On Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that 40 people would be released from Rikers Island after being identified as medically high risk. After more cases of coronavirus popped up in the NYC jail during the next couple of days, he announced that about 200 more cases would be reviewed.
Hudson County Correctional Facility in NJ also had some positive coronavirus cases this past week. The facility has been on lockdown so incarcerated people only get a few hours outside of their cells each day. On Friday, 120 protesters started a hunger strike, sending out a statement about their concerns over hygiene, the AC being way too cold, lack of disinfectant products, missing mattresses in the new cell blocks, and general disrespect and negligence.
Today, about 100 people protested outside the facility in their cars (to maintain social distancing) by beeping their horns and holding signs, demanding the release of immigrant detainees. Incarcerated people in Rikers announced their strike today too in solidarity with Hudson County. 45 people are refusing to leave their dorms for work and meals. They cited a lack of cleaning supplies and crowded living conditions. They’re seeking the release of people with parole violations or health concerns as well as people with less than a year of sentenced time to do.