The New York State Back to School Guide is written for people who wish to pursue a college education in New York State after their release from incarceration. Its core purpose is to help readers develop a thoughtful and practical academic reentry plan to advance personal and professional goals.
Additionally, this resource will be useful to college-in-prison providers, correctional education and counseling staff, community-based reentry organizations, and case managers seeking to support the educational goals of the adult learners with whom they work. This Guide is a compendium of information that can help you select an area of study, consider the educational institution you might like to attend, prepare for the college application process, understand your financial aid options and how to access them, and learn about the educational supports and enrichment opportunities that are available on many college campuses. We also provide detailed information about the City University of New York (CUNY) and the State University of New York (SUNY), the state’s public university systems because many students will be attracted to the quality of the education they provide, as well as their accessibility, affordability, and the range of choices they offer.
This publication was funded by the New York County District Attorney’s Criminal Justice Investment Initiative (CJII). We would like to express our sincere appreciation to District Attorney’s Office for supporting this work as part of their commitment to expanding access to higher education in and after prison. We are particularly grateful for the clarity of vision and unwavering support of District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., Maggie Wolk, Chief of Strategic Planning and Policy, and Danielle Mindess, CJII Director.
In the course of developing the New York State Back to School Guide, we also researched and compiled this Resource Guide for people seeking assistance pursuing college in the community after incarceration. It identifies resources in New York City, as well as the four upstate metropolitan areas to which most people return: Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse. This resource also identifies the Re-entry Task Forces in the twenty jurisdictions that have them.
Re-entry Tasks Forces are funded by the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services to provide stabilization and counseling services to men and women returning home from state prison. Each Task Force includes representatives from human service, faith-based, and criminal justice agencies, who work together to ensure that resources are available to smooth the transition home. Reentry Coordinators assist individuals in meeting their parole conditions as well as accessing employment, housing, cognitive behavioral programs, substance use treatment, and education/training services.
The information in the Resource Guide was collected in late 2019 and may have changed since then, but we hope it provides readers with some leads in continuing their academic journeys.