Citing the continuing chaos and persevering with fatalities on Rikers Island, two of New York Metropolis’s Home members, Rep. Carolyn Maloney and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, are calling on native district attorneys to hunt decrease bails and empty metropolis jails.
“We have grave concerns that excessive bail amounts are leading to unnecessary pretrial detention and contributing to a humanitarian crisis in New York City’s jail system, particularly on Rikers Island,” the representatives famous in separate letters submitted to all 5 New York Metropolis district attorneys on Monday.
At present, greater than 4,400 persons are being held on Rikers Island and in different metropolis jails pre-trial, principally resulting from bails they’re unable to publish. Up to now this yr, 14 folks incarcerated in metropolis jails have died. The continuing fatalities have prompted advocates to criticize bail quantities sought by prosecutors and permitted by judges.
Along with calling for extra lenient bail practices, Maloney and Ocasio-Cortez together with Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland requested all district attorneys to consent to the discharge of all detainees accused of misdemeanors or non-violent felonies in addition to these going through “significant health risks due to the coronavirus.”
“Condemning thousands of individuals to languish in an environment plagued by persistent overcrowding and mounting violence as they await trial is not acceptable and risks violating the federal civil rights of these individuals,” the letter from Maloney, Ocasio-Cortez, and Raskin mentioned. “If these conditions are not addressed, federal intervention may be necessary to protect detainees from additional harm.”
In accordance with metropolis numbers, greater than a thousand incarcerated folks, about twenty % of the town’s jail inhabitants, are being held in jail for misdemeanors and non-violent felony accusations.
Representatives for the town’s 5 district attorneys didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
This story might be up to date with any feedback from the district attorneys.