State Officials Say That Up To 17,600 Inmates Could Be Released In COVID-19 Protection Program, Violent Criminals Among Them
3.500 prisoners were released in April. Among them, several hundred infected prisoners were allowed to leave, with thousands more to come according to a report from the local affiliate in Los Angeles.
Among those already released is Terebea Williams.
She has served only 19 years out of her 84 years-to-life sentences for first-degree murder after she forced a man at gunpoint into the trunk of his car, shot him, and brought him to a hotel to bleed out. Williams has been released due to concerns that she may be vulnerable for the virus.
11,500 To Be Released In August:
The first 3,500 inmates were freed in April to create space in crowded prisons and 6,900 more were deemed eligible for release in early July. Officials said other inmates would be eligible under different release programs but couldn’t provide an estimate.
In a filing last week with a federal judge who oversees one of the major lawsuits facing the prison system, officials increased the estimated total of releases from 10,400 to 17,600. However, prison officials say Corrections Secretary Ralph Diaz is likely to block the release of about 5,500, in part because many are serving life prison sentences.
Nationwide, more than 100,000 people were released from state and federal prisons between March and June, a decrease of 8%, according to an analysis by The Marshall Project and The Associated Press.
California Police Chiefs Association president Eric Nuñez said he understands the urgency of reducing the prison population but is alarmed by the release of some violent criminals “without a consideration for the larger impact on public safety.” He said the chiefs want to work with prison officials on improving the decision-making process.
All told, corrections officials plan to release 11,500 inmates by the end of August, an estimate that brought McDaniel to near tears as she recounted some of the struggles to find them temporary housing. She is the founder and executive director of Place4Grace, which runs literacy and visitation programs in 16 of the state’s 35 prisons.
Democrat Governor Newsom’s Greatest Fear? Leaving Infected Convicts Homeless
And what is the governor of California most concerned about? Is it the deaths of innocents at the hands of violent criminals who were released early under his watch? No! It’s whether those violent criminals have a comfy place to sleep at night:
The good news, McDaniel said, is that through a lot of effort officials have been able to avoid what Newsom said was his greatest fear from mass releases — leaving infected ex-convicts homeless.