A reference guide to Reentry Resources for people impacted by the criminal legal system.
While we can’t link to all of Rochester and Monroe County’s vital human service resources, please note that 211 Lifeline is our community’s most comprehensive information and referral source. The 211 website can be searched by key word or topic AND you can dial “211” anytime (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) to speak with someone about your resource questions or needs.
Arrest and Conviction Record InformationReentry OrganizationsEmploymentEducationCrisis RESOURCES (Food, Financial, and MORE)Housingmental Health and substance useMedicaL InsuranceLegalVeteransOther ResourcesWhat have we missed?
Arrest and Conviction Record Information
- Frequently Asked Questions: Helpful information about Record Sealing & Expungement, Certificates of Relief from Disabilities & Good Conduct, Workplace Rights, HIV and Employment, Substance Use Disorders and Employment, and more.
- How to Gather Evidence of Rehabilitation: How can you convince an employer, landlord, government agency, or other decision maker to give you a fair chance when you have an arrest or conviction record?
- Crafting an Effective Personal Statement: Learn the best way to tell employers and others about the positive changes you have made since the time of your last conviction.
- Crafting an Effective Letter of Reference for Someone with a Conviction Record: A handy template that can be used by someone writing a reference that addresses concerns that others may have about your conviction(s).
- Getting Ready for Employment with an Arrest or Conviction Record: Background checks, record sealing, what NY employers can legally ask applicants, NYS Cannabis Law, how to prepare to apply for jobs when you have a record, and more.
- Applying for Jobs in New York: A brief, one page informational flyer about legal protections for people with arrests or convictions.
- Virtual Rap Sheet Workshop: What is a RAP Sheet? Why you should obtain your RAP Sheet, Certificates of Relief and Good Conduct, employment rights for people with conviction histories, and evidence of rehabilitation.
- Lowering Barriers for Jobseekers: Learn what appears on arrest and conviction records, understand existing laws that protect people with a record, and how you can strengthen your job application if you have a record.
- Clean Slate NY helps people move on with their lives by automatically sealing certain misdemeanor and felony convictions.
- Applying for Occupational and Professional Licenses: Individuals with conviction records often undergo “moral character” investigations by licensing agencies. Learn how to prepare for an application, what to expect at a potential licensing hearing, what steps to take after a hearing, and more.
- Getting to Work with a Criminal Record: New York State License Guides: Learn the process for obtaining licenses in 25 high-demand occupations and professions for people who have conviction records.
- Lowering Conviction Record Barriers: Improve your chances of getting a job or an occupational license through a Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities or a Certificate of Good Conduct.
- Certificates of Relief from Disabilities & Certificates of Good Conduct (flyer): A brief, one page informational flyer.
- Apply for a Certificate of Relief or Good Conduct: Download an application directly from the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.
- How to Recognize and Address Discrimination: Important info for New Yorkers who have heard things like “Oh, I’m sorry, we only hire people with clean records,” OR “You’re HIV positive? We’ll have to refer you to a different dentist.”
- Know Your Voting Rights: A brief, one page informational flyer.
- Know Your Rights: Marijuana Legalization & What it Means for New Yorkers: Learn about New York’s Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, the legalization of cannabis possession and recreational use in the state, implications for housing and employment, rules about home-growing and licensing of cannabis-related business, expungement or reduction of old convictions related to cannabis, and more.
- Know Your Rights: New York’s New Marijuana Expungement Law: A brief, one page informational flyer.
- Getting the Record Straight – A Guide to Navigating Background Checks: Prepare for a background check, be ready to respond to questions about your record, and be equipped to talk compellingly about yourself and your history.
- A Self-Help Guide to Parole Preparation in New York State: For people who have upcoming appearances before the New York State Board of Parole (“Parole Board” or “the Board”).
- Reentry Association of Western NY: The Reentry One-Stop, together with its partner agencies, provides support to people returning from any type of incarceration with housing, health care, treatment, jobs, vocational training, peer mentors, recreational activities, civil legal assistance, obtaining birth certificates and ID, applying for public benefits, transportation, and more.
