A01792 Summary:

BILL NOA01792
 
SAME ASSAME AS S03740
 
SPONSORPeoples-Stokes
 
COSPNSRSepulveda, O'Donnell, Rozic
 
MLTSPNSRArroyo, 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.
Go to top    

A01792 Actions:

BILL NOA01792
 
01/13/2017referred to correction
Go to top

A01792 Committee Votes:

Go to top

A01792 Floor Votes:

There are no votes for this bill in this legislative session.
Go to top

A01792 Memo:

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.
Go to top

A01792 Text:



 
                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.
                                                                   LBD05554-01-7

        A. 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.
Go to top