Re-Entering the Workforce

“I have never had an option in my life. Now I have options.”
–Re-entry client upon getting a security guard license



As part of its employment practice, Mobilization for Justice provides advice, counsel and representation to help people with past criminal records re-enter the workforce. Our services help clients to:

  • oppose unlawful job discrimination on the basis of criminal convictions, particularly in government jobs
  • obtain occupational licenses, e.g. security guards, barbers, taxi drivers, etc., including representation at city and state administrative hearings
  • appealadministrative licensure denials to the New York Supreme Court
  • obtain occupational clearancefrom state and city agencies, e.g., for persons seeking employment as home health aides, school workers, etc.
  • advocate with private employersthat summarily deny or terminate employment due to conviction history and assist with filing complaints with city and state human rights commissions

In addition to legal services to individuals, Mobilization for Justice works closely with other re-entry organizations to train local advocates and people with past criminal records about employment rights and responsibilities, how to correct rap sheets, and how to obtain Certificates of Relief from Disabilities. Trainings are interactive and incorporate how best to work with court personnel to obtain records, how to review records for inaccuracies, how to submit documentation to private and government employers, how to present oneself at hearings, and how to plan a career path.

Our re-entry work receives pro bono support from attorneys at Ropes & Gray LLP, who represent clients who have been denied licenses at administrative hearings.

Mobilization for Justice’s re-entry work has enabled scores of people with past criminal records to re-enter the workforce and earn living-wage salaries.

Mobilization for Justice’s employment work receives generous support from the New York City Council.

CALL OUR INTAKE FOR HELP: 212-417-3888, MONDAY & TUESDAY, 2 pm – 5 pm

Or come to a legal clinic:
Bronx: St. Jerome’s Community Center, 330 E. 138 St., Bronx, NY 10454; 3rd Thursday, 3 pm – 5 pm (walk in or make an appointment by calling 718-402-7866)
Manhattan: Office of Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez, 618 W. 177 St., NY, NY 10033, 2nd Thursday (by appointment)

Additional resources for information on re-entering the workforce:

New York State Correction Law Article 23-A (NYS Department of Labor)
How to Gather Evidence of Rehabilitation
Lowering Criminal Record Barriers: Certificates of Relief/Good Conduct and record sealing
Criminal Record & Employment: Protecting Yourself from Discrimination
Your New York Rap Sheet: A Guide to Getting, Understanding, and Correcting Your Criminal Record
National Hire Network