Prisoners are being given early releases or reduced sentences because of the COVID-19 global pandemic to reduce the risk to the vulnerable US prison population. A legal consulting firm has revealed who is eligible and how they go about it.
The National Legal Professional Association (NLPA) has been working with prisoners who are vulnerable, sick, or deserving cases in a bid to secure their release and ease pressure on the system.
The United States has the biggest prison population in the world and the coronavirus has been spreading rapidly. Essential products that help stop the spread, like soap, water, and clean clothes, are strictly rationed in the prison environment and items like hand sanitizer are not even allowed through the doors due to its high alcohol content. Most prisons have stepped up cleaning routines and stopped friends and family from visiting inmates, but the authorities have had to look at options to relax rules and regulations on release to limit the virus circulating.
NLPA said prisoners who are housed in federal facilities or detention centers will need legal support to be able to secure their releases. NLPA has been working alongside legal teams to be able to facilitate the research needed to successfully get prisoners’ house arrest, places in halfway house facilities, orrehabilitation programs.
The prisoners who have been granted release so far include:
- Older and less dangerous criminals
- Pregnant prisoners
- Those who are already sick
- Inmates with less serious convictions who are close to releasing dates or parole hearings
- Those at risk of the virus.
A spokesman from NLPA said: “Hundreds of prisoners across the country have already been released after the Government gave the go-head. Prisons are working closely with legal teams and the justice system to fast track early releases and parole hearings”.
“In cases, we have already seen, one prisoner was able to show that he was vulnerable to the virus due to his ongoing hypertension health issue and was instructed to serve six months home conferment and five years of supervision in the community; another was suffering from chronic pain as a result of surgery and was released subject to a detailed rehabilitation plan via a telephone hearing. This is happening more and more every day all over the country,” he added.
Back in March in Los Angeles County, prisoners with less than 30 days until their release date were let out on the streets; one court in Ohio released more than 200 low-risk inmates, and a facility in Texas allowed 80 non-violent prisoners to walk free. Many police departments have also instructed officers to limit or delay arrests for non-violent misdemeanors. Now more than 16,000 prisoners across the country are known to have been given early release.
About National Legal Professional Associates (NLPA)
NLPA provides rigorous research and consulting support to attorneys and their clients in criminal justice cases. NLPA is staffed by researched and paralegal assistants. The organization supports people facing trial, those appealing against a conviction, or those considering the next steps after a conviction.
Company Name: National Legal Professional Associates
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Country: United States