Inquiries into criminal history not required. 15 776. Enforcement. 16 § 770. Definitions. 1. "College" shall mean colleges, universities, 17 professional and technical schools and other institutions of higher 18 education authorized to confer degrees pursuant to subdivisions two, 19 three and eight of section two of the education law. 20 2. "Admissions decision-making process" shall mean submission of the 21 application and all aspects of the application process through admis- 22 sion. EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD05554-01-7A. 1792 2 1 3. "Direct relationship" means that there is a substantial connection 2 between the nature of the crime for which the accepted individual was 3 convicted and the activity or aspect of campus life at issue and such 4 connection would create an unreasonable risk to the property or to the 5 safety or welfare of specific individuals or the campus as a whole if 6 the accepted student is permitted to participate with or without condi- 7 tions. 8 § 771. Legislative intent. College education plays a critical role in 9 developing good citizenship, creating economic and social opportunities, 10 and enhancing public safety by reducing the recidivism of individuals 11 with a criminal history record. Therefore, it is the public policy of 12 this state to promote the admission to college of individuals previously 13 convicted of one or more criminal offenses and to allow such individuals 14 to fully participate in all aspects of college life. 15 § 772. Prohibition against inquiries about arrests that did not result 16 in a criminal conviction and criminal convictions that have been sealed. 17 At no time during the admission decision-making process or while a 18 student is enrolled shall colleges make any inquiry or consider informa- 19 tion about any arrest or criminal accusation of an individual who is 20 applying for admission or has been admitted that was followed by a 21 termination of that criminal action or proceeding in favor of such indi- 22 vidual as defined in subdivision two of section 160.50 of the criminal 23 procedure law and section 375.1 of the family court act, or by a youth- 24 ful offender adjudication as defined in subdivision one of section 25 720.35 of the criminal procedure law, or by a juvenile delinquency adju- 26 dication as defined in subdivision one of section 380.1 of the family 27 court act, or by a conviction for a violation sealed or sealable pursu- 28 ant to section 160.55 of the criminal procedure law, or by a conviction 29 which is sealed pursuant to section 160.58 of the criminal procedure 30 law. 31 § 773. Pre-acceptance prohibition against inquiry into criminal histo- 32 ry. Colleges may not make any inquiry or consider information about an 33 individual's past criminal conviction or convictions at any time during 34 the application and admissions decision-making process. 35 § 774. Post-acceptance inquiry about criminal history permitted. 1. 36 After an individual has been admitted as a student, colleges may make 37 inquiries about and consider information about the individual's past 38 criminal conviction history for the purpose of offering supportive coun- 39 seling and services. 40 2. Colleges may also make inquiries about and consider information 41 about the individual's past criminal conviction history for the purpose 42 of making decisions about participation in activities and aspects of 43 campus life associated with the individual's status as a student, 44 including but not limited to housing. In making such inquiries and 45 considering such information: 46 (a) Colleges shall not use information about an admitted individual's 47 criminal conviction history to rescind an offer of admission. 48 (b) Colleges shall not establish outright bars to any activities or 49 participation in aspects of campus life based on an admitted individ- 50 ual's criminal conviction history. Instead, colleges must develop an 51 individualized process for determining whether or not there is a direct 52 relationship between the accepted individual's criminal conviction 53 history and the activity or aspect of campus life at issue. This indi- 54 vidualized process must be set forth in writing and must include consid- 55 eration of:A. 1792 3 1 (i) the age of the individual at the time of the behavior underlying 2 the criminal conviction or convictions; 3 (ii) the time that has elapsed since the behavior underlying the crim- 4 inal conviction or convictions; 5 (iii) the nature of the conviction or convictions and whether it bears 6 a direct relationship to the activity or participation in aspects of 7 campus life at issue; and 8 (iv) any evidence of rehabilitation or good conduct produced by the 9 accepted individual. 10 (c) This individualized process must further provide an accepted indi- 11 vidual an opportunity to appeal any denial or limitation of access to 12 any activity or aspect of campus life. Colleges must further inform 13 accepted individuals of this process in writing, including their right 14 to provide evidence of rehabilitation and good conduct and their right 15 to appeal. 16 § 775. Inquiries into criminal history not required. This article does 17 not require colleges to make inquiries into or consider an individual's 18 criminal conviction history for any reason. If colleges elect to do so 19 for the purpose of determining if there is a direct relationship between 20 the accepted individual's conviction or convictions and activities or 21 participation in aspects of campus life, colleges must consider the 22 state's policy to promote the admission to college of individuals previ- 23 ously convicted of one or more criminal offenses and of allowing such 24 individuals full access to all aspects of college life. 25 § 776. Enforcement. Failure to comply with this section shall be an 26 unlawful discriminatory practice as defined in subdivision twenty-two of 27 section two hundred ninety-six of the executive law. 28 § 2. Section 296 of the executive law is amended by adding a new 29 subdivision 22 to read as follows: 30 22. It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for any college, 31 as defined in subdivision one of section seven hundred seventy of the 32 correction law, to make any inquiry into or consider information about 33 an individual's past arrest or conviction history at any time during the 34 application and admissions decision-making process or to rescind an 35 offer of admission based upon information about an individual's arrest 36 or conviction that occurred prior to admission. 37 § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.