By CBS3 Staff


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner is urging city and state leaders to expedite efforts to reduce prison populations as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hit the region. Krasner says the effort is to limit the spread of COVID-19 in correctional facilities and communities.

The DA’s office has been working to identify inmates eligible for early release.

Those include:

  • People who have already served their minimum sentence and are eligible for parole
  • People who are serving their sentence and are worthy of early parole
  • People who are elderly, ill, and/or infirm
  • People who are being held pre-trial for non-violent and misdemeanor offenses simply because they could not afford bail
  • People who are good candidates for alternative detention, such as house arrest or GPS monitoring
  • Juvenile offenders who are deemed to pose no safety threat to the public

“There are thousands if not tens of thousands of people in prisons across Pennsylvania who frankly should not be there, including people who are elderly, sick, have mental or physical disabilities, and who pose no threat of violence to the public,” Krasner said in a statement. “Jails and prisons are already dirty, crowded places. The elected and appointed leaders of the Commonwealth must protect us all by moving forward with safe and timely release of people from corrections facilities who are unlikely to endanger the public.

“A COVID-19 outbreak in prison would be disastrous, and likely deadly, for incarcerated people and everyone else. For the sake of public health, immediate action to reduce prison populations across Pennsylvania is urgently needed.

LATEST CORONAVIRUS STORIES

There are currently 196 coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania.