February 04, 2009

The Future of Sentencing in New York State: Recommendations for Reform, by the New York State Commission on Sentencing Reform, January 30, 2009

The New York State Commission for Sentencing Reform has agreed on five major principles of drug law reform. The commissioners also recommend the establishment of a permanent sentencing commission for New York State to advise the Executive and Legislative branches on proposed legislation; the adoption of a largely determinate sentencing system to promote greater uniformity, fairness and truth-in-sentencing; the expansion of effective and cost-efficient shock incarceration and merit time initiatives to reduce recidivism and reserve costly prison space for the most dangerous offenders; and the enhancement of the rights of crime victims.

Press release from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services ...for immediate release: 12 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009

Full Report (pdf)

Statement from the Press release:

Jeremy Travis, president of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said the “Sentencing Commission has performed a valuable service, at a critical time in the state’s history.”

“By focusing squarely on the connection between public safety and sentencing policy, the Commission has provided a roadmap that will guide the state during difficult fiscal times,” President Travis said. “The Commission’s recommendations, if followed, will bring clarity to our patchwork quilt of accumulated sentencing reforms, improve reentry outcomes, and support more rational uses of our prisons and our parole system.”

For commentaries, see also:
Prison panel calls for "revoking" parole, by Jarrett Murphy, City Limits Weekly #674, February 9, 2009.
Make jail time a last resort, by Jonathan E. Gradess, Times Union, February 11, 2009.