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The Eastside-Airport Metro Rail Extension

Citizens for Regional Transit — Aug 23, 2019

This policy brief provides information regarding the expansion of NFTA metro-rail services in east-side Buffalo to the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. 

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Better Policing for the City of Buffalo: Toward Community, Transparency, and Justice

Andrea Ó Súilleabháin — Sep 26, 2017

This policy brief recommends that the Buffalo Police Department expand its community policing efforts through culture change and incentives, a diversified police force, increased training, improved transparency and oversight, more restorative justice and diversion programs, and the use of crime prevention through environmental design.  The brief is based on “Collaboration, Communication, and Community-Building: A New Model of Policing for 21st Century Buffalo,” a 2016 PPG …

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Poverty, Race, and Community Policing in Buffalo

Mark Poloncarz Mar 27, 2015

The region’s inequality has dramatic effects in every aspect of life, and the criminal justice system is no exception.  As PPG documented in its 2013 report, Alarming Disparities, African-Americans account for 14% of Erie County’s population but 43% of arrests and 65% of prison sentences, and Hispanics represent 4.7% of the population but 7% of arrests and 9% of prison sentences.  For some charges, the disparities are especially striking; for example, African-Americans …

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Best Practices in Mental Health at Corrections Facilities

Sahil Jain — Nov 1, 2011

Police, court personnel, and correctional staff interact with, stabilize, and treat more persons with mental illness than any other system in America—making criminal justice agencies the largest mental health provider in the United States.  Yet a wide gap exists between the training of corrections staff and the enormous responsibility they have for day-to-day management of mental health issues.  To narrow this gap in jail and prison settings, the best practices include training …

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Refugees, Food Insecurity, and Community Gardens

Dorian Rolston — Aug 10, 2011

Nearly nine in ten resettled refugee households endure food insecurity, meaning that they are without “access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.”  Because western New York resettles hundreds of refugees per year, many of them on Buffalo’s west side, we have a unique opportunity to combat refugee food insecurity.

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Drug Testing by Potential Employers

Neil Diegelman — Apr 28, 2010

New York State should pass laws that regulate pre-employment drug testing in order to maximize fairness, accuracy, and efficiency while recognizing employers’ needs to maintain a drug-free workplace.  Drug testing, when done properly, is quite accurate and has standardized procedures to ensure fairness.  A pre-employment drug test can be an effective way for an employer to check on factors influencing whether an applicant will be productive or continuously tardy or have attitude …

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Local and Minority Hiring Practices

Kasia McDonald — Apr 28, 2010

This brief discusses various strategies to ensure a diverse and local workforce at the Canal Side project on Buffalo’s waterfront.  To make the project as advantageous to the community as possible requires the use of exact language in contracts governing the development, active participation of local neighborhoods, a monitoring system to track efforts made by developers and jobseekers and then distribute the results to the community, and civic oversight to hold the businesses …

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Criminal Convictions and Employment Rights in New York State

Robert Strassel — Apr 26, 2010

New York has a strong policy toward preventing discrimination based on prior criminal convictions and its progressive policy outlook should encouraged.  In 2007 a report concluded that New York employees were largely unfamiliar with State laws regulating an employer’s use of prior criminal convictions for employment-related decisions, and in response, the legislature amended Section 296 of New York Executive Law to require employers to post and disseminate information regarding a job …

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