Harsh drug laws in New York State to be reformed

Thursday, March 05, 2009

For 35 years judges in New York State have had to follow strict sentencing laws for drug offenders. Critics say the Rockefeller Drug Laws, named for the former governor, mete out long prison sentences to small time offenders, and that drug treatment would often be more effective. Now, state lawmakers are poised to reform the laws. Journalist Jennifer Gonnerman wrote about the experience of one woman sentenced under the Rockefeller Drug Laws in her book Life on the Outside: The Prison Odyssey of Elaine Bartlett. She joins Farai and John with a look at the laws and the proposed reforms.

"They essentially establish a blueprint for fighting the so-called war on drugs, that was copied by every corner of the country, and have essentially been the engine that have driven the prison expansion in this country over the last 30 years."
— Journalist Jennifer Gonnerman on the strict Rockefeller Drug Laws


Jennifer Gonnerman

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Farai Chideya


Nadia Zonis

Comments [1]

MARY DIAZ from Florida

I would like to get in touch with Jennifer Gonnerman regarding a article on the Florida Parole Commission and its 5,100 men and women Parole Eligible that have been in prison over 30 yrs.
Please contact: 305-556-8641

Mar. 09 2010 12:04 AM

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