Governor’s emergency order calls for release of certain inmates

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) -- Part of a fifth supplemental proclamation issued by Governor Kay Ivey on Thursday is aimed at reducing the number of inmates in jail to prevent possible spread of coronavirus.

The proclamation pertains to non-violent offenders. District Attorney Danny Carr says they’ve already started taking steps to reduce inmate population and hope to find more ways to reduce possible spread of COVID-19.

“Honestly I was happy that she decided to do that. We want to introduce less people to the COVID-19 as possible, and obviously it’s hard to self-distance in jail," says Carr.

The order allows parole and probation violators to be released who have been in jail for 20 calendar days, not business days, and have not gone before a judge. Carr says they’ve been doing that since the courthouse was closed a week ago.

“And we decided to get with the public defender, Adam Danneman, and we got together and agreed upon a certain amount of people who were in there for non-violent offenses and they were immediately released.”

The order also states those in jail on technical violations shall be given credit for all time served after entering custody.

“They are technical parole violators meaning they tested dirty or they never reported to their probation officer versus ones who have violated their probation in a substantive way, meaning they picked up a new case or a new criminal offense.”

Carr says they’re trying to think of other creative ways to combat this. Another way they’re doing this is by setting up a tent outside of the jail and processing any non-violent offenders out there instead of having them enter the jail.

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