Queens District Attorney s Office and Queens Treatment Court Embraces the Ten Key Components

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1 Queens District Attorney s Office and Queens Treatment Court Embraces the Ten Key Components Presented by: Douglas L. Knight, Director of Alternative Sentencing, Queens District Attorney s Office Donna M. Myrill, Assistant District Attorney Maritza T. Karagiorgos, Project Director, Queens Treatment Court Peter L. Manzo, Social Worker, Queens Treatment Court 5/29/2014

2 What Is Alternative Sentencing? The diversion of criminal defendants from a traditional sentencing structure toward mandatory treatment for drug abuse and other behavioral issues which motivate criminal behavior.

3 History of the Rockefeller Drug Laws in New York State Late 60 s, early 70 s NYS Legislators faced a rising drug epidemic. In 1967, then Governor Rockefeller created the Narcotic Addiction and Control Commission (NACC) NYS implemented Methadone Maintenance.

4 Rockefeller Drug Laws Enacted in 1973, when Nelson Rockefeller was Governor of NYS, the Rockefeller Drug Laws required prison terms for the possession or sale of controlled substances Supposedly intended to target major dealers, however, most people incarcerated were convicted of low level non-violent drug offenses

5 Rockefeller Drug Laws Remained unchanged until December 2004 & August 2005 In 2005 a total of 5,835 or 35.7% of the state inmate commitments were drug offenders. However, only 450 drug convicted state prison inmates were negatively impacted by the Rockefeller drug laws.

6 Rockefeller Drug Law reform 2004 Reform took place on 12/14/2004 Gov. Pataki signed new legislation into law that significantly changed drug laws With the new laws, all state prison sentences were changed from indeterminate to determinate jail sentences, plus post release supervision First time C,D and E felony drug offenders were eligible for determinate sentences New law double drug weights

7 Old Law A-I A-II Old law Min 15 life Max 25 life Min 3 life Max 8 1/3 - life B Min 1-3 Max 8 1/3 25 yrs C Min 1-3 Max 5 15 D Min 1-3 Max 2 1/3 7 E Min 1 3 Max 1 1/3 4

8 2004 Drug Law 1 st Offender 2 nd offender 2 nd offender (prior VFO) A-I A II 3-10 Lifetime probation B C D E 1-9 (2-9 for PL ) 25 yrs probation 1 5 ½ Alternative in PL Alternative of <1yr 1-2 ½ Alternative in Alternative of <1 yr 1 1 ½ Alternative in PL Alternative of < 1 yr 6-14 Lifetime probation 3 ½ - 12 (no shock) Lifetime probation ½ ½ - 4 Parole Supervision 1 ½ - 2 Parole Supervision 2 ½ - 4 ½ 2 2 ½

9 2004 Reform, was it enough? Did not restore judicial discretion Did not increase funding for community based drug treatment and alternative to incarceration programs Did not provide retroactive sentencing relief, particularly B felony offenders Did not reduce sentences enough

10 What s happened since 2004? Few people got out of prison under this reforms, no jail break. Only 30 % of 1,000 A-1 and A-2 drug offenders were released from prison The re-sentencing process took much longer than expected. District Attorneys were often fighting re-sentencing and on occasion seeking longer jail sentences

11 What s New April 7, 2009 New Sentencing Provisions Expanded Shock Eligibility Willard (not extended Willard) CASAT sentences prison time reduced

12 What s New As of June 7, 2009 Conditional Sealing took effect As of October 7, 2009 Judicial Diversion B felony resentencing November 1, 2009 Drug Kingpin Criminal Sale to a Child

13 New Law 2009 A-I First Offense A-II First Offense 8-20 yrs (Min 15-life) 3-10 yrs (3-Life) B First Offense 1-9 yrs (1-3 yrs) C First Offense 1-5 ½ yrs (1-3yrs) D First Offense 1-2 ½ yrs (1-3 yrs) E First Offense 1-1 ½ yrs (1-3 yrs)

