Minnesota contemplates releasing nonviolent offenders as coronavirus spreads


March 17, 2020

ST. PAUL - Gov. Tim Walz on Monday, March 16, said he was in discussions with public safety and judiciary officials to allow some nonviolent jail inmates out amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Walz and Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington on Monday told reporters they'd spoken with Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, officials in the Department of Corrections, as well as members of the judiciary and counties, to determine whether allowing those with minor, nonviolent offenses could be released. The State Public Defender's Office over the weekend made a similar push, saying jails could become especially dangerous for older inmates or those with health concerns as the disease spreads.



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