Arguments At SJC Tuesday Over Petition To Reduce Prison Populations Due To Pandemic

March 30th, 2020

By Jenifer McKim
March 30, 2020
WGBH

The Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday morning is scheduled to hear oral arguments related to an emergency petition to reduce the state’s population of incarcerated people as a growing number of inmates test positive for COVID-19.

Prisoner advocates, state officials and law enforcement are slated to speak in the virtual hearing addressing the petition filed last week by the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Committee for Public Counsel Services.

The hearing comes as the number of inmates infected by COVID-19 increases in Massachusetts. The state Department of Correction said Monday there were 21 confirmed cases of the virus among inmates and staff at the Massachusetts Treatment Center in Bridgewater, which houses male sex offenders, an increase of 14 on Friday.

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