- Judicial Process Commission: Help getting and reviewing RAP Sheets, Certificates of Rehabilitation, mentoring, and more.
- Legal Assistance of Western New York (LAWNY): Help with record sealing, employment discrimination, job clearance for background checks, and more.
- Delphi Rise Reentry: Case management for people released from NYS prisons to meet treatment and counseling, housing, and employment needs. People returning from local jail or federal incarceration may be eligible for Health Homes Care Management program.
- Spiritus Christi Prison Outreach: Residential wraparound support services for individuals re-entering the community from jail or prison.
- Pathstone Reentry Services: Tuition assistance for trainings and certifications in high-demand industries and help with job placement support for justice-involved young adults ages 18-24.
- City of Rochester Reentry Program: Designed to break a cycle of recidivism and intergenerational incarceration by providing critical resources and services to people returning to city neighborhoods from incarceration. Uses a holistic approach to address conflict-resolution skills, housing, addiction counseling, employment, positive relationship development, and more.
- NYS Department of Labor (DOL) Reentry Information
- The Prime Objective: A NYSDOL job seeking guide for people impacted by incarceration. Even if getting a job isn’t your first priority, this document contains useful information about:
- Basic needs and potential NYS Benefit assistance
- Securing important identification documents
- Certificates of Rehabilitation
- Getting and correcting your RAP Sheet
- Your rights, and much more!
- NYSDOL Federal Bonding Program: A unique tool that gives employers an incentive to “take a chance” on a job candidate with one or more barriers to employment. Click here for English video and click here for Spanish video.
- Reentry Jobseeker Toolkit: A NYSDOL checklist to consider before you apply for a job.
- RochesterWorks! and RochesterWorks! Virtual Career Center: Your source for career exploration, training and jobs.
- Center for Employment Opportunities: Exclusively serves people who have recently returned home from incarceration.
- NYSDOL Virtual Resources Calendar: Classes, workshops, job fairs, job clubs, informational sessions, and recruitment opportunities with numerous companies.
- NYSDOL Career Development Resources: Helpful information about resumes, cover letters and job applications, job search and networking, interviewing, career assessment and development, and much more.
- NYSDOL InterviewStream: A free, web-based mock interview program to improve your interviewing skills; record an interview and re-watch it or submit it to the website where a workforce advisor can view the video and provide feedback.
- NYSDOL Earn While You Learn Apprenticeship Program: Earn a paycheck while you learn a skilled trade.
- Pathstone Workforce Development: Targeted education, training, and employment support services that allow people to improve their opportunities in life.
- Job Seekers Toolkit – Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County: Borrow resources for career planning, resume writing, cover letters, test preparation books, educational planning, and much more.
- Business Insight Center – Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County: Interested in starting or taking your own business to the next level? Develop your competitive edge here!
- NYS Education Department ACCES-VR (Vocational Rehabilitation): Assisting individuals with disabilities to achieve and maintain employment and to support independent living.
- OACES – Office of Adult and Career Education Services, Rochester City School District: GED and ESOL programs, automotive technologies, electrical trades, and culinary arts.
- Literacy Rochester: Tutoring in reading, math, ESOL and Digital Literacy such as basic computer skills, online work and learning, resumes, job applications, and more!
- Rochester Educational Opportunity Center: Community-based academic and career development programs with support services for adult learners.
- Get your GED – a high school equivalent diploma
- Find and Sign Up for a High School Equivalency Test Center Near You
- NYS Adult Career & Continuing Education Services
- Monroe Community College
- Northstar Digital Literacy: Free assessments that measure your current computer, software, and technology skills.
Crisis Resources (food, financial, and more)
- Crisis Hotlines and Walk-in Resources in Monroe County: Local and national hotlines for addiction, mental health, and other challenges; mobile crisis teams; community-based walk-in programs; drug and alcohol recovery supports; and more.
- 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Free, confidential, 24/7 support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.
