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A Natural Experiment in Reform: Analyzing drug law policy change in New York State

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $699,937)

This grant will support a policy analysis of the 2009 New York State Drug Law Reform (DLR) legislation and changes in felony drug sentences that previously mandated prison under the Rockefeller Drug Laws. Archival data will be used track felony drug cases indicted in New York City for information on charges, dispositions, and sentences before (1/2008-6/2008) and after (7/2010-12/2010) DLR legislation went into effect; additional information will be extracted from a random sample of 100 casefiles. Researchers will interview judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys regarding charging and sentencing decisions. Rearrest, reconviction and revocation outcomes will be compared among offenders who were sentenced before and after DLR, but released from custody during the same period (1/2010-1/2011). Analyses will examine costs associated with incarceration, community supervision, and recidivism. Work products include reports and data documenting the effect of legislation promoting alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent drug offenders on policy and practice with information on charging, sentencing, public safety, and associated costs. ca/ncf

Date Created: September 15, 2010