New York, NY —
A new report says New York and New Jersey are the only states where inmate populations have dropped. The Sentencing Project, a prison reform group, says New York saw a 12 percent decline, and New Jersey an 11 percent decrease, since 2001. Executive director, Marc Mauer, attributes New York's inmate population drop to changes in drug sentencing laws.
MAUER: Nearly 90 percent of the decline is a result of fewer drug offenders in prison.
Governor Paterson and New York lawmakers recently agreed to more changes to the Rockefeller drug laws, that will give judges more discretion in sentencing offenders. Today, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly blasted the move, saying it will lead to an increase in drug related crime.