fINEQUITY

Creating pathways to economic stability for those impacted by long-term incarceration.

picture of a bridge

About

fINEQUITY is an early-stage organization working to create a free financial inclusion tool for incarcerated people. Our mission is to create pathways to economic security for New Yorkers impacted by long-term incarceration.

HomeNOW Pilot Program

The Problem

Credit checks are a modern exclusion tool, used to enable discrimination in situations where it would otherwise be illegal.

icons of a briefcase, a house, a car, a cell phone, a lightbulb, a credit card, and a medical bag, displayed vertically

Through credit checks, formerly incarcerated people face barriers to housing, employment, and non-predatory banking services. People returning home are also charged higher rates than others for car insurance, cell phone plans, utilities, and credit cards.

The Solution

The pilot program we are putting together is made up of three main parts, with an additional step we aspire to make possible.

icons of a notepad, a credit card, and megaphone, and an arrow pointing into a square bracket, displayed horizontally

Mail-based Financial Education

We will send information about credit scores, interest payments, and the risks of predatory lending to program participants while they are inside. Graduates of this correspondence course will be issued a Certificate of Completion.

No-Interest $1 Loans

We will send a $1 loan in to the commissary accounts of participants within NY State prison facilities, in accordance with prison regulations. Once the $1 loan is repaid to us, we will send in another, and repeat as long as participants remain interested.

Credit Reporting

Once a track record of regular repayments has been established, we will launch credit reporting to the credit bureaus up until a participants' release date.

Post-Release Services

We hope to keep working with participants once they are out by connecting them with the financial services they need. This is something we are thinking about for the future.

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Our Team

Briane is a law professor and technologist with experience in prison reentry policy. Previously, Briane served as a board chair for the National Network of Returning Citizens and the DC Reduced Fee Legal Services Network.

Brittany is a computer programmer with experience building and supporting web applications. Brittany has worked on digital distributed systems and scaling products with mail-based components.

Keri is a finance-savvy accountant whose past work includes business and personal financial management, taxation, public assistance programs, non-profit management, and community relations.