In just 12 days, confirmed cases at the Rikers Island jail complex in New York have soared from one to nearly 200, according to Ross MacDonald, the facility’s chief physician. He warned that it is “unlikely” they will be able to stop the growth, predicting that 20 percent of those infected will need hospital treatment. He called for the immediate release of incarcerees.
As more young people are being released from custody in response to fears about their vulnerability to the coronavirus, juvenile justice advocates are focusing on the kids left behind. At a Tuesday press conference, experts called on authorities to address the needs of youth still held in detention before it was too late.
Many policymakers around the world are imposing fines or jail terms on violators of stay-at-home orders. But such punishments are likely to be imposed disproportionately on the poorest citizens, warns an R Street Institute Fellow.
When an employee at the Monroe Correctional Complex in Washington state tested positive for COVID-19, prison administrators swiftly instituted safety precautions. An inmate reports that the measures have left the entire facility bracing for the worst.
Youth correctional administrators have joined juvenile justice advocates across the country in warning that the 43,000 young people currently in custody are among those at highest risk of infection from the coronavirus. “The experience of (juvenile) incarceration just got worse,” said former NY State Youth Corrections Commissioner Gladys Carrion.
A New York City Department of Correction employee has died, and a Rikers Island inmate has tested positive — fueling calls from reformers to double down on safety precautions in one of the country’s largest jail facilities.
Los Angeles police advised the public to send emails to area police stations. “Rest assured, we will still respond to crimes in progress or a crime in need of immediate follow up,” the department said.