Inmates May Benefit From COVID-19 Fears

Inmates May Benefit From COVID-19 Fears

( – A county jail in Ohio is releasing hundreds of inmates due to fears of what a coronavirus outbreak inside the facility could mean.

Judges in Cuyahoga County, which includes the city of Cleveland, spent Saturday morning holding special hearings to settle as many pending cases as possible. They accepted plea deals, then either sent inmates back to prison, released them into the public or put them on house arrest.

The concern is that a coronavirus outbreak inside the walls of the jail could be devastating. Brendan Sheehan, an administrative judge, explained that it isn’t a matter of if the jail will be hit with the virus, it’s a matter of when.

Because prisoners tend to have increased risk-factors and jails are the perfect setting for a nightmare scenario due to a viral outbreak, they felt this was the best way to keep everyone safe.

Sheehan said they’re trying to protect both the public and the inmates. Somewhere between 200 and 300 low-level offenders were set for release. This allowed the jail to space the remaining inmates out, reducing the risk of the virus spreading.

Other jails in Ohio are following suit.

For inmates that weren’t released, jails across the state have suspended visitation amid the coronavirus outbreak.

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