Over 17,000 California inmates could be released early due to COVID-19 concerns

California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California state prison officials say as many as 17,600 inmates may be released early due to the coronavirus.

That’s 70% more than previously estimated and a total that victims and police say includes dangerous criminals who should stay locked up.

The earlier releases also are causing consternation as probation officers and community organizations scramble to provide housing, transportation and other services for inmates who may pose a public health risk because several hundred have been paroled while still contagious.

Officials have been under intense pressure to free more inmates, though officials say Corrections Secretary Ralph Diaz is likely to block some of the earlier releases.

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