Senate Democrats Back Drug Law Changes

Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith says his Democratic conference is backing changes in New York drug laws that would send more nonviolent drug offenders to probation and addiction treatment instead of prison.
The Democrat-led Assembly passed a measure this week that would eliminate minimum required prison terms for lesser felonies, establish at least one drug court in every county and give judges more latitude to impose alternative sentences.
Smith says the Senate plan will be part of budget talks to ensure adequate funding for treatment facilities, investment in communities housing nonviolent offenders getting treatment and more sentencing discretion.
The Senate also wants funding to offset higher treatment costs for counties.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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