In the rush to save his city from COVID-19, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is freeing violent criminals. The release of inmates convicted of domestic violence and sex crimes has the district attorneys from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island, as well as the city’s special narcotics prosecutor livid.
In discussions, law enforcement and the mayor had agreed to release hundreds of people due to health concerns, including parole violators and victimless crime perpetrators. It was a policy much like the one New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently initiated statewide.
But the prosecutors soon learned de Blasio stuffed a few extra favors in the parolee mix – as Democrats are wont to do – and fear that now communities face an even greater risk than the Coronavirus and quickly penned a missive to the mayor, describing his process as “haphazard” at best:
“Even at this difficult time, our society must have the ability to safeguard those who are incarcerated, to avoid violating their rights or endangering the community. In short, we should not have to make release decisions that we know will put communities at risk.”
The top-cops described that the management of the release had not considered an inmate’s need for supervision, housing, and support services, which will “only compound the possible health, safety and other risks, both to the communities and to the individuals at issue.”
de Blasio’s Advisors
Earlier this week, Ross MacDonald, the chief medical officer for Correctional Health Service, bristled and took to Twitter to defend de Blasio’s release of 650 at-risk inmates including many from the infamous Riker’s Island:
“I can reassure my patients that I will get them the best possible care, but we expect that 20% of those infected will need our overburdened hospitals and 5% will need ventilators that many other citizens will also need. I am raising this alarm for a reason. I simply ask that in this time of crisis the focus remain on releasing as many vulnerable people as possible.”
Frankly, the statistics should ring the alarm bells with nearly 800 inmates in quarantine and 200 confirmed cases in the city’s jails systemwide.
Granted, the health of an inmate must be a priority – we are still as of yet – a civilized society. But a “vulnerable” inmate who beats the crap out his wife and kids, or the pedophile who may now roam the streets once again, may not be the best bad guys to let off the leash.
Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon personally aired his complaint in the form of an op-ed published on SILive, accusing the mayor of pandering to social media activists:
“Sadly, the mayor and his administration have continued to ignore the advice of district attorneys’ offices, choosing instead to pander to these defense attorney-led groups, and have now pressured the DA’s to review and consent to the release of defendants charged with these serious crimes as well … Many are being released equipped with cab fare, cell phones, and a key to a hotel room, regardless of the crime they committed or their current health condition.”
Perhaps Jail is Ideal for Quarantine
New York City is on edge as the pandemic seems to be relentless on free citizens, famous people, and criminals – no one is safe. Government officials are following the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, working at times in a bi-partisan fashion, and weathering a storm no one can predict an end to.
But how can releasing “vulnerable” inmates back onto the streets without supervision or a comprehensive plan to keep people safe solve the problem? Sure, release the technical parole violators, the drug user, and the drunk driver. But can we please draw the line at violent perps so others can feel peace during this time?
Read more from Sarah Cowgill.
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