2024 Legislative and Policy Priorities

2024 Legislative and Policy Priorities


In 2023, the New York City (NYC) Council achieved a monumental milestone on the road to equity and justice by passing a pivotal bill with an overwhelming majority.

The Fair Chance for Housing Act (Int. 632), makes it unlawful for most NYC housing providers to conduct unfettered criminal background checks; instead, this bill prohibits consideration of convictions past certain time periods. By combating discrimination based on criminal convictions, this act aims to break the cycle of homelessness and instability that many face upon reintegration into society, enabling individuals and families to access housing opportunities they rightfully deserve.

Fair Chance became law on January 19, 2024 and will go into effect on January 1, 2025.

The NYC Council also passed a second groundbreaking bill with a veto-proof majority (Int. 549) banning solitary confinement in city jails. This bill would ensure individuals in the custody of the NYC Department of Correction receive due process protections before placement in restrictive housing or the continued use of restraints. Fortune is confident that the City Council will take the necessary expeditious action in 2024 to ensure this bill becomes law.

On November 16th, 2023, Governor Hochul signed the Automatic Criminal Record Expungement Clean Slate Law. This bill will offer a fresh start to countless New Yorkers with convictions, allowing them to reintegrate into society more successfully without carrying the burdensome stigma of past mistakes.

For years, The David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy (DRCPP) has supported each of these campaigns with Policy Center Collective members and other members of the Fortune community, including staff and participants. We have attended rallies, advocacy days in Albany, and worked alongside like-minded organizations and lawmakers to make this change happen.

We are extremely excited about what is to come given the hope that these bills provide. Once enacted, Fortune will continue to follow the implementation of the bills and collaborate with stakeholders to ensure proper execution.

DRCPP is excited to announce Fortune’s 2024 legislative priorities, calling on City and State lawmakers to remove discriminatory barriers for people with criminal justice involvement, expand access to services and legal protections for people with conviction histories and improve conditions inside jails and prisons.

This year’s priorities include: 


An ongoing and desperate humanitarian crisis at Rikers Island has been decades in the making. We must ensure that the plan to close Rikers Island in 2027 is followed, upon completion and opening of a network of four modern, humane jail sites in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. We must also ensure that people incarcerated in our city jails are treated humanely.

  • #BEYONDrosies#BEYONDrosies advocates for the women and gender-expansive people at the Rose M. Singer Center (Rosie’s) on Rikers Island to reduce the population of those incarcerated to under 100 individuals and close Rosie’s before the City’s 2027 timeline. 
Youth Justice & Opportunities Act – A4238 / S3426

The Youth Justice & Opportunities Act would expand Youthful Offender status eligibility for people under age 25 who currently face the threat of permanent criminal convictions and adult prison sentences. Young people’s development continues through their mid-twenties. They should not face lifelong direct and collateral consequences, including a loss of future employment and access to stable housing, for mistakes made during maturation. Given that the vast majority of young people arrested in New York are Black and Latinx, this effort is critical to advancing racial justice.

CommunitiesNotCages, which includes:
  • Eliminate Mandatory Minimum Act – A2036 / S6471 Eliminate mandatory minimum sentences, providing judges with greater discretion in making individualized determinations, with a presumption against incarceration.
  • Second Look Act –A531 / S321Allow people who have served half or 10 years of their sentences to apply for reconsideration and possible reduction of their terms of incarceration. 
  • Earned Time Act – A1128 / S774 Expand opportunities to earn “good time” and “merit time” credited against a prison sentence. 
13th Forward
  • No Slavery in NY Act –A3412 / S225No Slavery in NY would prohibit involuntary employment of people in prison and provide that no person in prison would be compelled to provide labor against their will by force or threat.
  • Fairness and Opportunity for Incarcerated Workers Act – S.6747/A.7452 – Fairness and Opportunity for Incarcerated Workers would establish a New York state prison labor board to create, monitor and enforce an equitable and rehabilitative prison labor system. It would abolish penal servitude by prohibiting the forced labor of incarcerated individuals, providing fair wages and treatment of incarcerated individuals, and banning the use of the labor of incarcerated individuals for earnings.

Fortune will also advocate for the following legislative campaigns and other pieces of legislation in 2024: 

Housing Access Voucher Program S.568B / A.4021A

The Housing Access Voucher Program (HAVP) will establish a statewide rental subsidy program for low-income families and individuals facing eviction, who are currently homeless, or are facing loss of housing. Unlike other subsidy and funding programs, the bill defines “homeless” to explicitly include people being released from, or scheduled to be released from, incarceration, and lacking stable housing upon release. It would be available to people who are not eligible for local or federal rental assistance programs, including New Yorkers with felony conviction histories. 

Jury of Our Peers ActS.206A / A.1432A

The Jury of Our Peers Act would end New York’s permanent bar on jury service for people with past felony convictions, thus promoting civic engagement and enhancing the diversity of our juries which promotes fairness and mitigates racial disparities in outcomes within our criminal legal system.

Parole Justice
  • Fair and Timely Parole A162 / S307 – Fair and Timely Parole would provide a more meaningful parole review process for incarcerated individuals who are already parole-eligible, and it would ensure that people are evaluated for release based on who they are today, including their rehabilitation, personal transformation, and their current risk of violating the law.
  • Elder ParoleA2035 / S2423– Elder Parole would provide incarcerated people aged 55 and older who have already served 15 or more years an opportunity for parole release consideration. This includes some of the state’s oldest and sickest incarcerated people.
PLAN ActA.04893/ S.3250 

The Preliminary License Application Navigation Act (#PLANAct) aims to remove unnecessary and discriminatory barriers to occupational licenses for individuals with criminal records. 

Reentry From the Inside OutA2461 / S207  

Reentry from the Inside Out (RIO) recognizes that “reentry” must start before people have been released from prison. Therefore, RIO would require the NY State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to coordinate with social service agencies and non-profits to assist with benefits applications before release and would establish a pilot program to provide access to a range of reentry services before and after release. 

Treatment Not JailsA.8524A/ S.2881B 

The Treatment Not Jail (TNJ) Act would expand access to judicial diversion for people with mental health issues and cognitive impairments. 

We are also partners in the Justice Roadmap, consisting of a group of organizations and advocates who joined forces to combat the criminal and immigration legal systems that oppress and criminalize Black and brown communities. 

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