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Prosecutors, PD’s, and courts enact Covid-19 early jail release plan in the 11th Circuit

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Katherine Fernandez Rundle

Katherine Fernandez Rundle

11th Circuit State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle April 3 announces that as a result of a collaborative effort by her office, Miami-Dade Public Defender Carlos Martinez, Administrative Judge Nushin Sayfie of the Criminal Courts for the 11th Circuit, and Daniel Junior, director of Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department (MDCR), 18 individuals who had been serving their jail sentence in MDCR and whose term of incarceration was due to expire during the next two months, will be released early as a result of an “Agreed Order To Terminate Jail Sentences Early Because of the Coronavirus Disease.”

“We and our partners recognize that we need to reduce the number of people held in our local jails to reduce the chances that COVID-19 could spread among the officers, staff, and inmates,” said Rundle said. “Preventative actions like these are crucial to the continuing operation of the jails and will allow MDCR to create space for the most dangerous and violent offenders who may be charged with committing violent crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, releasing inmates shortly before their jail sentences end will not only promote the health of our community by minimizing the likelihood of an outbreak in our jails, but protect the safety and health of our entire community.”

Rundle said after reviewing the cases involving each of the inmates being released, its believed that releasing these individuals a short time earlier than originally planned will not undermine the safety of Miami-Dade County residents.

“According to our agreed procedures, MDCR will release the identified defendants from jail within 48 hours if they have no other holds,” Rundle said. “Any individual released who was required by their original sentence to serve a term of community supervision after being released, must report to the Florida Department of Probation within one day of their release.

“The COVID-19 virus has created some very trying times. I am determined to protect our entire community and want to assure everyone that your police officers and your prosecutors are unwavering in their commitment to ensure that violent criminals do not feel free to prey on others,” she said.

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