U.S. Attorney General William Barr issued an emergency order Friday calling for the release of vulnerable federal prisoners into home confinement amid the coronavirus crisis. This news comes as at least 16 states have also released prisoners. We look at the treatment of incarcerated people in New York state, where Governor Andrew Cuomo has yet to grant anyone freedom despite at least 24 confirmed cases among state prisoners. Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he’ll release about 300 people from Rikers Island and other city jails, but advocates are calling for far more to be freed. We speak to José Díaz, a New York University graduate student who was just released from Rikers on Saturday morning. We also speak with Jose Saldana, director of the group Release Aging People in Prison.
Democracy Now! is a daily independent award-winning news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. Click here for transcript.