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What is Willard and how do I get it?

What is Willard and how do I get it?

Commonly referred to as a “Willard sentence” or the “Willard program”, Willard is the name of a state correctional facility where eligible offenders who are sentenced to a term of parole supervision serve the first ninety days of such parole. These ninety days focus primarily on treatment and education regarding drug addiction, providing a way for eligible offenders to be rehabilitated and then supervised without serving unnecessarily long prison sentences. After successful completion, the participant is released and serves the remainder of the sentence on parole while at liberty.

Who is eligible for Willard?

Section 410.91 of the Criminal Procedure Law governs eligibility for Willard. To be eligible, the offender must:

  1.  Be convicted of a specified felony offense, which are:
  2. Not be convicted of any non-specified felony offenses; and
  3. Have not previously been convicted of either:
  4. Not be subject to an undischarged term of imprisonment.

Once eligibility has been established the court can order the sentence be executed as a sentence of parole supervision if it finds “(i) that the defendant has a history of controlled substance dependence that is a significant contributing factor to such defendant’s criminal conduct; (ii) that such defendant’s controlled substance dependence could be appropriately addressed by a sentence of parole supervision; and (iii) that imposition of such a sentence would not have an adverse effect on public safety or public confidence in the integrity of the criminal justice system.”

Note, however, that even if eligible, the prosecution may insist a plea offer be conditioned upon the defendant not receiving Willard. Additionally, the court has the ability to deny Willard even where both the prosecutor and defense agree to it. Care must, then, be taken to understand the terms of any negotiated plea.

If you or someone you know is charged with a crime, the attorneys at Larkin Ingrassia & Tepermayster have over fifty years of combined criminal defense experience in Orange, Dutchess, Ulster, Rockland, Westchester, Sullivan and Putnam Counties, including both litigating cases in court and in arriving at plea resolutions favorable to our clients’ needs. Contact us for a free criminal case consultation.


  1. Does not include theft of firearms.
  2. Does not include criminal possession of stolen firearms.
  3. Until July 5, 2021.
  4. Only if the attempted version of the specified offense is also a felony.
  5. Other than a class B controlled substance felony offenses.


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Important Information

COVID-19 (Novel Corona Virus)  Update 3-20-2020

By order of Governor Andrew Cuomo, beginning 3-22-2020, all non-essential business in New York state must close their physical offices in response to the rapid rate of positive reported cases of COVID-19 in New York State.

Although this will impact the in office and in person services that LIT can provide, we will still be working remotely from our homes to serve our existing clients and we will continue to serve the public on a remote basis with any new legal matters for which they may need assistance.

We as a nation have overcome great obstacles in the past and although the challenges that lie ahead of us as community, as a state, and as a nation are great, we will overcome them as our resilience as individuals, as a community and as a nation will allow us to prevail.

May all of you and your loved ones be safe and well .

Larkin, Ingrassia & Tepermayster, LLP

Should you have any questions please feel free to contact us at 845-566-5345

For more information regarding the COVID-19 virus please visit any of the following sites:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

NYS Department of Health

Orange County Dept. of Health

Ulster County Dept. of Health

For information and updates regarding court postponements or closings please visit:

NYS Unified Court System

9th Judicial District

3rd Judicial District