2022 New York State Policy Briefs

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New York has recently made some strides to reduce its incarcerated population. But to end mass incarceration, New York must address both the number of people entering jails and prisons and the amount of time they spend there, which requires reassessing lengthy, punitive sentences. Passing a “second-look” law, ending mandatory minimums, and establishing more earned time credit programs are ways that New York can do so. These three fact sheets outline how enacting “second-look” laws, establishing earned time credit programs, and ending mandatory minimums can reduce New York’s prison population, address racial disparities in sentencing, and allow for reinvestments in our communities.

Key Takeaway

To reduce the prison population, New York should instate a petitioner-initiated second-look law that allows courts to reexamine a person's sentence after a period of incarceration and determine if incarceration still serves the interest of justice.