We have already achieved a lot in our four current partner unions. For instance, some recent updates from our NC partners:
SYRINGE EXCHANGE IS LEGAL IN NC! THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR PARTNERS (ESPECIALLY NC HARM REDUCTION COALITION) WHO HELPED TO MAKE SYRINGE EXCHANGE LEGAL IN NC, NOW PEOPLE THAT USE DRUGS CAN HAVE ACCESS TO SUPPLIES AND EDUCATION WHICH ILL ALLOW THEM TO BE SAFER AND HEALTHIER THAN EVER BEFORE!
NEW legislative Updates for 2017:
On March 20, 2017 the North Carolina General Assembly introduced House Bill 409 State Agencies/Adjust Hiring Practices, a bill that aims to reduce barriers to state employment for people with criminal records. In North Carolina, 1.6 million people have an arrest or conviction that make it more difficult to find stable work and live reformed, self-sufficient lives. These barriers contribute significantly to a 68% recidivism rate across the state and cause the state to lose an estimated $1 billion in GDP annually due to the exclusion of people with criminal records from the work force.
The bill reads: “The General Assembly finds that the ability to procure meaningful employment is essential to reinstating good citizenship for individuals who have a criminal record. The General Assembly declares that the State encourages the successful reintegration of people with a criminal history and recognizes that reducing barriers to employment for persons with a criminal history is a matter of statewide concern. The purpose of this section is to implement hiring practices that will increase employment opportunities and will reduce recidivism and improve community stability.”
House Bill 409 aims to reduce barriers by moving inquiries into a person’s prior arrests or convictions until after the interview, affording the applicant a chance to meet face-to-face with potential employers. State employers will still conduct background checks, but delaying initial inquiries offers them the opportunity to take into account an applicant’s qualifications, skills, and rehabilitation efforts, as well as information on criminal history, before making a hiring decision.
“We want people who truly desire to work hard and take care of their families to have an opportunity to do so,” says Representative Rena Turner, the bill’s primary sponsor. “By erecting lifelong barriers to employment for people with a past arrest or conviction, we are increasing the chances that they will turn to crime or public assistance to make ends meet. H409 will provide a better opportunity to find meaningful work, while at the same time respecting the rights of state employers to conduct background checks and keep their workplaces safe.”
H409 applies only to state employers and excludes positions such as law enforcement, people who work with minors or the elderly, and other positions as required by law are also excluded. Private and local public employers will not be affected by H409, although ten counties and municipalities in North Carolina currently have policies that delay inquiries into criminal background for public employers: the cities of Asheville, Carrboro, Charlotte, Durham, and Spring Lake, and the counties of Buncombe, Cumberland, Durham, Mecklenburg, New Hanover and Wake.
Law Enforcement Officer/Public Safety— PASSED
- Enhance HB850 to include drug residue
- Fully decriminalize syringes
- Provide immunity for people returning used syringes to biohazard collection sites
Enhance 2013’s NC SB 20, by including protections for good samaritans by protecting them from charge and arrest for calling 911 at drug overdoses as well as protect people on probation and parole.—-PASSED
- Add protections for people on probation and parole who call 911 at drug overdoses
- Increase the amount of drugs allowed at a drug OD from 1g to 4g
- Protecting the victim of underage drinking from prosecution
- Protection from arrest and charge for the overdose victim and the caller at drug overdoses
NALOXONE ACCESS- PASSED
- Allow for pharmacists to provide naloxone over the counter to patients through a standing order.
- Allow for CBO’s to distribute naloxone in the community.
BAN THE BOX- GOING BACK AND TRYIN’ AGAIN
- Support a statewide ban the box bill to allow people with a history of incarceration the opportunity to work.