Drug commitments to prison decreased 33%, from 5,190 in 2008 to 3,513 in 2011.
This was due to in part to fewer felony drug arrests and in part to increased diversion.
The large counties outside of New York City had the largest decreases in drug commitments to
The biggest decline in commitments was seen for black individuals, followed by Hispanic
Admissions to felony drug courts increased from 1,039 in 2008 to 1,975 in 2011. At
the same time, the number of participants in other diversion programs declined.
The majority (84%) of individuals admitted into drug court programs were not facing a
mandatory prison sentence at arraignment.
As of June 1, 2012, 645 offenders serving indeterminate B sentences had been resentenced.
Arrests for felony class B, C, D and E drug offenses in 2008 and 2010 were followed to initial
case disposition, including diversion outcomes. These arrest flows show that, in New York City
and smaller counties upstate, there has been minimal change in the processing of felony drug
offenders who are first time felons.
When drug offenders with a prior felony on their record were followed, the analysis showed
fewer going to prison. The most substantial changes were found outside of New York City.
DCJS will continue to provide interim updates and is designing a longer term evaluation in
collaboration with OCA, OASAS and DOCCS. The evaluation will study recidivism outcomes
of drug offenders who receive prison sentences compared to the outcomes of those who are
diverted to drug court or receive a jail or probation sentence. The evaluation will commence in
2013 in order to allow sufficient time for a cohort of drug court participants diverted after
October 2009 to complete treatment.