Blog of Rights

New Yorkers: Apply Pressure

By Jennifer Carnig, New York Civil Liberties Union at 2:36pm

We are so close. This week — with a little pressure — New York may finally rid itself of its draconian and hurtful Rockefeller drug laws.

These “mandatory-minimum” drug sentencing laws require judges to lock up for years people caught with small amounts of drugs. Nearly 200,000 nonviolent New Yorkers have been locked away because of these laws. More than 90 percent of them are black and Latino, and they overwhelmingly come from a just handful of low-income NYC neighborhoods. Instead of getting treatment or job training or an education, they are sent to prisons, hours from their families and any support system. Many of them languish in prison for decades.

The state Assembly took a bold first step and passed a reform bill last week. The state Senate must pass a similar proposal and Gov. David Paterson must sign it.

But we need your help to make that happen. If you live in New York, click here to send a fax to the governor and your senator. If you don’t live in New York, please forward this to your friends who do.

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