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Certificates of Rehabilitation

July 21, 2016

Around 600,000 people are released from federal and state penitentiaries every year. Many more leave local jails to serve community sentences. A portion of these will complete a cycle of recidivism, ending up right back where they came from, in prison again. Of the 600,000 persons released each year, nearly two-thirds are arrested again within three years of coming home.

Misunderstanding
Much of society in the United States has trouble understanding why those with criminal records sometimes end up back in jail. Most people released from prison aren’t so naive. As these people seek jobs or housing, attempting to become working members of society again, they face an uphill battle that others do not fully grasp.

Hampered reentry to society
Successful reentry into society is severely hampered by the stigma associated with a criminal record. This stigma sometimes closes the door to a basic need like housing, not to mention employment. Many forms of employment are automatically barred to those with criminal records, not because of incompetency, but because of the “good moral character” stipulation. Even when people have long paid their debt to society, they will often encounter roadblocks in the form of federal and state policies that make success extremely difficult. In the absence of employment, a person is much more likely to commit crime to cover basic needs.

Certificates of rehabilitation
New York is one of the six states that offer a certificate of rehabilitation. Advocates in these states have had significant success in educating public officials of the need for qualified people with past criminal records to join the workforce and become productive members of society. A helpful policy to reduce recidivism is vitally important. A certificate of rehabilitation in these six states removes some of the obstacles to occupational licensing, as well as convincing employers that a person is striving to successfully reintegrate, as well as become economically viable.

How to apply for a certificate of rehabilitation
Each person has a different background and a lawyer can determine what sort of employment or license an individual may anticipate needing in the future through consultation. Each law governing the employment or license to such must be researched in order to know what restrictions may impact an individual with a criminal record. An attorney can anticipate what restrictions may be avoided by awarding a certificate of rehabilitation.

Ask for help
Every crime creates fallout for the person who commits it. Societal stigmas, combined with inability to find employment or housing, make for a difficult situation.
A skilled attorney can identify such consequences and advise a client as to which of these can be ameliorated with a certificate of rehabilitation.

If you have been convicted of a crime and need relief from the legal disabilities imposed upon you for employment, housing or other consequences, please contact our firm today. We can provide the counsel and forms you need to restore some of your civil and political rights which were forfeited as a result of a conviction.

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