Across New York, people are incarcerated for weeks, months, and even years after their prison release dates. These individuals are not confined for violating prison disciplinary rules or committing new crimes. New York’s Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) detains them, instead, because they are homeless.
DOCCS refuses to release prisoners to community supervision without an approved address. But for prisoners required to register as “sex offenders,” finding housing means navigating a web of restrictions that are levied exclusively on people convicted of sex crimes and that dramatically constrain housing options, particularly in densely populated New York City.
These restrictions amount to effective banishment for registrants with disabilities, who face added obstacles to finding medically appropriate housing and are barred even from New York City’s homeless-shelter system.
As this Essay explores, the State of New York, and particularly New York City, pushes its poor, disabled sex-offender registrants into homelessness, and then prolongs registrants’ detention because of their homeless status. Full Essay (Yale Law Journal)