Proudly Protecting Civil Liberties Since 1976

OAR UPDATE: During the COVID-19 pandemic, OAR is working with other organizations to provide services to those experiencing homelessness in Ithaca. This grassroots group was convened by Liddy Barger of the Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County and includes The Reach Project, Inc, Family & Children's Service of Ithaca Outreach workers, Second Wind CottagesSt. John's Community Services, the Salvation Army, United Way of Tompkins County and others. REACH is providing telemedicine services and others are delivering meals, providing portable showers, handwashing stations, and laundry vouchers. Richard Rivera of OAR has been the OAR worker on the ground and in the field. OAR hopes this collaboration continues past this pandemic.

Opportunities, Alternatives, and Resources 

Our mission... For over forty years OAR has been protecting the civil liberties of those incarcerated in the Tompkins County Jail through:


  • Assumption of innocence until proven guilty: This is our foundation.




  • College Initiative Upstate: In 2016, a reentry education program joined OAR. CIU's mission is to create pathways to and through college for court involved and/or formerly incarcerated individuals.



These programs help restore and maintain our clients' inclusion in the community. Learn more about how OAR protects Civil Liberties and like us on Facebook for more updates as we continue to grow.

United Way presents Jaime's Story, Created by Well SaidSee more: Jaime's Story

OAR's Wish List

TCAT Monthly Bus Passes

Wal-Mart  & other Gift Cards

Men’s Socks and Underwear (New)

Women’s Socks, Underwear, and Bras (New)

Towels, Wash Cloths, and Hand Towels (New or Gently Used)

Toothpaste and Toothbrushes

Toiletries: Shampoo, Conditioner, Soap, etc.

Feminine Hygiene Products

Laundry Detergent & Cleaning products

Greeting Cards

Toilet Paper

Paper Towels

Every little bit truly counts and makes a difference in our client's lives!!!

Your generous and greatly appreciated donations can be dropped off at our office, located at 910 W. State St. Ithaca, NY, between 9am-3pm. Please call (607) 272-7885 to make other arrangements.


Drop-In Services

Drop-in hours are from 9:00am-3:00pm M-F*

*Summer and Holiday hours may differ.  OAR is closed on federal holidays.  OAR also follows the weather closings at Ithaca City School District.

The staff at OAR are proud to provide a safe space to ensure that you have a sanctuary from the streets when you are without a job or home.

Clients and their families use our Drop-In Center for a vast array of services. These include:

  • Making appointments
  • Getting in touch with family members
  • Conducting job and housing searches
  • Getting referrals for other human service agencies
  • Staying up-to-date on current events

We strive to smooth your personal re-adjustment after leaving jail/prison and help you advocate for the rights you are entitled to.

We assist you through every step of your transition back into everyday life and also help with follow-up case management. Internet access, message boards, a free local phone line, and books are all available for you to use.


Support our Mission

We are powered by our community. Join our fight to protect civil liberties!

Volunteer with Us

We always welcome volunteers to help with jail transportation and office support tasks.

Email us using the form below to get involved.

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Community Relationships

"How fortunate we are to have a progressively minded Mayor who is open to and supportive of the work we do at OAR & CIU. Sitting down with Mayor Svante Myrick to discuss the innovative ideas and approaches to the field of reentry was a rewarding experience."

Ithaca Mayor, Svante Myrick; CIU Academic Counselor, Suzanne Burnham; OAR Parolee Case Manager, Jaime Coleman; CIU Director, Benay Rubenstien
Benay Rubenstein, Director of CIU; Jaime Coleman, Parolee Case Manager; Suzanne Burnham, Academic Counselor at CIU; and Svante Myrick, Mayor of Ithaca.