NEW YORK, NY– The City of New York has let a massive number of inmates out of jail during this COVID-19 pandemic.
If you’ll recall back to before everything the entire country did or talked about revolved around the virus, New York was doing something similar with what they called “bail reform.”
Do you remember how bail reform was working out for the City?
In case you don’t, let me remind you: It was going poorly.
The NYPD and all their unions said that basically the city had “revolving door justice,” where they would arrest a bad guy, a bad guy would go say hi to the judge, and the bad guy would be back on the street to continue his crime-loving life, sometimes all in the same day.
Law Enforcement Today reported on many examples of that exact scenario, where the criminals let out of jail under bail reform would commit crimes again right away.
And now, we have the same situation, for a different reason.
Inmates are being let out of jail because of COVID-19 concerns, but they’re getting right back to that good old crime life almost immediately.
— Scott Patterson (@ScottMPatterson) April 13, 2020
On April 10, The New York Post reported that 1,500 inmates had been released from jails in New York since March 16. This brought New York’s incarceration level to the lowest it’s been in 70 years.
Three hundred of those released were facing violent felony charges.
Sunday, The New York Post also reported that at least 50 of those same inmates have made their way back to jail since being released.
In some cases, those who had returned to jail have already been released yet again.
The Legal Aid Society and Bronx Defenders has been working to get inmates released since drug treatment program transfers by the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) have been halted.
After the last round of released inmates, Legal Aid Society lawyer Elon Harpaz said in a statement:
“We are glad that the court recognized that their continued incarceration infringed upon basic due process rights and placed them each in grave danger of contracting COVID-19.
For DOCCS to have left them in limbo, with no end in sight to their incarceration, waiting to be infected with COVID-19, worried that they might become seriously ill or even die, is unconscionable.”
Well, they certainly don’t have to worry about being incarcerated anymore. The citizens of New York, however, do have to worry about their freedom as they continue to victimize communities.
— The Legal Aid Society (@LegalAidNYC) April 19, 2020
But, hey. At least the criminals are safe from COVID-19, right? Since they’re not in the jails where it could possibly spread, they’re surely staying home and social distancing properly.
Which is clearly evident by the ones who have already committed more crimes.
Tina Luongo, the Legal Aid Society’s attorney in charge of criminal cases, said in a statement:
“Our clients who are seriously ill or at a high risk if exposed to the virus should not face a death sentence on Rikers Island before a jury has even had a chance to judge their guilt or innocence, regardless of the charges against them.”
The group is working on getting inmates released from state prisons as well.
Inmates in New York State prisons who are 55 years or older and are within 90 days of their release may now be considered for early release due to concerns about the spread of coronavirus in state correctional facilities. https://t.co/bRIJP8xCrb
— Prison_Health (@Prison_Health) April 17, 2020
Meanwhile, the New York Post reported on some of the most insane cases:
“Include[d in those released is] a Rikers Island inmate initially jailed for allegedly setting his girlfriend’s door on fire and choking her mother, who was released early only to return to the Bronx apartment and allegedly threaten to kill the whole family.
Another prisoner who is accused of assaulting a Department of Homeless services officer and was later set free was arrested for punching an agency sergeant just two days after his release, records show.
Yet another, who was serving a 60-day sentence for theft, was charged with burglarizing Queens’ Singh Farm grocery store to the tune of more than $9,000 three weeks after his early release.”
"What we are concerned with the most is that the NYPD is utilizing their resources for low-level enforcement of quality of life offenses rather than concentrating and reallocating their resources to what should actually be a priority in this pandemic." https://t.co/51ouv5rKY4
— The Legal Aid Society (@LegalAidNYC) April 15, 2020
Daeshawn Sharperson is the 31-year-old man who torched his girlfriend’s door, pleaded guilty to criminal mischief, which got him out of felony charges. He received a four-month sentence. He was among about 100 inmates released early on March 26.
Police say eight days after the release, he went back to his girlfriend’s house and allegedly threatened to kill her family. He also attacked people riding on the bus on two separate occasions. He is back in jail, for now, on $10,000 bail.
Wilmer Colindres is the 39-year old man who attacked a DHS officer. Court records show he was jailed for assault and harassment last November. The kind gentleman sexually assaulted a physician while in jail, and a charge of forcible touching was added to his list.
Colindres was released on March 24. Two days later, he was sent back to jail for punching the sergeant. He was released again..
Rainesh Abudin is the 18-year old who was in jail for multiple burglary and grand larceny charges. He was released on March 20 after requesting a “mercy petition for medical reasons.” On April 8, he robbed the store in Queens. Police say he broke in through the back door of Singh Farm grocery store and stole $9,281 from the store’s safe. He has not yet been taken back into custody.
Another highlighted case:
“Among the city’s worst repeat offenders is Darryl Naser, 25, who was rearrested five times in April alone after being released March 27, records show.
Naser, who police describe as a ‘transit recidivist,’ was first jailed on charges of grand larceny and possession of stolen credit cards before his coronavirus-related release. He was arrested again April 1 on a burglary charge, and on April 4, April 6 and April 8 on drug possession charges.
He was released without bail each time, as he was after he was picked up yet again at the Herald Square subway station on Friday and charged with third-degree criminal possession of stolen property, court records show.
Police said he was caught stealing a purse.”
NYC Leadership, Mayor DeBlasio looking for a corner in a round room. pic.twitter.com/PJMPFy2VNa
— SBA (@SBANYPD) April 3, 2020
And a few more:
“Victor Castillo [is] a 32-year-old Brooklyn man who has been arrested three times since being set free on March 24 — twice for criminal trespassing and once for allegedly breaking a bodega window to steal cash, police sources said.
He was released without bail Thursday and remains free, records show.
Charles Abbriano, a 53-year-old Staten Island man with a history of low-level crimes, was hit with a one-year sentence in January for several theft cases. He was released early on March 25.
The next week, Abbriano was pinched for petty larceny and released — only to be picked up again on April 9 for allegedly trying to steal a packed furniture truck with three other men in Dongan Hills, records show.
Pedro Hernandez, 45, of Brooklyn, had two violent felonies and five misdemeanor convictions on his record when police arrested him for allegedly stealing an electric bike from a basement on March 12. He was being held on $2,500 but was instead set free later that month over coronavirus concerns.
He was arrested again for allegedly burglarizing another apartment but was released again.”
So, are we finally seeing a pattern here? Bad guys are bad guys and a pandemic doesn’t change that. Those advocates crying for “compassionate release” may feel differently if they were forced to live in the same communities as these criminals.
Stay safe, law-abiding citizens of New York, and good luck NYPD.
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