With the death toll of COVID-19 ticking up everyday, we have many things to be anxious about. Releasing people from jail and prison isn’t one of them. In fact, it will save lives and ultimately make us safer because in a pandemic, public health is public safety. We need to resist scaremongering headlines that say otherwise.
Both Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio have promised New Yorkers that every life matters. Yet those behind bars — in our jails and prisons — often come last. New York has taken small steps to release 1,500 New Yorkers from Rikers Island, an epicenter within an epicenter for infection and death from COVID-19. Instead of applauding these efforts, the New York Post, just yesterday, published an article attacking their release — citing the statistic that 3% of the 1,500 people that were released committed a new crime.
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