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April 25, 2009

Ceremonial signing of New York drug law reforms

This local piece provides this effective report on the ceremonial event yesterday in New York to mark the state's recent drug sentencing reforms:

Gov. David Paterson did a ceremonial signing in Queens [Friday] of a bill that reduces sentences for non-violent drug offenders. The legislation, which was passed as part of the 2009-10 state budget early this month, gives judges total discretion to divert non-violent addicts to drug treatment, and it expands the state’s treatment programs.

“This is a proud day for me and so many of my colleagues who have fought for so long to overhaul the drug laws and restore judicial discretion in narcotics cases,” Paterson said at Elmcor Youth and Adult Activities Inc., a state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services-funded drug-treatment center. “For years, thousands of New Yorkers have spoken out against the Rockefeller Drug Laws.”

The Rockefeller-era drug laws set up mandatory sentencing for non-violent criminals convicted of drug offenses. There were some changes made to the laws in recent years, but advocates said they were not enough. Besides providing judges more authority over offenders, the new law provides opportunities for additional relief to offenders who were sent to prison under the old statutes. Drug offenders who are not addicted but who sell drugs will be sent to prison under the laws. The law also creates new crimes to ensure that adults who sell drugs to children are appropriately required to serve time in State prison.

Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson, D-Mount Vernon, said the new law creates a “balanced approach to drug addiction and crime.” “We are now shifting resources to treat addiction as a medical problem. By diverting addicts to drug-treatment courts, we believe we can get people off drugs and thereby reduce the demand for them,” she said in a statement.

April 25, 2009 at 08:56 AM | Permalink

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Comments

STUDENT
IS THEIR ANY LAW THAT HAS BEEN SIGNED FOR NON VIOLENT OFFENDERS TO LOW THEIR SENTENCE TO 6MONTHS TOWARD 1 YEAR FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR.

Posted by: ERICA | Apr 25, 2009 11:55:07 PM

is there a law.. the reduces the time for a inmate..that is serving state time..an he also has federal time to serve..

Posted by: sy | Jul 16, 2009 12:47:50 PM

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