The Sexual Assault Reform Act (SARA) imposes harsh residential restrictions on people who have been convicted of certain sexually related offenses. People subject to SARA are prohibited from entering any area within 1,000 feet of a school, rendering most housing options in densely populated areas unavailable to them. In New York City, SARA has forced many people into homelessness, separating them from their families and their communities. SARA has also resulted in a punitive policy of imprisoning people who are otherwise entitled to be released, solely due to their inability to find housing that complies with the restriction.
Appellate Advocates pursues a multi-pronged strategy to assist clients who are subject to SARA’s draconian restrictions. We educate and advocate on behalf of clients who are subject to the statute’s restrictions and bring targeted litigation to challenge its unlawful impacts. We also advocate for statutory and policy reform in partnership with fellow legal and community organizations through amicus participation, policy proposals and initiatives, and community outreach.