by WorldTribune Staff, June 15, 2020
Prisoners ordered released by Gov. Andrew Cuomo from New York City’s main jail complex due to coronavirus concerns and the governor’s elimination of cash bail for many offenses are re-offending only to be released again to wind up committing more crimes.
At least 250 convicted and accused criminals freed from Rikers Island prison have been re-arrested 450 times, according to New York Police Department (NYPD) data.
One inmate who was released on March 16, was re-arrested a week later, released again, re-arrested in April, released again and re-arrested and released twice more this month.
While New York continues the mass release of prisoners and violent crime is surging, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is vowing to cut NYPD funding. The reduction in funding for the police would come as murders have jumped 160 percent over the last week and burglaries are up 402 percent.
In March, Cuomo issued a statewide order demanding jails and prisons release inmates to abide by social distancing measures.
Of those sprung from Rikers early due to Cuomo’s order, at least 250 have been arrested again, according to Michael LiPetri, chief of Crime Control Strategies for the NYPD.
Chief LiPetri told NBC New York the NYPD did not object to releasing older defendants, nor those with underlying medical conditions. But he says the consequences of the larger-scale release of prisoners are now showing up in the arrest data, with those 250 re-offenders being arrested 450 times so far during the pandemic.
One such case involves 27-year-old Jonathan Martinez. He has been charged in six incidents since November 2019 including forcible touching and allegedly robbing a Sephora store.
Martinez was previously convicted for strangling his girlfriend in 2014. On March 16, Martinez was released from Rikers Island under Cuomo’s directive.
On March 23, Martinez was arrested by the NYPD for allegedly robbing a person at knifepoint. After his arrest, Martinez was released without having to post bail thanks to Cuomo’s bail reform law.
In April, Martinez was again arrested by the NYPD for alleged robbery. Again, Martinez was released from jail. Then, this month, Martinez was twice arrested for vandalizing stores in Manhattan that the owners said they struggled to reopen due to the coronavirus crisis.