No, it’s not the “Twilight Zone,” but the story may seem just as strange: A group in Seattle and a panel of bureaucrats in New York are suggesting release of certain “high-risk” prisoners to protect them from the Coronavirus.
According to New York Magazine, “the New York City Board of Correction called for the immediate release of high-risk inmates from Rikers Island.”
“The Board of Correction, an independent oversight committee for the city’s jail system, said the city must ‘drastically reduce the number of people in jail right now’ to limit the spread of coronavirus,” the story said.
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Meanwhile, out in the Pacific Northwest, a left wing group calling itself Seattle Indivisible posted on its website that it is calling for Gov. Jay Inslee to “release the prisoners most at risk from the disease, and to release those least likely to pose a danger to the general public.”
There may be no coincidence in reports that increasing numbers of people are buying guns, some for the first time, as fear of the COVID-19 virus spreads.
According to the Daily Wire, “Sales of guns, ammunition, and ‘survival gear’ are skyrocketing…amid concerns that the coronavirus could lead to breakdown in civil order or even a suspension of weapons sales.”
Firearms retailers across the map indicate brisk sales, with people stocking up on ammunition as though some Doomsday scenario was about to unfold.
With reports of pressure to release prison inmates to protect them from infection, the real question nobody as asked is who will protect the public from the freed prisoners?
New York Magazine acknowledged the virus “has not yet been detected in a city jail” in New York. However, the announcement regarding prisoners at Riker’s Island came two days after Department of Corrections investigator David Perez died after having tested positive for the virus. Perez did not interact with large groups of prisoners, the article stated.
Back in Seattle, a coalition of groups including “the ACLU of Washington, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Disability Rights Washington, the Public Defender Association, and many others” has signed a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee, asking him to release prisoners “most at risk from the disease.
“The danger that COVID-19 poses to the people living in custody and the staff people responsible for their care cannot be overstated,” the letter says. “Prisons and jails are particularly ill-suited to address the current pandemic. People live in close contact with one another, social distancing is difficult, hygiene services and essential medical equipment is in short supply, and medical treatment is not easily accessible. Once COVID-19 breaks out, it will likely spread quickly through our prisons and jails.”
How quickly might it spread if prisons open their doors?
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