Ohio Jails May Release Some Inmates Due To Coronavirus Fears

Inmates could be sent to prison, confined to house arrest, or released.

Could the coronavirus be responsible for criminal justice reform? In a strange plot twist, Cuyahoga County Jail in Ohio may release hundreds of inmates over fears that the coronavirus would spread like wildfire behind bars.

Courts are assessing all inmates and looking to settle guilty pleas by sending some (presumably violent offenders) to prison, sending some to house arrest and releasing others entirely. Cuyahoga County judges are holding a special Saturday morning session to deal with the cases, according to local news network WJW in Cleveland.

“You got to remember, the goal of this is to protect the community and the safety of the inmates. If someone’s a serious, violent person, well, we’re using our discretion to make sure the community’s safe also,” Judge Brendan Sheehan told WJHL on Thursday.

Sheehan also said the jail may need empty space if inmates have to be quarantined because of the virus.

For the latest on the coronavirus, contact your local health department and visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

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