- 211/LIFE LINE: Information and referral for crisis and social services in Rochester and Monroe County.
- Emergency Food Resources in Rochester: Find information about local food pantries, community meal programs and food distribution sites in Foodlink’s 10-county service area.
- SSI and SSDI for Formerly Incarcerated Persons. Spanish version here.
- Am I Eligible for NYS Benefits?: Food stamps, financial assistance, etc.
- Public Financial Assistance in Monroe County
- How to Obtain Critical Identification (ID) Documents: Information about Social Security cards, NYS non-driver ID cards, Monroe County birth certificates, etc
- Affordable Internet Access: A federal program that helps many low income households pay for broadband service and internet connected devices.
- Lifeline Phone Bill discount service: A federal program that lowers the monthly cost of phone or internet services.
- Dress for Success: Helping unemployed and under employed women achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.
- Emergency Shelter: Apply for Emergency Housing Assistance at the Monroe County Department of Human Services (MCDHS) located at 691 St. Paul Street, Mon-Fri 8AM-4PM. After hours call (585) 443-1742.
- Person Centered Housing Options: Housing First programming, case management, more.
- The Housing Council: Tenant services, FAQs, and free resources
- Rochester Housing Authority: Rental Assistance Programs
Mental Health and Substance Use
- Mental Health and Substance Use Clinics: Programs located in Monroe County.
- CHAMP: Do you need help accessing Addiction or Mental Health Care? Call the Community Health Access to Addiction and Mental Healthcare Project (CHAMP) Hotline.
- Center for Community Alternatives’ CORE Center: Promoting substance use recovery, building resilience, and inspiring hope through recovery education, peer workforce development, and skill-building activities.
- Spiritus Christi Mental Health Center: Mental health care and support at no charge for those who have no insurance or who are unable to afford the cost of care.
- East House, Huther Doyle and the John L. Norris Addiction Treatment Center: Each of these organizations offer comprehensive addiction recovery services.
- LawNY, CCSI, and Neighborhood Legal Services: Contact a Healthcare Navigator! They can help you or your family obtain the right health insurance for your needs at the best cost. They don’t work for an insurance company, so they aren’t biased or trying to sell a policy.
- Lifespan: Medicare is health insurance for people 65 or older. You’re first eligible to sign up for Medicare 3 months before you turn 65. Contact a NYS-certified Medicare counselor and take the guesswork out of how to sign up or what plan to choose.
- NYS Essential Health Plan: No Premium for those who qualify and no Deductible, dental and vision benefits included without co-pays, and FREE Preventative Care like routine doctor exams and screenings.
- NYS Child Health Plus: NYS’s health insurance plan for kids.
- Medicaid: Learn about this comprehensive healthcare coverage and the eligibility guidelines.
- I.O.U. Means Insurance Owes You: A training about paying for mental health and addiction care.
- Legal Assistance of Western New York (LAWNY): Free legal aid to people with civil legal problems in western New York.
- JustCause: Connects low-income Monroe County residents with private pro bono volunteer attorneys.
- LawHelpNY: An online tool for helping low-income New Yorkers solve their legal problems. If you have an arrest or conviction record, click here.
- Legal Aid Society of Rochester: Attorney for the Child (AFC) Unit, education law, domestic violence legal services, housing and consumer law, immigration law.
- Empire Justice: Litigation, policy, and training.
- Legal Action Center: A wealth of information for people impacted by the criminal legal system.
- Veterans Outreach Center
- NYSDOL Veterans Services
- Monroe County Veterans Service Agency
- New York State Division of Veterans’ Services
- New York State Operation Recognition – granting of HS Diploma
- US Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA)
- USDVA Veterans Justice Outreach Program – If you know a veteran who is incarcerated, have them contact the Veterans Justice Outreach coordinator in their area. In the Rochester area, call (585) 208-2108.
- Willow Domestic Violence Center
- Lifespan’s Services for Older Adults and Caregivers
- Monroe County Office for the Aging
- The Child Care Council
- Public Transportation in the Rochester Area