A conviction, an arrest, or even a simple interaction with police can have lasting consequences for people, threatening the stability they need to thrive.
New Yorkers who have a conviction history and/or past criminal justice system involvement and are experiencing discrimination are encouraged to call the free Legal Hotline (646.759.8080) offered by Youth Represent and the Community Service Society (CSS). Both nonprofit organizations have provided free reentry-related legal services for more than a decade.
The Hotline is for people who need legal support to address questions and problems that conviction histories may create, or those who simply want a better understanding of their records and to correct any mistakes.
Youth Represent is a holistic youth defense and advocacy nonprofit organization. Their mission is to ensure that young people affected by the criminal justice system are afforded every opportunity to reclaim lives of dignity, self-fulfillment, and engagement in their communities. Youth Represent provides reentry legal representation to youth, age twenty-four and under, who are court-involved or who are experiencing legal problems because of past involvement in the criminal justice system.
The Community Service Society of New York (CSS) draws on a 177-year history of addressing the root causes of economic disparity through research, advocacy, litigation, and innovative program models that strengthen and benefit all New Yorkers. Because having a conviction history effectively excludes millions of New Yorkers, the overwhelming majority Black and brown, from fully participating in community and the state’s economy, CSS’s Legal Department focuses exclusively on reentry-related litigation; policy advocacy – including co-leading the Clean Slate NY campaign for automatic conviction records expungement legislation; and direct services – including the Next Door Project, which provides rap sheet-related services to individuals across New York City.