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Protesters call for 'at-risk' prisoners to be released over coronavirus concerns

WNYT Staff
Updated: April 21, 2020 04:48 PM
Created: April 21, 2020 09:05 AM

ALBANY - A protest was held Tuesday in three different locations across the state, urging the governor to release inmates at high risk of serious symptoms if they contract coronavirus.

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Rallies were held outside the Bedford Hills and Otisville Correctional facilities - as well as car parade that stopped outside the Governor's Mansion.

Protesters likened prisons to nursing homes, saying many inmates are over the age of 55 with preexisting conditions.
They firmly believe the state is not doing enough to protect them.

The advocates called for Governor Cuomo to grant mass clemencies to New York inmates most vulnerable to coronavirus.

The state Department of Corrections has more than 43,000 inmates in 52 different facilities.

While no large clusters of the virus have been reported among inmates so far, protesters say keeping people over the age of 55 and those with serious health conditions locked up is a death sentence waiting to happen.

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, DOCCS already lifted technical parole violation warrants and released inmates over the age of 55 who had 90 days or less left to serve and whose underlying crime was not a felony or sex offense.

However, protesters say that leaves many vulnerable people behind.

Here more of what they have to say about that, by watching the video of Jacquie Slater's story.


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