New York’s Rising Tide of Judicial Diversion


Since repealing the Rockefeller drug laws in 2009, New York has seen a dramatic rise in the number of felony drug offenders mandated to treatment, instead of prison, according to a study by the Center for Court Innovation.

The study found that in the first year after New York adopted “judicial diversion” provisions — giving judges discretion to refer offenders to treatment — nearly 1,400 more drug-addicted offenders were mandated treatment, an increase of 77 percent from the year before.

The effects of Rockefeller drug law reform varied by region and county, according to the report, indicating that the precise impact “depends heavily on local culture and practice.”

The greatest increases in treatment enrollment were in suburban Long Island, where enrollments rose by 728 percent in the first year, from 37 to 541.

The increase in treatment referrals produced savings of $5,144 per offender, according to the study. The savings were attributed to a drop in re-offending and the fact that many drug treatment programs are inexpensive compared to incarceration.

Read the report HERE.

Comments are closed.