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Throughout the country, governors, courts, corrections systems, and law enforcement agencies are implementing new policies to limit the spread of coronavirus in jails and prisons. Officials in at least 49 states, the District of Columbia, and the federal prison system have adopted policies to reduce their incarcerated populations during the pandemic. Efforts range from police departments issuing summonses instead of making arrests for lower-level offenses to fast-tracking parole hearings to early releases for individuals who are nearing the end of their sentences or who have pre-existing medical conditions.
Governors in at least 11 states have issued executive orders that block new transfers into state prisons, allow early release for some prisoners, or both. At the county level, judges, prosecutors, and public defenders are working together to release low-risk pretrial detainees and inmates serving sentences for nonviolent offenses. And the federal prison system has transferred hundreds of prisoners to home confinement.
This is intended to serve as a resource to compile information from media reports, official announcements, and other sources about actions taken in response to coronavirus that affect incarcerated populations. Click on a specific state or scroll down. March 20 — The Alabama Department of Corrections blocked new transfers from local jails to state prisons for at least 30 days. April 1 — Alabama state prisons have temporarily stopped accepting new inmatescausing backups in local jails, which often lack infirmaries to care for sick inmates.
July 28 — The Jefferson County Jail has announced it is only holding individuals charged with violent felonies who cannot make bail. Individuals charged with domestic violence-related offenses, drunken driving, failure to appear in court, or felony offenses are not eligible. April 7 — Police in Alaska are under a temporary court order to not jail anyone for misdemeanor offenses except stalking and domestic violence. A separate court order allows pretrial detainees to request a bail hearing based on Online sex chat grand Washington West Virginia about the virus.
December 23 — The of people held in jails while awaiting trial is increasing while court proceedings are suspended and restrictions on visitation prevent attorneys from meeting with their clients. March 27 — The Pima County Jail has released some pretrial detainees charged with lower-level, nonviolent offenses.
The jail currently has about 1, individuals in custody, down from 1, a year ago. The sheriff estimates the population needs to drop by another to create space for proper distancing. The state has not granted early releases for people in state prisons; county jails have released individuals held for non-violent offenses to reduce hteir populations.
March 23 — Some county jails have begun releasing low-risk pretrial detainees and inmates serving sentences for lower-level offenses. April 20 — Gov. Asa Hutchinson has asked the Department of Corrections to review all state prisoners serving sentences for nonviolent, non-sex offenses who are due to be released within the next six months.
The parole board will screen the approximately 1, individuals who fit that criteria and consider them for early release. June 8 — The Board of Corrections has certified more than 1, individuals eligible for release, but only about a quarter of them have left incarceration. November 11 — The Arkansas Department of Corrections returned individuals to its facilities, ending a five-year agreement to house some state prisoners in a private facility in Texas to alleviate overcrowding. Hundreds of COVID-related releases and suspending transfers from county jails have brought Arkansas prisons under capacity for the first time in a decade.
March 16 — The Los Angeles County jail system released inmatesincluding some who were nearing the end of their sentences. Law enforcement agencies, including the Los Angeles Police Department, moved to reduce Online sex chat grand Washington West Virginia of arrests by issuing citations for low-level offenses.
March 18 — The Santa Clara County sheriff released jail six inmates who were nearing the end of their sentences to home confinement. March 19 — The Alameda County sheriff released jail inmates early at the request of a judge, public defender, and district attorney. The sheriff also directed police to prioritize arrests for individuals accused of felonies and issue citations for low-level offenses. Police are citing instead of arresting people charged with lower-level offenses, excluding domestic violence.
March 24 — The governor issued an executive order barring new commitments to state prisons and youth facilities for at least 30 days. The order also directs the parole board to develop and implement a process for holding parole hearings virtually by April Law enforcement officers are issuing citations rather than making arrests for some misdemeanors.
March 31 — The Santa Rita Jail, one of the largest in California, reduced its population by about inmates in two weeks. The Alameda County district attorney, public defender, and presiding judge agreed release about inmates after modifying their sentences. The rest of the decrease came from local courts releasing defendants without bail and police departments arresting and booking fewer people.
March 31 — The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation plans to grant early release to 3, prisoners who were scheduled to be released over the next 60 days. April 6 — California judges adopted a statewide emergency rule to release people charged with misdemeanors and lower-level felonies without bail.
April 10 — As many as 39 Shasta County jail inmates will be released early under a state directive to reduce incarcerated populations. April 14 — Hundreds of jail inmates across the state were released after the Judicial Council of California issued an emergency order eliminating bail for people charged with low-level offenses.
April 27 — Bay Area jails in five counties have reduced their combined population by more than 3, people through releases and booking fewer individuals. San Quentin State Prison has released 87 people.
Statewide, California expedited the release of 3, individuals from state prison. June 16 — California prisons will begin granting early release for individuals who have less than days left to serve and meet other criteria beginning July 1. Those released will either be placed on parole, transferred to county-run post-release supervision, or have the remainder of their sentence discharged. Individuals convicted of a violent crime and those who must register as sex offenders are not eligible for early release. July 10 — California plans to release as many as 8, people from state prison as infections spike.
Those potentially eligible for early release fall into two groups. The first includes individuals with less than days left to serve. The second group includes individuals at eight state prisons who are especially vulnerable. Those convicted of a violent crime, domestic violence offense, or a sex offense, and those assessed as high-risk for violence are not eligible for either group, and release for individuals over 30 will be prioritized.
