Brown commutes 57 prison sentences over COVID concerns


Only 1 of the recommended prisoners was denied commutation

Oregon State Penitentiary. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Gov. Kate Brown announced 57 prisoners who are medically vulnerable to the coronavirus will have their sentences commuted.

Her decision comes after a case-by-case review of 61 prisoners who met certain criteria. Of those, 3 were scheduled to be released in the next week and only one was denied.

The criteria for commutation was that the prisoners were particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, aren’t in prison for a crime against a person, have served at least half their sentence, have a good conduct record for at least a year, have a suitable housing plan, have their health-care needs addressed once they’re released and aren’t an “unacceptable” risk to the community.

“I have authorized the commutation process to begin for 57 of those individuals, all of whom are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and who do not present an unacceptable public safety risk,” Brown said in a statement. “I would like to thank Director Peters and her team for their diligence in completing their case-by-case analysis.”

This process began about 3 months ago. During that time, the ACLU sent a letter to the governor urging the release of as many prisoners as possible over the coronavirus.

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus

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