Around the country, some prisoners have been released in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Singer and entertainer John Legend reached out to New York Gov. Mario Cuomo about doing the same for the New York prison system according to The New York Post.
Earlier this week, Legend posted a video with his passionate request to Cuomo.
Leaders must do everything possible to prevent incarcerated people and those who work in prisons from becoming ill and spreading #COVID19. @NYGovCuomo, it’s time for action. pic.twitter.com/xg0UBLYWrQ
— John Legend (@johnlegend) April 14, 2020
“The spread of coronavirus in jails and prisons threatens the health and safety of New Yorkers. When someone is incarcerated, there is no such thing as social distancing, and ensuring good hygiene is not an option,” the singer-songwriter said in a Twitter video posted on Tuesday.
“Leaders must do everything possible to prevent incarcerated people, and those who work in prisons, from becoming ill and spreading the virus.”
“Gov. Cuomo it’s time for action. You can make communities across New York safer and healthier by reducing the prison population,” he continued.
“You can grant immediate clemency to people who are close to their release date, incarcerated for parole violations, or especially vulnerable because of their age or underlying health conditions.
“Gov. Cuomo, free them now. Thank you and hope you are having a good week, take care,” he concluded.
Last month, the Cuomo administration did order the release of 1,100 low-level parole violators, citing concerns over the spread of COVID-19. But some advocacy groups are requesting that the state prison system set free more prisoners who are either close to their release date or are living with pre-existing conditions that put them at risk for contracting the virus.
Melissa DeRosa, secretary to the governor, said in a statement: “We have continued to monitor the COVID situation as it affects every corner of our state—as it relates to our prisons, DOCCs has previously lifted all technical parole violation warrants for those who do not pose a threat to public safety; earlier today DOCCs began the process of releasing those with 90 days or less remaining on their sentence who are 55 years of age or older, and whose underlying crime was not a violent felony or a sex offense.”