On assuming charge of the Department of Correction of New York City in 1928, Commissioner Richard C. Patterson, Jr., in his survey of the department, found that the management of drug addicts was one of the problems confronting him. Approximately 1,500 drug addicts come under the supervision of the department annually, and there had been no systematic or uniform method of handling these cases in the departmental divisions in which they were distributed. Accordingly, and with the approval of Mayor Walker, a committee, known as the Mayor's Committee on Drug Addiction, was appointed in November, 1927, to study the subject of drug addiction, and to make such recommendations as the findings warranted.
The personnel of the committee was as follows: Dr. Alexander Lambert, chairman, and Drs. Stanley R. Benedict, Menas S. Gregory, William R. Williams, Thomas A. McGoldrick, Israel Strauss and Linsly R. Williams. Dr. Matthias Nicoll, Jr., state commissioner