Judge blocks plan to return 18 people freed during pandemic to prison.
They were released to protect their health as COVID threatened the inmate population
August 15, 2022
The Minnesota Department of Corrections has backed off plans to reincarcerate 18 people who were freed from prison to protect their health during the COVID pandemic, according to an ACLU Minnesota attorney who sued the state on behalf of the former inmates.
The state had ordered the 18 individuals to surrender themselves by Monday. But late last week, Ramsey County District Judge Mark Ireland granted an emergency temporary restraining order, saying the Corrections Department plan would force people back into prison "regardless of their individual health risks - which could be significant and even fatal."
On Friday, Assistant Attorney General Corinne Wright asked Ireland to cancel further hearings and said that the state will conduct individual determinations for the 18 people remaining on conditional medical release, according to an e-mail shared by ACLU Minnesota attorney Daniel Shulman.