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March 17, 2020

NYC Board of Correction calls on city to begin the process of releasing certain prisoners ASAP in response to COVID-19

I just saw this notable new statement from the New York City Board of Correction. Here is how it gets started:

The New York City Board of Correction, the independent oversight Board for the City’s jail system, is calling on the City to work with all its criminal justice partners to: (1) immediately remove from jail all people at higher risk from COVID-19 infection; and (2) rapidly decrease the jail population. While Department of Correction (DOC) and Correctional Health Services (CHS) staff continue to perform heroic work to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in the jails and maintain safe and humane operations, the City must drastically reduce the number of people in jail right now and limit new admissions to exceptional circumstances. The City can follow the leads of Los Angeles County and Cuyahoga County (Ohio) which have already begun to release people to minimize a potential outbreak. The City must begin this process now. The City’s jails have particular challenges to preventing disease transmission on a normal day and even more so during a public health crisis.

Significantly fewer people in jail will limit the spread of COVID-19 infection among people in custody and those who work in the jails, minimize the number of people in custody who will need medical care, decrease the density of housing areas for people who remain in jail, and allow New Yorkers to maintain connections with and support from their loved ones. DOC and CHS, along with City partners, must work with the Chief Judge of New York State, Governor Cuomo, District Attorneys, and the Defense Bar to begin identifying and releasing people this week, prioritizing:

  • People who are over 50;
  • People who have underlying health conditions, including lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or a weakened immune system
  • People detained for administrative reasons (including failure to appear and parole violations); and
  • People serving “City Sentences” (sentences of one year or less).

Prior coronavirus posts:

March 17, 2020 at 01:19 PM | Permalink


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