Health and Medicine

Don’t let reasonable prison releases turn into a mass coronavirus jailbreak

Uh, no, Mr. Tobin. Let’s have a coronavirus jailbreak.

Jonathan Tobin

New York Post

No, we shouldn’t release prisoners en masse

The coronavirus has hit all New Yorkers hard, but among the places where the contagion is presenting an especially acute problem are the jails.

With confined spaces and so many people living in close proximity to each other, lockup conditions may be a perfect breeding ground for the disease; the city’s Rikers Island prison could prove among the worst examples in the country.

And with ever more cases of inmates and guards coming down with the bug, pressure is building for the state, the courts and prosecutors to both stop sending criminals to jail and start emptying out ­facilities. But that’s madness. A real solution has to be more targeted and careful.

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