The high prevalence of mental health disorders in prisons and jails, the record numbers in our homeless shelters, and growing concerns over the predatory, unsafe three-quarter house industry demand that New York take a hard look at how it addresses the needs of people with a history of incarceration.
For the third consecutive year, CSH has worked with several partner organizations representing housing, mental health, and legal services providers, academia and advocacy groups to focus on solutions that emphasize housing and services to keep people away from a destructive cycle moving them from incarceration into homelessness and then back to jail or prison.
This year, 17 organizations joined CSH to co-author recommendations that touch on improving access to supportive, affordable, public, and market rate housing for individuals leaving incarceration. Our efforts aim to:
- Ensure people with criminal justice histories are considered for new City & State supportive housing resources;
- Remove blanket bans keeping people with justice histories from accessing public, affordable, and market rate housing; and
- Reduce and eventually end reliance on shelters and three-quarter houses.
If adopted, the policy reforms in this document would:
- End the practice of relying on unstable and unsafe housing;
- Improve access to supportive and other affordable housing for persons with mental health and substance use disorders; and
- Reduce recidivism and improve public safety.
Implementation of these recommendations will mean thousands of New Yorkers will find stable and safe housing, reconnect with their families, transform their lives and avoid recidivism, which makes all of us safer.
Read the recommendations by clicking here.