Liberals aren't letting the coronavirus crisis go to waste

Of all the disturbing trends we're seeing in our nation's most liberal bastions few are more disturbing than that of elected officials siding with criminals ahead of the general law-abiding public. It’s happening all over. New York's new cashless bail reforms wherein criminals are simply released back onto the streets so long as they pinky swear to show up for their court date have led to a huge spike in crimes there. 

"Social Justice Prosecutors" provided an brief encapsulation of a new wave of elected officials who refuse to enforce the laws they're sworn to uphold. In part because more poor and minorities end up in jail, these people view the entire criminal justice system as biased, unfair and in need of overhaul.

One of the things they want is fewer people imprisoned for the commission of crimes. But do most Americans want that? No. So how to accomplish it?  That's where a handy crisis comes into play. COVID-19.

The ACLU and other 'civil rights advocates' recently called on Colorado governor Jared Polis to reduce jail and prison populations to help fight the spread of COVID-19. Calling it a liberal “criminal defense lawyer's Christmas list,” the Colorado Springs Gazette editorial board published some of what these groups want to see happen to help ‘combat the virus’:

"In addition to their appeal to the governor, they want law enforcement agencies to make fewer arrests…

  • Immediately release thousands of Colorado's 13,000 jail inmates, starting with the 50% who await trial and have not been convicted. This would include suspects who pose threats to public safety.
  • Prosecutors should reduce the number of people held in advance of trials. This, too, would include suspects who pose danger to society.
  • Parole boards should expand and expedite release opportunities for convicts in prison.
  • Gov. Polis should use his clemency and furlough powers, giving preference to inmates and prisoners over age 50, and those suffering diabetes, respiratory conditions or problems with their immune systems.
  • Remove as many convicts as possible from halfway houses.
  • Eliminate or dramatically reduce new incarceration.
  • Courts should default to noncustodial sentencing.
  • Avoid illegal-immigrant detentions.
  • Eliminate parole and probation revocations for "technical" violations, such as failing drug tests, skipping mandatory addictions treatment, or missing meetings with parole or probation officers.
  • Suspend fees for phone and video calls from prisons and jails."

Somehow free phone calls from prisons will aid in the nation’s attempts to arrest the spread of coronavirus, apparently. Remarkably, they're claiming that moving inmates from the incarcerated population and into the general citizen population, will likewise retard the spread of COVID-19.

To say this defies logic is an exercise in understatement. Lest anyone think this an isolated example, here's another from Ohio:  "Cuyahoga County Jail works to release 300 defendants to reduce coronavirus risk."

This ball is rolling on a national level too. Rep. Ayannna Pressley (D-MA) has already teamed up with fellow Squad members and (failed 2020 presidential candidate) Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren to formally request "compassionate release" by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. They have asked the Bureau to commute prison sentences due to coronavirus. You can’t make this stuff up. Pressley presented the case last week to Al Sharpton on MSNBC.

Connecting the dots between releasing inmates from prison and slowing the spread of COVID-19 is such a herculean challenge that one can't help but question true motives. Are these people really concerned with the public and inmate population's health and well-being? Or, since most American's don't want more criminals on their streets, is this a crisis presenting an opportunity to do things you otherwise couldn't have done?

Derrick Wilburn is a Centennial Institute Fellow, Founder and Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives and POC Capitol Interns. Contact him directly to book a speaking or other event.  

Of all the disturbing trends we're seeing in our nation's most liberal bastions few are more disturbing than that of elected officials siding with criminals ahead of the general law-abiding public. It’s happening all over. New York's new cashless bail reforms wherein criminals are simply released back onto the streets so long as they pinky swear to show up for their court date have led to a huge spike in crimes there. 

"Social Justice Prosecutors" provided an brief encapsulation of a new wave of elected officials who refuse to enforce the laws they're sworn to uphold. In part because more poor and minorities end up in jail, these people view the entire criminal justice system as biased, unfair and in need of overhaul.

One of the things they want is fewer people imprisoned for the commission of crimes. But do most Americans want that? No. So how to accomplish it?  That's where a handy crisis comes into play. COVID-19.

The ACLU and other 'civil rights advocates' recently called on Colorado governor Jared Polis to reduce jail and prison populations to help fight the spread of COVID-19. Calling it a liberal “criminal defense lawyer's Christmas list,” the Colorado Springs Gazette editorial board published some of what these groups want to see happen to help ‘combat the virus’:

"In addition to their appeal to the governor, they want law enforcement agencies to make fewer arrests…

  • Immediately release thousands of Colorado's 13,000 jail inmates, starting with the 50% who await trial and have not been convicted. This would include suspects who pose threats to public safety.
  • Prosecutors should reduce the number of people held in advance of trials. This, too, would include suspects who pose danger to society.
  • Parole boards should expand and expedite release opportunities for convicts in prison.
  • Gov. Polis should use his clemency and furlough powers, giving preference to inmates and prisoners over age 50, and those suffering diabetes, respiratory conditions or problems with their immune systems.
  • Remove as many convicts as possible from halfway houses.
  • Eliminate or dramatically reduce new incarceration.
  • Courts should default to noncustodial sentencing.
  • Avoid illegal-immigrant detentions.
  • Eliminate parole and probation revocations for "technical" violations, such as failing drug tests, skipping mandatory addictions treatment, or missing meetings with parole or probation officers.
  • Suspend fees for phone and video calls from prisons and jails."

Somehow free phone calls from prisons will aid in the nation’s attempts to arrest the spread of coronavirus, apparently. Remarkably, they're claiming that moving inmates from the incarcerated population and into the general citizen population, will likewise retard the spread of COVID-19.

To say this defies logic is an exercise in understatement. Lest anyone think this an isolated example, here's another from Ohio:  "Cuyahoga County Jail works to release 300 defendants to reduce coronavirus risk."

This ball is rolling on a national level too. Rep. Ayannna Pressley (D-MA) has already teamed up with fellow Squad members and (failed 2020 presidential candidate) Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren to formally request "compassionate release" by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. They have asked the Bureau to commute prison sentences due to coronavirus. You can’t make this stuff up. Pressley presented the case last week to Al Sharpton on MSNBC.

Connecting the dots between releasing inmates from prison and slowing the spread of COVID-19 is such a herculean challenge that one can't help but question true motives. Are these people really concerned with the public and inmate population's health and well-being? Or, since most American's don't want more criminals on their streets, is this a crisis presenting an opportunity to do things you otherwise couldn't have done?

Derrick Wilburn is a Centennial Institute Fellow, Founder and Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives and POC Capitol Interns. Contact him directly to book a speaking or other event.