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Mission and Goals

Mission Statement

In October 2010, then-Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman established the New York State Permanent Commission on Sentencing. The Commission – whose members represent all segments of New York's criminal justice system – is charged with comprehensively evaluating sentencing laws and practices and recommending reforms that will improve the quality and effectiveness of statewide sentencing policy.

In fulfilling its mission, the Commission will propose changes to New York's sentencing laws aimed at:

  • Enhancing fairness and justice;
  • Improving public safety; and
  • Clarifying New York State’s complex sentencing structure.

The Commission has begun the process of reviewing New York's current sentencing laws and practices, taking into consideration, among others, the following goals:

  • Simplifying New York's increasingly complex sentencing statutes, which have not been comprehensively revised in more than four decades;
  • Promoting more transparent sentencing (also known as "truth-in-sentencing"), so that judges, lawyers, crime victims and the public have a clearer picture of the actual time an offender is likely to spend in custody;
  • Assessing whether there are categories of offenses for which lesser or greater sentences might be appropriate;
  • Determining whether alternative forms of sentencing can reduce the number of offenders sent to state prison while at the same time improving public safety and reducing recidivism;
  • Enhancing programs for offenders, both during and after their release from incarceration, also with the aim of improving public safety and reducing recidivism;
  • Increasing focus on crime victims, including efforts to broaden victim participation in sentencing and to facilitate victim restitution; and
  • Collecting and analyzing reliable, trustworthy data on sentencing and using that information in crafting sentencing policies.