The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is now releasing inmates in response to the Coronavirus panic.
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California suspended visitation in all state prisons last week, including overnight family visits.
Now inmates are being released after civil right’s advocates called for the number of people held in prisons to be reduced over concerns a Coronavirus outbreak could cause chaos.
In addition to releasing inmates, police have also been ordered to cite and release people when possible rather than arresting them.
LA Time reported:
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is releasing inmates from its jails and cutting down on how many people it books into custody to protect those housed in close quarters from the growing coronavirus pandemic.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said deputies and police officers across the county have been directed to cite and release people whenever possible, instead of arresting them, and to seek medical clearance before booking anyone who shows symptoms. Countywide, he said, arrests have dropped from a daily average of 300 to 60, while the jail population was reduced by more than 600 inmates.
“Our population within our jail is a vulnerable population just by virtue of who they are and where they’re located,” Villanueva said Monday at a news conference in downtown L.A. “So we’re protecting that population from potential exposure.”