In most cases, the time spent in jail before a prisoner is sentenced should be credited toward the sentence that is imposed. However, prisoners often find that they have not been credited with all the time they have spent in jail, resulting in a later release date. The steps prisoners should take to have the error corrected vary, depending on whether they are located in a City jail or in State prison. 

Prisoners at Rikers Island

Prisoners serving sentences at Rikers Island who believe they have a sentence calculation problem should contact The Legal Aid Society Defender Legal Assistant (DLA) for the facility where they are located. The DLA will investigate the matter and work with the prisoner to correct the release date.

Prisoners in State Prison

Prisoners in state prison who are missing a period of jail time credit for time that was served in the custody of the New York City Department of Correction, e.g., at Rikers Island, should contact the Clerk of the jail where they were last housed in the City system.

The City Department of Correction’s policy is to store jail time records at the last jail in which a prisoner was held. That jail is responsible for errors in calculation of jail time.

Prisoners’ efforts to correct a jail time problem on their own are often unsuccessful. Prisoners who are unable to correct a problem on their own can contact The Legal Aid Society for help. Write to: CDD Special Litigation Unit, 199 Water Street, New York, NY 10038. Legal Aid can only assist prisoners whose cases originated in New York City. Prisoners from any parts of New York State can contact Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York, 118 Prospect St., Suite 307, Ithaca, NY 14850.