Gov. Brown approves release of 57 prisoners amid pandemic

The decision follows a case-by-case analysis of prisoners by the Department of Corrections at the governor’s request.

Posted: Jun 25, 2020 12:48 PM

SALEM, Ore. – Gov. Kate Brown announced Thursday she will commute the sentences of 57 prisoners at high risk during the pandemic.

The decision follows a case-by-case analysis of prisoners by the Department of Corrections at the governor’s request.

The review identified prisoners who:

  • Are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, as identified by DOC medical staff;
  • Are not serving a sentence for a person crime;
  • Have served at least 50% of their sentence;
  • Have a record of good conduct for the last 12 months;
  • Have a suitable housing plan;
  • Have their out-of-custody health care needs assessed and adequately addressed; and
  • Do not present an unacceptable safety, security, or compliance risk to the community.

“I received a list of 61 adults in custody from the Department of Corrections for consideration of commutation. I have authorized the commutation process to begin for 57 of those individuals, all of whom are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and who do not present an unacceptable public safety risk,” said Brown.

Three prisoners not included in the 57 are scheduled for release within the next seven days, and the fourth is not scheduled for release until 2025.

DOC confirmed that 13 of the prisoners set to be released have housing and continuity of health care plans in place. For those individuals, the commutation process can begin as soon as they test negative for COVID-19. For the rest, their housing plans must be confirmed before they can be tested and released.

All 57 will be subject to post-prison supervision, and time remaining on their sentences will be added to their post-prison supervision sentence. During this period, individuals must meet a number of conditions, including checking in with their parole officer, participating in substance abuse and mental health evaluations, and not owning guns. Commutation of their sentence can be revoked.

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