November 21, 2012
This is a personal opinion and does not express the views of New York State's Unified Court System. I am a judge of the trial courts of the State of New York, assigned to the civil term, but I also preside over bail hearings in NYC Criminal Court about a half dozen times per year. I am also former chair of the New York chapter of the Women in Prison Committee of the National Association of Women Judges. In such capacity I have seen first hand the work of the Correctional Association, a unique organization with a 100 year old history. Mark Bennett, federal district court judge of Iowa, recently wrote an editorial criticizing mandatory minimum sentencing laws and their part in the current crisis in the prison system in our country , which incarcerates a higher percentage of its population than any nation in the world. The Correctional Association through its mandate and cutting age problem solving advocacy, is tackling the crisis head on and forging a model for a truly just system of criminal laws.
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