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Over 16,000 Inmates Released from U.S. Prisons Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

Prisoners freed across the United States amid COVID-19 crisis

 on 17th April 2020 @ 5.00pm
thousands of prisoners have been released from prisons across the u s © press
Thousands of prisoners have been released from prisons across the U.S.

Over 16,000 inmates have been released from prisons across the United States due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to reports.

As of Thursday, a total of approximately 16,622 inmates have been freed from U.S. prisons so far amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Most of the prisoners listed have already been released while some are scheduled to be released shortly.

The majority of the jailbirds were being held on non-violent charges or deemed to pose no immediate threat to society if released.

Of those held in jails, most inmates are usually awaiting trial and have yet to be convicted.

Prison inmates have already been convicted and sentenced, however.

approximately 16 622 inmates have been freed from u s  prisons so far amid the covid 19 crisis © press
Approximately 16,622 inmates have been freed from U.S. prisons so far amid the COVID-19 crisis

Here is a state-by-state breakdown of how many prisoners were let out, and what criteria were followed for granting their release:


As of Friday, 480 inmates were released from the Mobile Metro Jail who had committed non-violent crimes, were sickly, were 55 years or older or had low bonds, according to


As of March 20, Coconino County has released around 50 jail inmates who were being held on non-violent charges, The Arizona Daily Sun reported.


On March 23, Los Angeles County released about 1,700 jail inmates with under 30 days left on their sentences for non-violent crimes.

The Modest Bee reported that on April 12, between 150 to 300 jail inmates in Stanislaus County were released due to a temporary statewide emergency bail schedule that reduced bail for certain offenses to $0. 

It applies to accused inmates whose cases have not been adjudicated.

As of April 13, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) expedited the release of approximately 3,500 eligible state prisoners who were set to be released within 60 days or less and were not currently serving time for a violent crime or domestic violence, or a person required to register under Penal Code 290.

As of April 13, the Superior Court of Alameda County ordered the release of 334 relatively low-level inmates from the Santa Rita Jail.

They had 90 days or fewer left to serve on their felony sentences or were found to have good cause to be released.

All of these prisoners were released because their bail was reduced to $0 after an emergency ruling by the Judicial Council of California on April 6.


Fifty-two prisoners were granted early release as of April 13, according to the Denver Post.


In Hillsborough County, 164 jail inmates who were accused of low-level, non-violent crimes and awaiting the resolution of their cases were released as of March 19, The Tampa Times reported.


On March 31, the Georgia Department of Corrections announced it will consider clemency release for individuals currently serving for a non-violent offense who are within 180 days of completing their prison term.

The majority of these individuals will be released to community supervision. To date, no releases have been reported.


As of March 30, Cook County Jail released about 400 prisoners after a local court ordered case-by-case bond reassessments of those charged with mostly non-violent crimes, The Chicago Tribune reported.


On or about March 20, the Iowa Department of Corrections announced plans to fast-track the release of about 700 inmates who were already determined eligible for release by the state Board of Parole, according to The Times-Republican.


The Associated Press reported that on April  2, Gov. Andy Beshear’s administration announced it would shorten the sentences of 186 inmates -- via executive order -- who had been convicted of non-violent offenses and who were determined to be more susceptible to contracting COVID-19.


Since April 13, 367 inmates have been released from state and county correctional facilities.

A State Supreme Judicial Court ruled that only pre-trial detainees not charged with certain violent offenses and those held on technical probation and parole violations were eligible for release.

prisons have been clearing out their inmates  sending criminals back onto american streets © press
Prisons have been clearing out their inmates, sending criminals back onto American streets


On March 20, Cuyahoga County Jail released at least 38 inmates charged with non-violent crimes.


On April 10, Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order allowing certain low-risk individuals whose age or health status puts them at particular risk for contracting the virus, who had been perhaps denied parole within the last year, or whose sentences are to expire within the next three months to be placed on temporary home confinement or granted parole outright.

To date, no releases have been reported.


As of April  7, up to between 10 and 12 inmates were scheduled to be released pursuant to an executive order issued by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, directing the state Corrections Department to compile a list of prisoners who are eligible for early release.

Those persons had to have a release date no more than 30 days away, could not be a sex offender, not convicted of DWI, and not serving time for domestic abuse or assault, The Albuquerque Journal reported.


On March  27, Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the release of as many as 1,100 low-level parole violators from local jails, the New York Post reported.

As of March 31, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said 900 inmates were released from city jails, The Hill reported

He previously said that the city would release hundreds of non-violent offenders, while those accused of offenses such as domestic abuse were not made eligible for release.

The Westchester County District Attorney's office announced that 65 inmates were released from the county jail as of April 10.

All of those released had release dates on or before June 26 and were serving sentences of one year or less.

On April 13, a Bronx judge approved the release of 51 inmates jailed in New York City on alleged parole violations, according to The New York Law Journal


As of March 21, the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ordered the release of 56 prisoners as part of a population mitigation plan, The Dickinson Press reported.


On April 15, Gov. Mike DeWine announced he has approved the release of 105 prison inmates who had previously been set for release over the course of the next 90 days.


On April 15, Gov. Tom Wolf issued an order to release eight Department of Corrections inmates who met criteria for the Temporary Program to Reprieve Sentences of Incarceration Program. This only applies to state prison inmates who have been identified as being non-violent and who otherwise would be eligible for release within the next 9 months.


As of March 20, approximately 85 jail inmates charged with non-violent offenses and magistrate level charges were released from Greenville County Detention Center, according to Greenville News.

Forty-two jail inmates who faced charges for non-violent or victimless crimes and do not pose a threat to the public were released from the Anderson County Detention Center on March 21, The Journal Online reported.


As of April  2, the Utah Department of Corrections referred 80 incarcerated people to the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole for release, all of whom were already within 90 days of their scheduled release date and have an approved address.


On April 13, Gov. Jay Inslee announced that up to 950 incarcerated individuals would be released, focusing on the early release of certain vulnerable populations, including non-violent offenders who are due to be released within the coming weeks and months.

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