Gothamist: Growing Concerns Over City Jails’ Handling Of The Pandemic’s Second Wave

“Correctional Health Services said tests are offered following potential exposure, for disease surveillance or at a patient’s request.

But Ann Matthews, managing director of the criminal defense practice at Bronx Defenders, said those in jail still do not have any control over their surroundings and “are at the mercy of others for basic PPE and cleaning products.”

This is why she is among those calling on the city and prosecutors to release more people from Rikers, as they did last spring. The jail population plunged to less than 4,000 people in June, after about 1,400 people were released to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. A new bail reform law had also just taken effect. But the jail population has been going up since then, even though it is still well below the 7,000 it was in late 2019.”

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