July 20 — A federal judge in Los Angeles has ordered officials at the state prison in Lompoc to begin identifying individuals to release on home confinement. Those who will be considered for release have an elevated risk because they are over 50 or have an underlying health condition. The order is the result of a lawsuit filed by individuals incarcerated at the prison. Larcenies increased, but all other major and less severe types of offenses declined or remained flat over that time.
Newsom has announced a one-time three-month credit for all individuals except for those who are on death row, are serving life without parole, or have recent serious rule violations. The credit is expected to lead to the release of 2, people and follows other action by the governor to speed up releases for about 8, individuals with up to six months left to serve. August 5 — California officials have increased the estimated of individuals who will be released from prison in response to COVID from 10, to 17, Attorneys representing the individuals say the state has an incentive to keep them in the firefighting program because it saves the state millions each year.
September 1 — There are fewer individuals held in the Alameda County Jail than there were on March 1. September 1 — The Yolo County district attorney says that people were released from jail without having to post bail under a state judicial council order that was in effect from April to June. Individuals who were released were later charged with new offenses in the county, including felonies and misdemeanors. September 16 — The of people held in the Los Angeles County jail system dropped by 5, from January to June, including 2, individuals who were being held pretrial.
The system has a capacity of 12, The county sheriff said some of the increase was a backlog of people waiting to be transferred to state prisons or mental health facilities. That would require the release or transfer of about 1, Online sex chat grand Washington West Virginia. November 2 — The Los Angeles County jail population decreased by about a third during the pandemic, but the proportions of jailed Black people and individuals with mental illness are on the rise. Of more than 8, medically vulnerable individuals in state prisons, only about 80 have been released. The prison population has flattened out after dropping to its lowest level in 30 years, and many prisons remain ificantly overcrowded.
Prison officials say the early release programs were a time-limited measure Online sex chat grand Washington West Virginia more comprehensive pandemic-response procedures were in place. County Sheriff Don Barnes said that the order would require releasing more than 1, individuals, some of whom have been charged with or convicted of violent offenses. Barnes said he was considering appealing the ruling.
December 11 — Since California began an early release program for individuals nearing the end of their sentence or with medical conditions that put them at high risk, prisons have released nearly 7, people. Of those, 62 were released for medical reasons while the rest were freed early because they were close to their release date. Those who were released had less than 60 days left to serve and were sentenced for non-violent offenses. But decarceration advocates estimate only about of the 3, individuals in those facilities. The jail will have to move more than 1, individuals to other facilities or release them to comply with the order.
February 16 — A judge who ordered the Orange County jails to reduce their population by half said the sheriff has done enough to comply by increasing testing and social distancing, and releases of individuals in custody are not required. March 2 — Since dipping below 12, individuals early in the pandemic, the LA County jail population has increased to more than 15, people.
In response to COVID, the county expanded pretrial release and used a zero-bail policy for certain charges. March 16 — Police in Denver and Boulder are issuing citations instead of arresting individuals accused of low-level, nonviolent drug and property offenses. March 24 — The governor of Colorado issued guidance to law enforcement to increase use of warnings or summonses in lieu of arrest when public safety is not at risk and for jurisdictions to implement pretrial diversion and release methods to lower the of individuals in custody.
Also, Colorado sheriffs issued guidance that law enforcement should summons and release individuals on all offenses where arrest is not mandated by statute, and should notify but release individuals encountered with warrants for low-level misdemeanors and felonies, and that jails should reduce their jail population by weighing the crime, time remaining on sentence, inmate behavior, and risk to the community.
The drop is the result of releasing inmates on home confinement, lowering bail amounts, early releases, and police departments issuing summonses instead of making arrests. April 13 — Fifty-two state prisoners have been released early following Gov. Judges and prosecutors have prioritized releasing individuals who are pregnant, are over 60, have health issues or less than 60 days left on their sentence, are being held on low bail, or are on work release.
Of the 2, people released, were freed as the result of Gov. The decrease reverses an upward trend in the population, which had been expected to reach 25, in However, state official predict the population will begin to grow again after bottoming out at about 15, in Some factors contributing to the decrease include release of individuals deemed low-risk, legislation that reduced penalties for drug possession, and an increase in discretionary parole releases.
Legislators are using policies local sheriffs followed to reduce the of bookings as the basis for a bill that would prohibit arrests for lower-level offenses and would require individuals to be released without having to post cash bail.
April 6 — Connecticut prisons have granted early release for more than inmates, prioritizing those over May 1 — Connecticut granted early releases for more than state prisoners in March, placing them on some form of community supervision. With early releases and scheduled releases, the state prison population shrank to its lowest level since June 7 — The ACLU and the state of Connecticut reached a settlement in a federal lawsuit, which requires the state to identify individuals who are at higher risk because of their age or medical conditions and prioritize them for early release programs.
December 23 — The proportion of sentenced inmates who received a discretionary release from incarceration to community supervision reached a year high in the first half of In Hillsborough County, inmates serving sentences for nonviolent offenses were approved for release. The state prison system stopped accepting new inmates until at least March April 3 — Prosecutors in Miami-Dade County announced plans to release 18 jail inmates who were due to complete their sentences over the next two months.
The county has released 2, inmates in the past month, bringing its population to fewer inmates compared to the same time last year. Those released were incarcerated for low-level, nonviolent offenses. July 22 — The Duval County Jail released nearly 50 people incarcerated for lower-level, nonviolent offenses in July, bringing the total up to aboutOnline sex chat grand Washington West Virginia
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