‘Wherever we can get people out of jails, out of prisons, now, we are…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) New York released at least eight sex offenders, three of whom were convicted of child molestation and assault, as part of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s initiative to decrease prison populations as the state battles the Wuhan virus pandemic.
Cuomo announced last week that prisons would release 1,100 parole violators to prevent the jails from becoming hot spots for the virus.
As a result, Monroe County Jail released nearly 50 prisoners, some of whom have violent criminal histories, according to WIVB-TV.
“We’re releasing people who are in jails because they violated parole for non-serious reasons,” Cuomo said Friday night on MSNBC. “And wherever we can get people out of jails, out of prisons, now, we are.”
Nine of the released prisoners are now stay at a Holiday Inn Express, the outlet reports, including three child rapists considered “most likely to re-offend” by the state.
Greece Chief of Police Patrick Phelan blasted the move, calling it dangerous.
“It doesn’t make any sense. If you could present an argument to me that makes sense, I’m willing to listen. But this doesn’t make any sense,” Phelan said.
“So you have a violent criminal who’s done time in state prison who’s been given the chance of parole, and not followed the conditions of their parole. That’s who you’re talking about right now,” he continued.
New York’s department of corrections told WIVB-TV that it decided which prisoners to release based on a “review of the underlying technical violation [of parole], not the original crime.”
But Phelan said his department wasn’t even notified.
“We weren’t told by anyone,” he said. “I think good practice would be if you’re going to release convicted felons—some of them very violent some of those level-3 sex offenders—you might want to give law enforcement the heads up.”