de Blasio uses coronavirus to empty New York prisons at public expense

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COVID-19 can kill people and wreak havoc on the economy, but for Mayor Bill de Blasio, this is the perfect excuse to open the doors of city jails and free inmates.

This is a fair conclusion anyway, given its recent boasting of having reached a “milestone”, with less than 4,000 people now behind bars after the city released more than 2,000 fears of the virus. It is “part of the overall effort to create a smaller, safer and fairer system for all,” he said.

By “fairer for all”, he means “sweeter for those who are behind bars”. This is why former police commissioner Bill Bratton – who helped shape Gotham’s astounding drop in crime in the early 1990s, then returned to Blasio’s command to ensure the crime continued to go down despite the mayor’s instincts – labeling “cukoo-land”.

“They are literally celebrating that they have less than 4,000 inmates,” said Bratton on Sunday. According to him, in reality, the botched state reform and the unsuccessful attempt to repair it this year “have created another virus”: a “criminal justice virus”.

And now, under the pretext of containing COVID, the town hall now empties the prisons even faster, which exacerbates the problem: as The Post reports, 50 of the first 1,500 released have already been arrested again – and some of them have been released again.

A week ago, the cops caught Robert Pondexter for attempted rape. He was fired on April 15 as part of efforts to fight the virus at Rikers, where he was detained first on another charge of rape, and then, when that charge was dropped, for an unrelated violation of parole.

Earlier, a convicted murderer was released – and quickly arrested for bank robbery.

We support the compassionate release of detainees who pose little risk to public safety, but de Blasio clearly does not want to stop there. As Bratton notes, there are “9,000 correctional officers, 4,000 prisoners” and a prison that once housed 22,000. “You would think they would be able to space them enough” to protect them from the virus and “keep them away from the public”.

The only logical explanation for why this doesn’t happen: De Blasio lets people go out for ideological reasons and public safety is damned.

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