COVID 19: California prisons to release 8,000 prisoners to contain rapid spread

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Jul 11, 2020, 06.34 AM(IST)

California state prisons Photograph:( Reuters )

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The prisoners who will be eligible for the release would be the inmates who have only a year or less left to serve, and have not been convicted for violent felonies or sex-related crimes.

As the coronavirus cases in the US are increasing on an alarming rate, the US prisons too have been observing a rapid increase in the number of positive cases in their premises.

To contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, the state of California has decided to release up to 8,000 inmates from state prisons, the state authorities reported.

The prisoners will be allowed to leave the prison premises earlier than their set release date. The state corrections department is preparing a list of inmates who could be eligible for an an early release, probably by the end of August.

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These actions are taken to provide for the health and safety of the incarcerated population and staff," California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Secretary Ralph Diaz said in a statement.

This will be California's biggest move to contain the spread of the virus inside the state prisons, a matter which has been a rising concern for few months now.

The prisoners who will be eligible for the release would be the inmates who have only a year or less left to serve, and have not been convicted for violent felonies or sex-related crimes.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Thursday nearly 2,400 people in California's 35 prisons have tested positive for the coronavirus, including 1,314 at San Quentin State Prison north of San Francisco.