By Jon Dougherty @TheNatSent
(TNS) We’ve never understood the alleged ‘wisdom’ behind the rush to release prisoners due to the coronavirus outbreak like several Left-wing governors and mayors have done.
To us, it makes much more sense to keep prisoners in jail (to finish their sentences) while dramatically limiting their contact with the outside world. They’re locked up, for crying out loud; how much more sequestered can they get?
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Even at that, though, if a prisoner were to become ill with coronavirus, they would be cared for — just the same as they when they fall ill for some other reason or are injured.
In any event, as blue states like New York are using the virus as an excuse to enact “criminal justice reforms,” red Texas isn’t playing that game.
As he tells fellow Texans to ‘shelter in place’ (as prisoners are already doing), Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Monday “to preclude the release on personal bond of any person previously convicted of a crime that involves physical violence or the threat of physical violence, or of any person currently arrested for such a crime that is supported by probable cause.”
As Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz notes, “coronavirus jailbreak” policies have been increasingly put into effect by blue states and blue cities for a few weeks now, resulting in the release of child molesters, sex offenders, and violent criminals (including illegal aliens).
As such, Abbott has barred “any county judge or mayor of a municipality, or any emergency management director, from releasing persons under any circumstances inconsistent with this order.”
Abbott’s order also warns of “broad-scale release of arrested or jailed individuals as a result of COVID-19, including potentially those who have committed felonies.”
The governor added that “such releases from county or municipal jails of those charged with, convicted of, or having a history of offenses involving physical violence or threats of physical violence would not only gravely threaten public safety, but would also hinder efforts to cope with the COVID-19 disaster.”
Joe Gamaldi, president of the Fraternal Order of Police of Houston, was quick to praise Abbott’s decision.
“Our officers have their hands full dealing w/ #Covid_19 pandemic and don’t need added duty of babysitting felons who should be behind bars,” he wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, in New York and under the order of Big “D” Gov. Andrew Cuomo, prisoners are being released like there’s no tomorrow, including eight high-level sex offenders.
Three of 51 prisoners released from the Monroe County jail on Saturday have been convicted of child rape and have registered as “level 3” sex offenders. They are now staying at a Holiday Inn Express in Greece, New York.
Nice, huh? So, how exactly does keeping prisoners in hotel rooms protect them from coronavirus? This who notion is just absurd.
“I am outraged by the recent release of the 51 incarcerated individuals, 9 of who now reside in our town,” wrote Greece Supervisor Bill Reilich in a statement. “They went from a prison cell, where they were serving their time as they were sentenced to living in a hotel, with more amenities than some of our families. They are not worried about running out of supplies, where their next meal will come from and of course the new (but part-time) social distancing.”
All true. And, as we say, the lunacy of release flies in the face of keeping prisoners incarcerated because they’d be better protected from a pandemic, as Reilich notes:
I would tend to believe that as we have all had to adjust limiting personal contact that the jails would adjust as well. And the answer isn’t “set them free”. In fact, I would think that perhaps minor adjustments in the amount of contact would be much easier with individuals in their cells. Limit time when the general population gathers and yes invoke what we all have to, strict social distancing.
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“Releasing more people this late into the epidemic will only expose more people, not fewer. Yet this is being done in almost every state. Now, 14 Republican and Democrat senators are demanding Trump do the same in federal prisons,” Horowitz writes.
There is no logical reason to do so. And at least one red state governor understands that.
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