SJC RECOMMENDS RELEASE OF PRISONERS AWAITING TRIAL AS CORRECTIONS SYSTEM GRAPPLES WITH COVID-19
April 4, 2020
By Trevor Hass
Prisoners awaiting trial in Massachusetts should be released as a result of COVID-19, unless prosecutors can prove they present an “unreasonable” danger to the community or flight risk, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled Friday.
This came after the Committee for Public Counsel Services, the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers filed an emergency petition before the state Supreme Judicial Court. The report noted that correctional facilities can be “petri dishes,” largely because physical distancing and vigilant hygiene are impossible.