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:

March 29, 2018

Busta Rhymes Hosts “Survivors Guide to Prison” Screening with FAMM, #Cut50, React To Film, YWCA Brooklyn, and Sankofa

Contact: Rabiah Burks 202-822-6700 Busta Rhymes Hosts “Survivors Guide to Prison” Screening with FAMM, #Cut50, React To Film, YWCA Brooklyn, and Sankofa   BROOKLYN — Rapper and activist Busta Rhymes, in partnership with FAMM, #Cut50, React to Film, YWCA Brooklyn, and Sankofa, will host a special community screening of “Survivors Guide to Prison,” on Saturday,… Read more »

August 21, 2017

NACDL and FAMM Announce State Clemency Project

Contact: Rabiah Burks 202.822.6700 NACDL and FAMM Announce State Clemency Project Collaborative Efforts Underway with the State of New York    Washington, DC (August 21, 2017) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), with support from the Foundation for Criminal Justice (FCJ), announce today a major state-focused… Read more »

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 »