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LAS Calls on Cuomo, DOCCS to Release Vulnerable New Yorkers at COVID-19 Hotspots

The Legal Aid Society called on Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) to release vulnerable New Yorkers incarcerated in prisons where COVID-19 is spreading unchecked, reports the Daily Star.

The call comes after 337 New Yorkers tested positive for COVID-19 at Elmira Correctional Facility, up from only three on October 1, 2020. Since March, 18 New Yorkers have died in DOCCS’ custody from COVID-19 and over 1,200 have tested positive. For those who have been infected, the lingering effects and long-term complications of the virus remain unknown

“The second wave of COVID-19 has reached New York’s prison system, and our clients are defenseless against the virus, particularly because DOCCS has proven itself unable to implement an adequate COVID-19 mitigation strategy,” said Stefen Short, Supervising Attorney with the Prisoners’ Rights Project at The Legal Aid Society