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Defenders Decry 16% Rise in Jail Population as Second COVID-19 Wave Threatens NYC​

The Legal Aid Society and other defender organizations decried a 16 percent rise in New Yorkers held pretrial following the implementation of rollbacks to New York State’s bail reform law, reports the Queens Daily Eagle.

On July 2, 2020, the day bail reform rollbacks took effect, there were 2,909 people languishing pretrial in New York City jails. As of October 10, 2020, there were 3,364 people held pretrial in local jails. This amounts to an increase of 455 people. This increase reflects even larger numbers of people who are admitted to New York City jails and exposed to others there, as people cycle in and out and every day.

“It is plainly unconscionable that Albany capitulated to racist fear-mongering and subjected more people to pretrial detention during the COVID-19 pandemic — a betrayal that is downright cruel and dangerous,” reads a statement from the Defender organizations. “One hundred days after the implementation of these bail rollbacks, our fears have been realized as more and more people are in jail as the city braces for a resurgence of COVID-19.”