Hochul signs executive order permitting virtual court hearings

ALBANY — The conditions at Rikers Island have gotten so bad that Gov. Kathy Hochul signed an executive order permitting virtual court hearings to be conducted at the jail, instead of risking transporting prisoners. 

Hochul stepped in several weeks ago by greenlighting legislation permitting the transfer of over 100 inmates from city-run Rikers to state-run facilities, aimed at creating more space within the 6000-person lock-up facing reports of escalated violence, deteriorating living conditions and severe staffing shortages.

A federal monitor declared the jail system is in a “state of emergency” last Friday.

“When I signed the Less is More Act into law ten days ago, it was the

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