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After terrible San Quentin decision California to release 8,000 prisoners to stop coronavirus

Christian Fernsby ▼ | July 10, 2020
Officials on Friday announced three separate efforts, approved by the governor, Gavin Newsom, that they say will decrease the prison population by 8,000 by the end of August.
San Quentin
Cases   San Quentin
The measures mark the largest release efforts the state administration has taken since coronavirus began to circulate among prison staff and incarcerated people.

Topics: California

The first initiative expands a previous effort to expedite the release of people with 180 or fewer days left on their sentences to include people serving time for serious felonies.

The second measure is an immediate review of cases of people with less than a year left to serve in eight prisons that have large populations at high risk of developing coronavirus complications.

Since the first cases of coronavirus were reported at San Quentin in the San Francisco Bay Area of California 5 weeks ago, more than one-third of the inmates and staff 1,600 people have tested positive. Six have died.

Researchers in the Bay Area say it didn’t have to be this way. For the past four months, they have been offering prison officials free tests for the coronavirus, guidelines for protecting prisons from the pandemic and increasingly frantic warnings that trouble was coming.

Law firms filed motions in federal court, requesting that California governor Gavin Newsom compel California’s prisons to heed expert advice. Two core recommendations have been to test staff and inmates frequently, and to release prisoners so that there is sufficient room to isolate cases, quarantine those who might be infected and provide adequate space between inmates. The court denied the motions and correctional facilities have failed to fully implement

he measures.


 

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