Petition filed in Berkshire County to release non-violent prisoners

Coronavirus Local Impact

(WWLP) – A petition has been filed to release non-violent prisoners in order to lower the spread of COVID-19 in Berkshire County.

The DA’S office says these inmates could either complete their sentences outside of the jail under GPS monitoring or return after the crisis to complete their sentences.

According to the petition on Mass.gov, the circumstances in Massachusetts jails and prisons make following social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 especially problematic.

There are approximately 16,500 individuals in Massachusetts prisons, county jails, and house of corrections.

The DA’s office believes that without significant guidance and action from the courts and cooperation amongst and between petitioners and respondents, more people will be infected.

New Jersey began freeing some non-violent offenders from their jails last week.

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