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Poll: Should jails release inmates that are high risk of COVID-19?

MARSHALL COUNTY — Marshall County Attorney Jim Clevenger notified the Marshall County Commissioners that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a petition with the Indiana Supreme Court to order County Sheriff’s to compile lists of inmates who would possibly qualify to be sent home in light of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Attorney Clevenger noted that among those who might qualify are inmates over 65 and / or those who have certain medical conditions, most non-violent convictions, and anyone incarcerated for a probation violation might qualify. He added that those within 6 months of release might also qualify. The ACLU is arguing that it is a violation of their constitutional rights to remain in a high risk environment. Director of Marshall County Community Corrections Ward Byers forwarded the judges a link to the ACLU press release regarding the matter; and Clevenger notified the commissioners he was going to follow up. The inmate population on Tuesday, March 31 was down to 199. Clevenger noted uncertainty as to whether or not the Supreme Court would act on the petition without hearing from the Attorney General or other authority in the matter to determine if the action was “necessary”.

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