County, State Officials Clash On How To Thin Jail Populations To Slow COVID-19

Gov. Greg Abbott’s order blocks counties from freeing people serving jail sentences for violent crimes early, or giving them an alternative like electronic monitoring.

By Christopher ConnellyApril 7, 2020 10:00 am, , , , ,

From KERA:

As Texas’ two largest counties are struggling to contain outbreaks of coronavirus in their jails, local officials everywhere are hoping to keep COVID-19 out of their local lockups.

Statewide, they’ve laid plans for inmates exposed to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and they’ve worked to shrink jail populations using a combination of getting people out and slashing the number of people going in.

The close conditions in jails and regular churn of people locked up presents an ideal environment for infectious diseases to spread. Combine that with higher rates of health issues among inmates and often-overtaxed jail health systems, it’s a recipe for potentially devastating consequences for both the people locked up and the jail staff members charged with their care, experts say.

Read more.