It doesn't take a rocket scientists to realize that releasing criminals from prison, even during a pandemic, is a bad idea. Obviously they are in prison for a reason...releasing them only makes it harder for citizens who must now deal with the offenders.
On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City is seeing “some recidivism” from some of the inmates who have been released due to COVID-19.
Roughly 50 of the 1,400 inmates released from Rikers Island have been rearrested in the intervening weeks, according to reports by the New York Post. The former prisoners were released in concern for the spread of the coronavirus — classified “COVID-19” by the World Health Organization — within the infamously overcrowded institutions.
“I think it’s unconscionable just on a human level that folks were shown mercy and this is what some of them have done,” de Blasio said, and then added that they are “buckling down” on the problem.
“We do see some recidivism. I have not seen a huge amount, but any amount is obviously troubling,” he continued. “We’re going to just keep buckling down on it, making sure there’s close monitoring and supervision to the maximum step possible. And the NYPD is going to keep doing what they’re doing.”
Of course, the situation is more complicated than simply freeing people who have been locked away for years — or decades — before being released onto the streets of New York. Even outside of a global pandemic, prisoners already face monumental challenges in basic survival, let alone reintegration with society at large.
Furthermore, precisely what each of the inmates did to get arrested has not been fully clarified. At least one, 37-year-old Katarra Jackson, was arrested in Long Island in peak irony: after being released from prison due to the dangers of close quarters confinement, authorities took her back into custody for not properly social distancing.
Acting that carelessly could be even more dangerous than the virus! What happens if these criminals start murdering people? Then what?
This is extremely irresponsible on behalf of the government for allowing these inmates to re-enter society.
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