This week, possibly today, the state assembly is voting on a bill
that would begin in earnest the much-discussed and long-delayed reform of the Rockefeller drug laws
that since the early 70s have put and kept many minor offenders in prison, which opponents say
have been costly and counterproductive, but which supporters like Brooklyn state senator Martin Golden
say have prevented crime. A06085 would amend current law to redirect some convicts with evident drug or alcohol problems to drug treatment facilities. The legislature is expected to later address the Rockefeller minimum sentencing requirements for drug offenders. Governor Paterson is sympathetic
, but the Albany Times-Union
isn't sure how much: the end of "36 years of failure," they say, "is largely in the hands of governor who, as a state senator, used to favor much more sweeping reform."