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

AB 6255 amended 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. 

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.  



   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:

May 31, 2017

How Trump’s Crime Crackdown Could Affect Defendants in NYC

Originally published 5/30/17 at On May 10, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo instructing federal prosecutors to “charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense,” essentially eliminating the current policy, which is based on a 2013 memo from previous Attorney General Eric Holder, whose so-called “Smart on Crime” approach was to use… Read more »

April 12, 2017

‘Raise the Age,’ Now Law in New York, Is Still a Subject of Debate

Via The New York Times Much of the praise for the Raise the Age initiative, which was passed by the New York Legislature over the weekend, was effusive, with various political factions claiming it as their own victory and its supporters calling it a historic protection for juvenile defendants. To be sure, the law —… Read more »

April 5, 2017

Mayor Backs Plan to Close Rikers and Open Jails Elsewhere

As seen via New York Times Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed on Friday to close the troubled jail complex on Rikers Island, which has spawned federal investigations, brought waves of protests and became a byword for brutality, in a move he said was intended to end an era of mass incarceration in New York City…. Read more »

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 »