Some drug offenders now eligible for release

Changes in state drug laws Wednesday made hundreds of low-level drug offenders currently imprisoned eligible for release.

Gov. David Paterson and lawmakers decided in April to reform former Gov. Nelson Rockefeller's drug laws, which required a mandatory prison sentence. The laws, which were drawn up in the 1970s, did little to treat offenders.

The drug laws have been reformed over the years, with the strictest provisions removed in 2004. Paterson says the new revisions will send some offenders directly to treatment and others who were already imprisoned to get addiction and mental health services.

AP wire reports contributed to this article.

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