California Prosecutors Must Do More to Protect Their Communities from Coronavirus: Policies & Polling   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Executive Summary: "In recent weeks, the humanitarian disaster that doctors and public health experts predicted has turned into reality: coronavirus has reached prisons and jails in California and across the country, sparking outbreaks that threaten the lives of incarcerated people, staff, and surrounding communities. California's elected prosecutors--the district attorney in each county--are uniquely positioned to address this crisis. We know that the best and most urgent solution is releasing people from incarceration, creating space inside these cramped facilities to comply with social distancing guidelines, and preserving scarce medical resources. Some counties in California have started this process through the cooperation of sheriffs, prosecutors, and judges, but it hasn't been sufficient to slow the spread. Prosecutors have the power to do more by agreeing to quickly and safely release people from custody, both in local jails, and, thanks to a new law that gives prosecutors the discretion to revisit prison sentences, the state prison system."

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