Fewer inmates are expected to be behind bars in New York State prisons over the next four years. The Associated Press reports a further drop of about 1,000 prisoners is likely through 2017, because some drugs laws in the state have been softened or eliminated. Back in the 1970s, strict drug laws and punishments were signed by the governor at the time -- Nelson Rockefeller -- as a way of fighting against a rise in drugs and crime.
The state inmate population is already under 55,000, a significant drop from over 72,000 more than 10 years ago. Governor Andrew Cuomo included shutting down two prisons in his proposed $9.7 billion public safety budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.
One of those prisons, Bayview in New York City, has been closed since Superstorm Sandy struck last year.