WXXI AM News

The state is releasing hundreds of low-level offenders from jail to help stop the spread of COVID-19

Mar 28, 2020

Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter says that 51 people have been released from the county jail, at the direction of the New York State Division of Parole.

Baxter says that none of them had flu-like symptoms and there are no COVID-19 cases in the jail.

They include 8 inmates classified as sex offenders, 12 inmates classified as being part of the transient population (they were taken to housing at area hotels as determined by the state and the county); one inmate was taken to Rochester General for a mental health evaluation and 10 inmates were released with electronic monitoring devices.

This is part of a move by the state to release several hundred inmates around New York, who have been behind bars in local jails for low-level technical violations.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said on MSNBC on Friday that the state was releasing people who are in jail because they violated parole for non-serious reasons.

The action to release 1,100 inmates, including 400 in New York City and 700 throughout the rest of the state, is being taken to respond to a growing number of COVID-19 cases in some local jails in recent weeks. Officials say the release of the inmates was done where the action does not present an undue risk to public safety, and it’s an effort to help protect a vulnerable population from contracting and transmitting the coronavirus.