Rikers Inmates Given More Than Just Freedom


Some inmates released from Rikers Island amid the coronavirus outbreak are being given free cellphones, cab fare and even hotel rooms as they head out the door, according to sources and a City Hall rep.

“This is a disgrace to all correction officers — insane and dishonorable,’’ a city Department of Corrections source raged to The Post on Friday.

Mayor Bill de Blasio “hasn’t even given us masks to wear, let alone made sure we received masks.”

Another disgusted source familiar with the handouts said he was “surprised [the inmates] weren’t given stretch limos.’’

City Hall spokeswoman Avery Cohen said inmates who are showing coronavirus symptoms are being given hotel rooms used by the Department of Homeless Services for isolation.

Other inmates who are cut loose on work release, are homeless and asymptomatic will also be given “hotel rooms” so they can be “closely monitored in an isolated setting,” the rep said.

The former jailbirds will be given pre-paid flip phones so they can stay in contact with supervised release-officials, too, Cohen added.

The city also is paying at some of their cab fares off Rikers Island.

Avery said this is because those “at risk of COVID-19” need to avoid public transportation.

The city is paying for the measures, although the total cost is unclear.

The mayor said Thursday that the city had sprung 200 inmates from city jails amid the outbreak and was set to free another 175 overnight.

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.

Author: Larry Celona, Julia Marsh,Ben Feuerherd

Source: NY Post: Freed Rikers inmates are given cellphones, cab fare and hotel rooms