Alec Baldwin is calling on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to release prison inmates who have a year or less left to serve on their sentences, saying the coronavirus pandemic is endangering the lives of inmates who live in close quarters. The 30 Rock star also said prisoners who are elderly, pregnant, or who have compromised immune systems should also be released.
Alec Baldwin’s made his plea in a video Monday, arguing that such measures are needed to “reduce the overall population of state jails and prisons.”
“This is an extremely difficult time for New York City, for our state and the entire world,” the actor said. “I wish everyone good health. That includes people in prisons, jails, and immigration detention, where social distancing and proper hygiene are simply not possible and countless people are at serious risk of illness and death.”
He added: “This message is for Gov. Andrew Cuomo. As this pandemic spreads, public health and safety, and basic moral decency demand that you use your authority to issue clemency to those most vulnerable in our state prisons & reduce the overall population. Releasing the elders, pregnant women and others who are immunocompromised, as well as anyone with a year of their release dates would show great leadership and that’s what New York needs now.”
WOW. Just received. A powerful video message from Alec Baldwin to @NYGovCuomo: “As the pandemic spreads, public health, safety, & basic moral decency demand you use your power to issue clemency to the most vulnerable & reduce the overall population of state jails & prisons.” pic.twitter.com/knTzAgZqca
— Scott Hechinger (@ScottHech) April 26, 2020
New York City has already released more than 1,500 inmates in recent weeks due to the Chinese coronavirus outbreak. City officials said that the net number of people in city custody has fallen by more than 1,100 people since March 16.
“The City is balancing concerns for public health with public safety and has sharpened its focus on health concerns as the emergency has evolved. We have prioritized the release of those over 50 years of age, and those with the underlying health conditions that put people at highest risk from COVID-19, including auto-immune, heart and lung diseases, diabetes, and cancer,” prison officials said in a statement earlier this month.
On Saturday, a Brooklyn man was reportedly arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman just ten days after he was released from Rikers Island over concerns about COVID-19. Another former inmate in prison for murder was re-arrested earlier this month after he allegedly tried to rob a bank in New York.
Alec Baldwin recently called supporters of President Donald Trump “mentally ill” if they vote for him in November.
“Trump has reached for, and nearly gained, a control of the federal [government] unrivaled by other Presidents,” Alec Baldwin wrote in a tweet. “He fired huge numbers of [government] professionals. He steamrolled the Congress, whenever possible. And now this. If you vote for Trump again, you are mentally ill.”