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Texas jails to release non-violent misdemeanor inmates due to coronavirus pandemic

Empty Jail Cell
Posted at 4:09 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 17:10:16-04

The Texas Commission of Jail Standards has recommended Texas jails work to release non-violent misdemeanor inmates due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter sent to county sheriffs and jail administrators, TCSJ asked administrators explore options for releasing non-violent misdemeanor offenders with their local county/ district attorney.

The McLennan County Jail said they are working to release 29 inmates on personal recognizance bonds. Those being released from the jail include those charged with:

  • Failure to identify
  • Theft over $100 but under $750
  • Driving with an invalid license
  • Failure to pay child support

Officials with the McLennan County Sheriff's Office says the move is to mitigate if someone in the jail became infected with COVID-19.

Texas jails have also been tasked to "explore options with local arresting agencies regarding "cite and release" for those who commit non-violent crimes in order to reduce number of individuals booked into the facility."