Governor Kate Brown to consider early release of 400 prisoners due to coronavirus

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Governor Kate Brown said on Tuesday she would consider switching the sentences of 350 to 400 state prisoners within two months of their release, as well as a dozen inmates considered “medically vulnerable” to the coronavirus.

The plan is much larger than previous switchings related to Brown’s pandemic. To date, the governor has commuted the sentences of 57 people because of the virus.

In a letter to the director of the Oregon Department of Corrections, Brown said those eligible for switching must also meet other criteria, such as good behavior in the past 12 months. They cannot devote time to crimes against other people.

Those who are medically vulnerable must have served at least half of their sentence.

Inmates considered by the Department of Corrections to be an “unacceptable safety, security or compliance risk to the community” will not be released even if they fall into one of the categories the governor has described, Brown wrote. in his letter.

She asked the agency to provide the names of eligible detainees to her office by September 18.

“Given what we now know about the disease and its pervasiveness in our communities, there is a need to look at those who are likely to release people with significant health problems if they contract COVID-19,” he said. Brown writes to Colette Peters, administrator of the state prison. system.

Positive cases have been reported in half a dozen prisons statewide. Corrections on Tuesday reported a total of 634 cases among inmates. Of these, 513 have recovered. So far, three prisoners have died. 177 other correctional officers contracted the virus.

– Noelle Crombie; [email protected]; 503-276-7184; @noellecrombie

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