High court asked to reduce jail populations to combat virus

ACLU petitions for release of some inmates due to COVID-19 dangers

AP Newsroom
March 30, 2020 - 12:29 pm
A Sign In Front Of Graterford Prison Is Displayed July 20, 2001 At Graterford, Pa.

Mike Levin / Stringer Getty Images North America


HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is being asked to order the release of some inmates from county jails to help reduce the spread of the new virus. A petition filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania says that tight inmate quarters, a lack of sanitation, and a limited ability to treat and quarantine people suspected of having COVID-19 presents an "extraordinary public health risk" to inmates, staff and surrounding communities. The legal action was taken as Pike County officials announced that a staffer at the jail has tested positive for COVID-19. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania set another record for unemployment filings last week.


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