NY.- Two inmates of the maximum security jail Coxsackie, in the county of Greene, died the last week of December for COVID-19, which represents the fifth and sixth among incarcerated people in prisons in the state of NY who die from the virus in the last three weeks.
Information about the deaths was revealed by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Oversight (DOCCS).
“Incarcerated individuals and their families are starting the new year with a COVID-19 nightmare. Six jailed New Yorkers have died from the virus in the last three weeks of 2020, ”the organizations denounced. Aging People in Prison Campaign, Parole Preparation Project, and HALTsolitary Campaign.
According to activists, Despite these tragedies and repeated calls from prison advocates and attorneys, district attorneys, medical experts, state and federal legislators, philanthropists, and even celebrities for the governor, asking for lifesaving clemency, Cuomo is taking no real action. , they denounced.
Consequently, advocacy organizations demand that state legislators must step up and pass reforms related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the The Elder Parole Act, the Fair and Timely Parole Act, and the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term Solitary Confinement Act (HALT), to prevent more unnecessary deaths behind bars.
Bills in the Legislature
- Elder Parole Act – would allow the State Parole Board to provide an assessment for possible parole release to incarcerated individuals 55 and older who have already served 15 years or older, including some of the oldest incarcerated individuals and sick of the state.
- The Fair and Timely Parole Act: Would provide more meaningful parole reviews for incarcerated individuals who are already eligible for parole.
- The Humanitarian Alternatives to Long-Term Solitary Confinement (HALT) Act would end the torture of prolonged solitary confinement and replace it with more humane and effective alternatives, while allowing true medical isolation as needed.
According to figures managed by these organizations, 24 people have died so far in the New York state prison system. This time two people at the Coxsackie Correctional Center, on December 31, 2020. Previously, DOCCS reported that one incarcerated person died of COVID-19, on December 30, another in Auburn on December 29, another at Clinton Correctional Facility. on December 22 and another at Woodbourne Correctional Facility on December 17.
They also revealed that, since December 1, 1,310 incarcerated people have tested positive for COVID-19. There are currently outbreaks of the virus in Attica, Bedford Hills, Bare Hill, Clinton, Woodbourne, Groveland, Cayuga and Walsh correctional facilities.
Throughout nearly nine months of the pandemic thus far, the Governor Andrew Cuomo has granted a total of ten pardons to New Yorkers in prison, fewer than the president Donald trump and the governors of California, Illinois, Oklahoma, Kentucky and other states of the country. Activists insist that instead of granting pardons, Governor Cuomo sentenced thousands of people to solitary confinement, which only exacerbates the damage and spread of COVID-19.
Who could be released
There are thousands of people in New York State jails who are eligible for parole, age 50 or older, or incarcerated for a non-criminal technical offense and who may be paroled or who are within one year your release date.
4,022 people already eligible for parole
3,305 people arrested for technical violation of probation
8,291 people aged 50 and over
6,524 people within one year of release (including women with babies who are part of the Bedford Hills daycare program and those who are pregnant).