California Is Releasing Nearly 18,000 Inmates – What Could Go Wrong?

California Is Releasing Nearly 18,000 Inmates - What Could Go Wrong?

( – What could go wrong with thousands of criminals being set loose on the streets of California? Well, we’re about to find out. The state’s prison officials say they are releasing over 17,000 inmates because of COVID-19 concerns.

So, what sort of prisoners are being released? Surely they aren’t letting violent criminals out, right? Wrong. According to KTLA in Los Angeles, one of those released was Terebea Williams. She was serving an 84 years-to-life sentence for kidnapping, carjacking, and first-degree murder.

Officials say the killer was released because she was deemed at high risk for the virus. They’re not saying what put her into that category.

Police and probation officers told the Associated Press they were very concerned about the prisoners returning to society. One of them warned about the “dangerous criminals,” adding they should “stay locked-up.” Others wanted to know why inmates’ rights were more important than victims.

Many Are Troubled By This Move

Beyond the worries of citizens, these releases are also causing stress for probation officers and community organizations who have to rush to find transportation, housing, and other services for the prisoners. These are criminals who pose a risk to public health because hundreds of them have been paroled while they are still contagious.

Eric Nunez, the president of the California Police Chiefs Association, said the state prisons are facing a dire situation with the rapidly-spreading coronavirus. But, he’s distressed that some violent inmates are being released without any concern for the public safety impact. Nunez says the chiefs want to improve the decision-making process by working with prison officials.

COVID-19 is no small concern in the California prison system. Officials say more than 8,000 inmates have contracted the virus. Over 50 of them have died. And, it’s not just the prisoners that are getting sick. Nearly 2,000 employees of the prisons have been infected, too; 8 of whom have died.

There’s no question the pandemic is causing a major problem in the country’s prisons. But is releasing dangerous criminals really the answer?

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