ACLU: Release some inmates, refugees amid coronavirus spread

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Louisiana branch of the American Civil Liberties Union has asked correction officials to reduce jail and prison populations to combat the spread of the new coronavirus.

The ACLU said Thursday that officials should expedite parole hearings for elderly inmates and immediately release those in jails awaiting trials who aren’t considered safety risks, especially since sometimes those inmates are simply too poor to post bail. 

Advocates have asked for humanitarian parole release of refugees and asylum-seekers.

The number of people in the state who have tested positive for the COVID-19 disease caused by the virus has grown to 19.

On Thursday, the corrections department suspended visitation at all state prisons for 30 days.

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