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LA Officials Seeking To Reduce Jail Population

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Los Angeles County Men's Central Jail in downtown L.A. (Andrew Cullen for LAist)
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Los Angeles County officials are taking steps to reduce inmate populations in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in local jails.

District Attorney Jackie Lacey is recommending that medically vulnerable individuals be released while awaiting a court date. Her office is also temporarily halting the filing of new cases for misdemeanors and low-level felonies.

Lacey's office is working with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to review a list of 2,000 inmates who have been flagged for potential early release.

“If you release some of the people... should there be an infection in the jail, you’ll be able to isolate those who are infected,” she said.

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Inmates charged with violent crimes, including child abuse and domestic violence, will not be considered for release.

“We’ll be looking at auto burglaries, vandalism cases, things of that nature where we think those folks could be released without there being much harm to the community,” she said.

No cases will be dismissed, but some will be adjudicated or postponed.

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