New York City Must Act Now on COVID-19 at Rikers Island   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Document: "With each day, the number of people infected with COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] at Rikers Island increases at an alarming rate. The first reported case was on March 18. Five days later, 38 out of the 5,293 people incarcerated at the time tested positive for COVID-19 and another 56 were quarantined. New York City is the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis in the country and, by now, those numbers will have spiked again. Dr. Ross MacDonald, Rikers' chief medical officer, tweeted, 'We cannot change the fundamental nature of jail. We cannot socially distance dozens of elderly men living in a dorm, sharing a bathroom. Think of a cruise ship recklessly boarding more passengers each day.' Dr. MacDonald's voice is one among many calling for the mayor and the Department of Correction to release as many people from jail as they can to stem the public health crisis erupting inside the walls. The Board of Correction, New York City's independent correctional oversight agency, called for the release of people over 50 years old, those with underlying health conditions, those detained for administrative reasons such as technical violations of parole, and those serving short sentences. Adding up the numbers, the Board recommended releasing 1,922 people from Rikers Island."

2020 Vera Institute of Justice
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Vera Institute of Justice: https://www.vera.org/
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