The Incarceration to Education Coalition of NYU Students, Alumni, Faculty, and Supporters demand that New York University end admissions practices that discriminate against people based on their criminal histories.
Citizens returning from prison have done their time and want to move on with their lives. Pursuing higher education is one pathway to do so, but formerly incarcerated individuals applying to universities like New York University face the major barrier of having to disclose their criminal history when applying to college. It is unfair to “screen-out” and thus further marginalize those who are attempting to pursue education simply because they were once incarcerated or have a criminal record.
Beyond that, this policy is not a practice grounded in empirical evidence and does not promote public safety in any way. In fact, the leading research in this field reflects that college education during or after prison is related to reduced recidivism rates, strengthened family ties, increased positive role models, and augmented leadership development in communities devastated by the impact of incarceration.
The United States of America incarcerates more of its citizens than any other country in the world, and people of color are grossly overrepresented in the system. With such aggressive jailing practices that impact millions of Americans often unfairly, it is another affront to justice to further penalize people who are trying to re-integrate into society by pursuing higher education.
Therefore, we, The Incarceration to Education Coalition of NYU Students, Alumni, Faculty and Supporters, insist that New York University provide an application that does not include the discriminatory "box" nor ask applicants any question(s) pertaining to past adjudication, guilt, or conviction of a misdemeanor, felony, or other prior offense.