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Broken Promises: Governor’s Early Release Initiative Fails to Free Vulnerable New Yorkers

The Legal Aid Society condemned Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Department of Correction and Community Supervision (DOCCS) for failing to promptly free vulnerable New Yorkers who qualify for New York’s early release initiative under which incarcerated individuals who are within 90 days of their release date and who are serving sentences for non-violent, non-sex offenses are eligible for immediate release.

In a letter recently sent to Governor Cuomo and DOCCS, Legal Aid called for the immediate release of four clients, especially vulnerable to COVID-19, who all meet the criteria for early release but who remain in DOCCS custody, repots THE CITY. Legal Aid also continues to call on the Governor to expand and accelerate the release of vulnerable people as rates of COVID-19 infection continue to escalate in New York’s prisons.

“It’s likely in the neighborhood of hundreds of people whose release is getting delayed,” said Ted Hausman Supervising Attorney with the Criminal Appeals Bureau at The Legal Aid Society.