Dozens of city inmates may soon be freed

Dozens of city inmates may soon be freed

ST. LOUIS – Dozens of inmates may soon be released from city jail in order to reduce the risk of coronavirus in the crowded setting.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner along with District Defender Matthew Mahaffey issued a statement Wednesday saying that they had identified 56 inmates with “low-level offenses or significant health issues” whom the court would consider for immediate release to await their trials. 

“This release is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to the community inside of jails, to court personnel, and to the greater community,” the statement said.

Not only will this help defendants and their families by reducing their potential exposure to the COVID-19 coronavirus, but the city won’t have to pay for the inmates’ keep while in jail, Gardner pointed out.

Additional inmates may be released, whether because their offenses were nonviolent or because the inmates have current health problems, or both.

“We will continue to work together to balance public safety and the critical health issues posed by this deadly virus,” Gardner and Mahaffey’s said.

St. Louis County, St. Charles County and other area jurisdictions are also implementing similar release programs.

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