Advocates for the Incarcerated Call for More Early Releases Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

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A California Department of Corrections officer looks on as inmates at Chino State Prison exercise in the yard. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)

Thousands of incarcerated people in California will be released early to avoid the spread of coronavirus, but some prisoner advocates say more inmates should be sent home and at a faster rate. Advocates fear that overcrowded state prisons and local jails could be the sites of the next major COVID 19 outbreak. Nonetheless, letting inmates go home -- if they have a home to go home to -- is not so simple, justice system officials say. We examine the challenges facing inmates and correctional facilities during the coronavirus pandemic.


Lenore Anderson , director, Californians for Safety and Justice

Steve Wagstaffe, district attorney, San Mateo County

Brendon Woods , public defender, Alameda County