Andrea Cabral, former secretary of public safety and sheriff of Suffolk County, spoke with Boston Public Radio on Thursday about Rikers Island prisoners digging mass graves. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that this arrangement is not 'Covid-specific,' yet those being buried may have contracted or come into contact with COVID-19.
"Why are these burials, and not instead cremations, where no one would have to be exposed to anything?" Cabral said. "I'm always struck that we continue to use burial as a mechanism when space is such a premium."
Prisoners are being offered 6 dollars an hour to dig these graves, Cabral added. "Why are you creating a situation where inmates have to make decisions about their own personal safety for a few extra dollars a month?"
Cabral is the former secretary of public safety and sheriff of Suffolk County. She is currently the CEO of Ascend.