Just as it affects us all, the coronavirus is affecting our nation’s prison population. Inmates across the country are seeking early release in hope of avoiding contracting the virus in their detention facilities.
Earlier in April, we learned that Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former attorney and self-described “fixer,” is supposed to be released from prison early as a result of a coronavirus outbreak in Otisville, New York, where he is serving his sentence.
Many other high-profile inmates are also requesting early release, including the rich, the famous, the infamous and the connected.
Many other high-profile inmates are also requesting early release, including the rich, the famous, the infamous and the connected: Michael Avenatti, Bernie Madoff, R. Kelly, Bill Cosby and others.
Avenatti, for example, will be spending the next few months in home detention, heading to the upscale home of a friend in the Venice Beach neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Just as important, countless other inmates who are not rich, famous or influential are also seeking early release.
Cohen’s pending release had already raised several important questions about the criminal justice system and how it is working. But then last week Politico reported that, in fact, many of the prisoners who had been told they could go home were being sent back to their cells.
The institutional flip-flopping is unfair to the inmates and their families, and it undermines the public’s confidence in our government’s ability to make difficult decisions in times of crisis.