New York City’s jail population has dipped below 5,000 prisoners for the first time since World War II, as the city releases vulnerable inmates to stem the coronavirus outbreak, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday.
“None of us expected this crisis, but one thing that has come out of it is that our jail population has continued to decline,” he said.
Since the coronavirus outbreak hit Rikers Island last week, the city has released 200 inmates from jail facilities, the mayor said.
The jails population sat at 4,906 Thursday afternoon, he said.
An additional 175 were expected to be released on Thursday night, he added.
The mayor has previously said the city is releasing inmates with underlying health conditions, elderly people and those who have served most of their time.
As of Thursday, 58 Department of Correction employees had tested positive for coronavirus, while 73 inmates in DOC facilities were also confirmed to have the virus.
Additional reporting by Andrew Denney
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