Showing News in Drop the Rock Coalition


Looking to Paterson to Come Through on Drug Law Reform

When Eliot Spitzer became Governor of New York, advocates for repealing the Rockefeller Drug Laws had high hopes for advancing their cause. The modest drug law reforms under Governor Pataki in 2004 and 2005 helped remove the issue from the public spotlight, yet did very little to remedy the excessive incarceration of low-income people of color. Read More


Drop the Rock Renewed

Things–and times–change. Happily aware of this fact, the CA has renewed its commitment to Drop the Rock, our state-wide campaign promoting repeal of the notorious Rockefeller Drug Laws that were enacted in 1973. So what has changed? Why think, as we do, that the 2008 legislative session offers a historic opportunity to move this issue?Read More


“Going On”: Patience and Perseverance

Working at the CA for over 20 years has instilled in me patience regarding criminal justice reform efforts. Understanding that our issues are often controversial and that our immediate constituency is often considered unpopular has also led me to place a high value on perseverance. As a generous donor recently wrote us: “Just go on going on until we don’t have to.” Persevering is our enduring responsibility–showing up and being there having their own merits and rewards–even though we don’t always achieve our exact aims.Read More


5 Winnable Issues

Reforming the criminal justice system is often a long and challenging process. But after years of strategic effort by the Correctional Association and its allies–and with a new administration soon to take office in Albany–we have a unique opportunity to make the administration of justice in New York significantly more fair, effective and humane.Read More


Frustration and Reward

Given the nature of our work, frustration is an enduring reality at the CA. In fact, one’s ability to deal with the inevitable disappointments that come with the territory here—to recognize them and get past them—is a critical test. Score well on it and you have taken an important step to becoming an effective advocate for criminal justice reform.Read More


Drug law changes: Progress or Problem?

Despite the fanfare, the Rockefeller Drug Law modifications approved last week in Albany do not amount to real reform. The amendments reduce sentences for drug offenses but leave intact the harshest aspects of these statutes and don’t address the most serious problems caused by these laws. The mandatory sentencing provisions remain on the books, meaning that judges still cannot consider significant mitigating factors–such as an individual’s role in the drug transaction or history of addiction–and fashion appropriate penalties to suit the offenses before them.Read More


Letter from the Director

From time to time I’m asked – often, actually, by journalists who have covered Albany politics for several years or more – how my colleagues and I maintain our energy/efforts aimed at repealing New York’s harsh Rockefeller Drug Laws (see p. 5 for an update on the Drop the Rock campaign).Read More



Drop the Rock Campaign Carries on 30th Anniversary of Signing of New York’s Drug Laws

Despite drug law reform being a main issue in last year’s governor’s race, despite Governor Pataki once again calling for change in his January State of the State speech, no real movement has taken place on this issue. The governor has put out reform proposals, as have legislative leaders. One prominent legislator, Jeffrion Aubry, Chair of the New York State Assembly’s Committee on Corrections, has proposed a repeal bill (A-852), the plan supported by the Correctional Association of New York.Read More