New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to Release 300 Inmates From Rikers Over Coronavirus Outbreak

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that the city will be releasing 300 inmates from Rikers Island prison due to coronavirus concerns.

The mayor said that only non-violent and elderly inmates with at least five pre-existing conditions will be eligible for the early release. To qualify, the inmate must also have less than a year remaining to serve of their sentence.

“We want to identify anyone in those categories and get them released immediately,” de Blasio said during a news conference.

Inmates who committed acts of domestic violence or sexual assault will not be released, the mayor asserted.

“I’m listening to all the input … But I want to make very clear that I’m making the ultimate decisions, taking in the advice from all these different sources and doing what I think is the right thing for this city,” de Blasio added.

The Wall Street journal reports that “coronavirus is spreading quickly through the Rikers Island jail complex in New York City, killing one Department of Correction employee and infecting dozens of inmates and staff who go in and out of the facility.” The report says that dozens of inmates and staff have already been infected with the virus.

Last week a New York City Department of Corrections officer died from the virus.

Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has also tested positive for the virus and is believed to have caught it at Rikers, though he is now at Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo.


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