Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins' office announced this morning:
In these uncertain times, where the landscape is changing minute by minute, District Attorney Rollins is working to make sure that individuals held in custody who are vulnerable because of their health, age, socio-economic status, or circumstances, but pose no meaningful risk to public safety are released from custody. There will be circumstances where the risk to public safety outweighs any justification for release. However, we are committed to working with the criminal defense bar in identifying those individuals whose release we deem urgent and necessary for public health reasons.
The statement continues:
While Americans across the country are being encouraged to self-isolate, members of our incarcerated population are, by definition, doing the exact opposite with no alternative options. We need to seriously consider pathways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 for our incarcerated populations, the overwhelming majority of which will return to our communities at some point in the future. ....
Supervisors in every court are actively reviewing any requests for release. And, a point person from the leadership of our Municipal, District and Superior Courts is proactively reviewing cases of incarcerated individuals and serving as a secondary source of review for any individual seeking release.
This Office is committed to what every resident of Suffolk County deserves, a safe and healthy community. We will continue to work in partnership with the criminal defense bar on these critically important matters.
The policy also includes a proviso for people being brought into court for arraignment after an arrest:
With respect to any new offenses, our presumption remains that there is no bail requested. People charged prior to trial will continue to hold the presumption of release on personal recognizance. Now more than ever, if we are going to ask the Court to detain someone pre-trial on a cash bail, we will do so only after critically weighing any public health risk against our legitimate concerns for public safety.