14 Sentencing Changes B felonies under PL Article 220* First time offenders Prison no longer required Probation, Shock or Willard eligible Second Felony Offenders Minimum is now 2 yrs (from 3.5) Diversion not available for prior VFO *this includes sale on or near school grounds (seems to be little value remaining in this charge)

15 Sentencing Changes Class B,C, D and E felonies Second Felony offender Prison is no longer required Judicial diversion without People s consent Available regardless of number of felony convictions But no violent felonies

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18 Eligibility Non-Violent Felony and Misdemeanor offenders. Predicate Felons with no more than two prior non violent Felonies. Prior violent arrests may disqualify a defendant from Alternative Sentencing.

19 ATI Options in Queens NY Drug Treatment Alternative to Prison Program (DTAP) Treatment Alternative to Safer Communities (TASC) Queens Mental Health Court Queens DWI Court Fortune Society Community Service Second Chance Queens Domestic Violence Court Queens Misdemeanor Court Queens Misdemeanor Mental Health Court Arraignment DWI Screening and Assessment Queens DA Youth Diversion Program Queens Youth Part Sex Offense Part Queens Veterans Court Queens Court Academy Justice Scholars Program Misdemeanor Youth Part CASES Community Mediation Services New York Center for Change Power and Control Program Consulting Project Osborne Association SCRAM Electric Monitoring

20 Comprehensive Screening Process Arraignment clerks are trained to determine paper eligibility. Cases will be sent to either AP-N/AP-6 or QMTC. Once determined paper eligible, case managers (TASC/Fortune) in AP parts to determine clinical eligibility. Will include non-drug cases. CJA supervised release program. DWI screening and assessment protocol.

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31 QDA Alternative Sentencing Referrals 2013

32 QTC- Queens Treatment Court. Implemented in 1998 for first time non-violent felony offenders. The court utilizes both residential and out-patient facilities. It employs a system of graduated sanctions and rewards. To date, over 2,335 defendants have enrolled in the court. 75 % retention rate.

33 Key Component #2: Using a non-adversarial approach The Court has a dedicated assigned Assistant District Attorney and Defense Attorney Defendant is referred to be assessed by (TASC) manager Treatment plan is presented to both ADA and Defense Attorney Plea agreement is prepared signed by all parties

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35 Clinical Meetings: Clinical meetings are non-adversarial Team approach Agree to disagree There is no I in Team Treatment Status Vocational/ Educational goals are discussed All parties are invited including family members and treatment providers

36 Key Component #4 and #5: Housing/ homelessness SCRAM Continues Alcohol Monitoring Global Positioning System (GPS) Substance abuse treatment/random testing Mental health treatment Interim Probation- NYC Dept. of Probation Educational/ Vocational Wellness/Trauma Services Clubhouses

37 Key Component #6 and #7 Staff morning meetings with Judge Progress updates to Judge- TASC Efforts are recognized Incentives- applause Phase advancement Decrease court supervision Granted travel request Graduation

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39 Key Component # 6 and #7 cont Negative Reinforcements: Essay Punitive community service Increased court supervision Interim Probation SCRAM/GPS Curfew Jail Sentence

40 Key Component #8 Universal Treatment Application

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42 Key Component #8 cont QTC utilizes the Universal Treatment Application (UTA) All potential participants are screened for trauma related services utilizing: PTSD Checklist- Civilian Version (PCL-C) Trauma History Screen (THS) Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Combat Exposure Scale (CES)

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47 Key Component #8 cont Evaluator extracts data from UTA in order to measure and monitor effectiveness of court performance Analyze data for completeness & accuracy Provides feedback to project coordinator Provides statistics to the team about the overall effectiveness, goals and objectives of our court

48 Key Component #9: Ongoing training- Conferences NADCP Life Savers NY Association of Drug Treatment Court Professionals

49 Key Component #10: Collaborative effort: Communication among NYC drug court project directors Team makes offsite treatment visits in an effort to build team spirit with providers Judge attends graduation ceremonies at different agencies Stakeholders meetings are held quarterly where providers are invited to share their successes and their concerns

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