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189 incarcerated persons set to be released from Allegheny County Jail; more likely

By March 19, 2020 2 Comments

The Allegheny County Jail. (Current Photo by Jacob Mysliwczyk)

By Charlie Deitch
Pittsburgh Current Editor
charlie@pittsburghcurrent.com

Orders have been sent to the Allegheny County Jail to release 189 incarcerated individuals in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to a statement sent to media this afternoon, county spokesperson Amie Downs said staff “in Criminal Court Administration, the Public Defender’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office are continually reviewing cases to determine which inmates are appropriate for release. Those cases are then addressed in Motions Court or reviewed with the assigned Judge depending on the circumstances.  This review is not limited to just those inmates with health problems, although those cases are being considered first.  The Public Defender’s Office is working to identify all non-violent inmates held only on cash bails.

“So far, 189 inmate releases have been sent to the jail. Releases are being processed by the jail as they are received, and the same process related to discharge and release followed as is done traditionally. This includes ensuring that inmates being released have access to a free phone call, free bus ticket, free Intranasal Narcan (Naloxone HCL) upon affirmative response at time of offer, a packet of requested community resource information, letter of Incarceration Verification (upon request), and inmates are also encouraged to take a flyer or business card to reach the Discharge & Release Center for assistance with future needs.

“This is an ongoing collaborative effort which includes the Judges, Court Administration, the Allegheny County Jail, the Public Defender, the District Attorney’s Office, Adult Probation, Pretrial Services, and the Private Bar.  Emergency petitions can also be filed and are addressed by the court in Motions Court.”

The move comes days after several elected officials and community organizations demanded that inmates at the jail who are at high-risk for the virus, held on low-level charges, those on a probation hold and those in pretrial confinement be released.

“I will say, 189 is a good number,” said Bret Grote of the Abolitionist Law Project. “Now we need to see how many more we can get and how quickly we can get them all discharged. Again, that’s a good number, but we also can’t keep replenishing it either.

“One thing that would speed this process up is that the courts don’t need a motion to lift a probation detainer. Judges can do that on their own accord. But these are positive steps that we’re seeing.”

2 Comments

  • MC says:

    How about a list of offenses that these criminals have committed, so we can decide for ourselves if this is wise or not?

  • LYNN says:

    WHAT ABOUT THE SAID ACCUSED “THAT ARE SITTING IN ACJ .CLASSIFED VIOLANT OFFENDERS ! AND HAVE HEALTH ISSUES THAT ARE OF VERY MUCH CONCERNED ABOUT HEALTH AMD RIGHTFULLY SO ? YEPH MY BLOOD ! SO WHAT IS YOUR ANSWER TO POSTPONED OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER FOR ABOUT 2 YEARS .REFUSED HELP IN CORNA 19 AND BEFORE THAT ? I. GOING TO THE TOP ! WITH CANCER AND 14 MORE ILLNESSES CAUSE YOU PEOPLE DONT CARE .FACT ! IS LABELING AND MEDIA DRAWING SUCH AN UGLY PICTURE ON A GREAT GUY JUSTIFED. ? ANDSWER NO ! AND ITS SO UNFAIR .NOT TO MENTION .FALSE BS ! I WANT AND DEMAND JUSTICE FOR HIM AND ALL .I WILL NOT AND HAVE NOT SAT A DAY .NOT ONE WITHOUT TRYING TO REACH OUT WITH. BEING BY THE GOVERNER OF PA .SENDIMG ME TO THE ACHD .AND. FITZGERALD. BLOWING ME OFF ! NOT ONLY WILL I NOT VOTE AT ALL .SO WHAT TO YOU HUH ? FACT .YET THE PD CAN DO THEIR JOB ..YOU PEOPLE ARE NOT CARING TO DO HOUSE ARREST OR ANYTHING .THEIR ARE NO JUSTICE FOR ALL .NO RIGHTS .AND THE WE THE PEOPLE AND THE CONSTUITION OF THE 🇺🇸 OH I HAVE ALOT TO SAY ! WHOS LISTINING ! AND THE FACTS OF CORNA 19 ARE BEING HIDDEN FROM SOCITY .THATS A REAL FACT AS WELL

    A VERY CONCERENED PARENT IN PGH PA ……IF YOU RELEASE SELECT PEOPLE TO LEAVE AND GO HOME .YOU CAN AND SHOULD HOUSE ARREST THE OTHEFS .THEY MAY BE ACCUSED OF A VIOLENT CRIME ! BUT WHERES THE SPEEDY TRIAL IN THIS CASE ! …IM WORKING ON THIS MY BLOOD 24 /7 WITH MALIGENT DEIASES AS I HAVE .AND I WILL NOT STOP ! AS I FIND THIS VERY MUCH UNJUST .AND IT IS !
    HOW ARE YOU GUYS ARE THEY TO LABLE ANYONE ? THATS NOT CONVICTED AS A VIOLENT PERSON .GO SEE FOR YOUR SELFS ! CAN I COME SINCE I HAVE NO RIGHT BY WHOM ? NOT TO VISIT ??? AND I HAVE A LOT MORE TO SAY CALL ME THEN .NO ONE HAS RIGHTS HE SURE DONT OR CIVAL .THIS IS ALOT MORE THAN I CAN OR WILL POST HERE TO PROTECT PEOPLES RIGHTS .THAT WRONG , THE SELECT
    .NO ONE LISTENDED TO ME
    NOT 1 OF YOU .THANKS ALOT .I WILL STRIVE TO THE RIGHT PEOPLE .

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