The Bronx Defenders: Release 18 inmates that pose highest risk to COVID-19

The Bronx Defenders group is petitioning the courts to grant the release of more than a dozen inmates they say pose the highest risk of contracting the coronavirus.

News 12 Staff

Apr 6, 2020, 8:23 PM

Updated 1,529 days ago

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The Bronx Defenders group is petitioning the courts to grant the release of more than a dozen inmates they say pose the highest risk of contracting the coronavirus. 
They argued their case before Bronx Judge Martin Marcos via Skype. They say because of the threat of coronavirus on the city's prison population, they are pushing for the release of 18 inmates from Rikers Island. 
They say the inmates have numerous health factors that make them the most vulnerable to the virus. 
The Bronx Defenders allege that the city's Department of Correction is failing to follow guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Rikers Island. They told the presiding judge that inmate common areas and surfaces are not being sanitized frequently to stop the spread, and that inmates don't have masks to protect themselves against the coronavirus. 
One of the inmates the group wants released is 63-year-old Victor Mateo, who is accused of running over his ex-wife with a car and stabbing her death with a machete back in October of last year. 
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