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Democrat & chronicle: Most incarcerated New Yorkers now come from upstate, not NYC. What’s behind the shift?:

January 26, 2023

When New York changed its laws around where incarcerated people were counted, the next step was to quantify which areas sent the most people to prisons, according to VOCAL-NY’s civil rights campaign director, Nick Encalada-Malinowski.

He sees the numbers of incarcerated people coming from upstate communities as a reflection of politics. As New York City undertook reform with changes around sentencing − particularly with drug sentencing − other counties didn’t undergo as much change, he said. 

“What’s happening for a lot of counties is they are incarcerating people rather than addressing any of their kind of immediate needs,” he said. “You have people especially in jail, but also in prison, just cycling through. No one’s actually addressing what got the person there.”

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