New York City jail population will be less than 5,000 for the first time since 1949 after de Blasio releases 200 inmates to stop the spread of the coronavirus – with another 175 expected to be released tonight

  • The New York City mayor called the news a ‘major, major milestone,’ adding that an additional 175 inmates would be released be the end of the night 
  • de Blasio touted that the jail population was now below 5,000, marking the first time the number was that low since 1949 
  • There were 4,906 inmates in the city’s jails as of Thursday 
  • On Tuesday, de Blasio announced that he was freeing 300 inmates from Rikers Island 
  • In New York, there are now  more than 37,000 cases of the virus and 385 people have died from it 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced during a Thursday press conference that 200 inmates were released from jail facilities across the city in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus. 

The New York City mayor called the news a ‘major, major milestone,’ adding that an additional 175 inmates would be released be the end of the night. 

de Blasio touted that the jail population was now below 5,000, marking the first time the number was that low since 1949. 

There were 4,906 inmates in the city’s jails as of Thursday, Vice reports. 

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The New York City mayor called the news a 'major, major milestone,' adding that an additional 175 inmates would be released be the end of the night

The New York City mayor called the news a ‘major, major milestone,’ adding that an additional 175 inmates would be released be the end of the night

On Tuesday, de Blasio announced that he was freeing 300 inmates from Rikers Island. 

The criminals will be those who have committed misdemeanors or non-violent felonies and who have less than a year on their sentence. 

The news comes less than a week after de Blasio released 40 ‘low risk’ inmates from facilities in an earlier bid to stop the coronavirus from spreading in the jails.

During Tuesday’s press conference, de Blasio said he was trying to strike a ‘humanitarian balance between trying to get everyone we need that we can physically out of her jail system out and be mindful that there are real public safety concerns here.’

On Tuesday, de Blasio announced that he was freeing 300 inmates from Rikers Island

On Tuesday, de Blasio announced that he was freeing 300 inmates from Rikers Island

There are more than 83,000 confirmed cases of people who have tested positive for the coronavirus

There are more than 83,000 confirmed cases of people who have tested positive for the coronavirus

‘We’re pained by both sides of the equation. That is a situation where I know broadly what I’d like to see happen… I also know there’s a lot of extenuating circumstances,’ he said.

It also comes a week after an inmate at Rikers Island tested positive for the coronavirus. 

Union officials announced Wednesday that an unidentified New York City correction officer who works at Rikers Island had also been struck down with the virus. Soon, 80 cases would be confirmed at the facility.

In New York, there are now 37,000 cases of the virus and 385 people have died from it. 

There have been 1,205 deaths in the United States

There have been 1,205 deaths in the United States

Other cities and states are taking similar steps to stop the spread of the coronavirus among their incarcerated communities.

Los Angeles County announced on Tuesday that it released 1,700 inmates from its jails amid fears that coronavirus could run rampant behind bars.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced the startling figures as prisoners collected their belongings and leaving one of the county’s facilities.

A number of the inmates looked delighted by their first taste of freedom, brandishing large smiles as they headed out into the wider world.

Villanueva confirmed that all of the 1,700 inmates who have been granted early release were due to be set free in less than 30 days. 

He also clarified that they were all convicted of nonviolent misdemeanors, according to Los Angeles Daily News.

The LA County prison system has around 17,000 inmates, meaning that 10% of its entire population has now been released. 

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