Oregon governor considers releasing 400 prisoners as coronavirus precaution: report

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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is considering commuting the sentences of as many as 400 prisoners in the state’s detention centers as a coronavirus precaution, according to reports.

The move would come as police in the state’s largest city, Portland, have their hands full with nightly riots and destruction for three straight months – with protests in other cities as well.

The prisoners eyed for early release would include those who are within two months of the end of their sentences – as well as about a dozen inmates deemed “medically vulnerable” to the virus, OregonLive.com reported.

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“Given what we now know about the disease and its pervasiveness in our communities, it is appropriate to review for potential release individuals who face significant health challenges should they contract COVID-19,” Brown wrote to Colette Peters, administrator of the state’s prison system, according to OregonLive.com.

Those inmates declared an “unacceptable safety, security or compliance risk to the community” would not be eligible, the governor wrote.

The governor previously commuted the sentences of 57 inmates, according to the report.

Those being considered for release must have exhibited good behavior over the past 12 months and cannot have been incarcerated for crimes against other people, Brown added in her letter to the state Department of Corrections.

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Brown, 60, a Democrat who has been Oregon’s governor since February 2015, requested a list of names of eligible inmates be delivered to her office by Sept. 18, the news outlet reported.

So far, Oregon has seen three prison inmates die from the coronavirus from among 634 confirmed cases. More than 500 inmates have recovered, OregonLive.com reported.

Corrections workers have accounted for 177 cases of the virus, the report said.



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