New York


After decades of high crime rates and violence in its major cities, New York has turned to criminal justice reform to reduce prison populations, costs, and decrease crime rates. 

History of Legislation

New York enacted comprehensive drug policy reforms that greatly expand treatment options while repealing most mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses. Certain drug offenders will be allowed to enter treatment under close supervision by specially trained drug court personnel, instead of automatically being sent to prison.  

AB 6255 amends the Criminal Procedure Law to allow people with an opioid addiction using MAT, such as methadone treatment, to participate in a judicial diversion program. 

Governor Andrew Cuomo established a pardon program for certain juveniles. The initiative automatically pardoned thousands of people who were convicted of non-violent crimes as teenagers. Individuals convicted of a non-violent crime at the age of 16 or 17 and who have not been convicted of any crime for at least 10 years are eligible for a pardon. 


   State Budget: $2.7 billion 

   State Prison Expenses: $3.6 billion 

   Avg Annual Cost per inmate: $60,76 

   State Population: 19.75 million people

  State Population: 71,466 people


How You Can Advocate for Sentencing Reform in Your State

You can do several things to work toward reforming your state’s sentencing laws – go to our get involved page to find out how.

Encourage your state lawmakers to support mandatory minimum sentencing reform. Be sure to connect with FAMM and other sentencing reformers on Facebook, Twitter, and by signing up for our email list.

Sentencing/Criminal Justice Reform Groups in this State:

March 14, 2017

After Record Year for Fatal Overdoses, New York City Targets Opioids

Originally seen in The Wall Street Journal   New York City will spend $38 million annually to combat an opioid epidemic that killed more than 1,000 New Yorkers last year, city officials said Monday. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the initiative, dubbed HealingNYC, would reduce the number of opioid deaths by 35% during the next five years. The… Read more »

March 7, 2017

Heastie Unveils Plan to Tackle Criminal Justice Issues in New York

Orignally seen in TWC News.  ALBANY, N.Y. — Assembly Democrats are pushing a package of bills aimed at criminal justice reform in New York, including raising the age of criminal responsibility and making it easier for those accused of a crime of making bail. “I don’t want to make declarations but I’ve expressed to the… Read more »

March 7, 2017

Letter: Cuomo Should Support Criminal Justice Reform

Originally seen in The Buffalo News.  Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has a unique and historic opportunity to lead the country in progressive and important criminal justice reform. Specifically, the governor can right a wrong and systemically overhaul the justice system, ensuring equal access to legal representation for one and all. Because the state was sued… Read more »