ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A new initiative in New York state aims to help former inmates rejoin their families in public housing.

Under the pilot program announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, housing officials in White Plains, Schenectady and Syracuse will permit "carefully screened" former inmates to live with their families in public housing.

Many housing authorities now refuse to provide housing to former inmates, forcing them to separate from their families and potentially complicating their attempts to re-integrate into the community.

Cuomo, a Democrat, says stable housing "drastically" reduces the risk that former inmates will commit another crime. He says helping them rejoin their families in public housing will help them re-establish their lives while also increasing public safety.

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