New York State prisoners who begin their incarceration at Rikers Island or other city jails must have access to programs that permit them to qualify for merit time, a Bronx Supreme Court justice has told the City Department of Corrections and State Department of Correctional Services.

Acting Justice Richard Lee Price, ruling on 54 consolidated petitions by state prisoners who served part of their term in New York City jail, said the prisoners’ right to due process could potentially be violated unless they have access to the same sentence-shortening opportunities as persons in state prison facilities.

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