There is no question about it: The COVID-19 pandemic is absolutely terrifying the entire world, infecting millions and killing hundreds of thousands. Some areas, however, are more vulnerable than others. Prisons are one such example, and trying to avoid being infected with COVID-19 in prison is difficult, if not impossible.
Unfortunately, the news is replete with incarcerated individuals being infected with COVID-19 in prison. Across the nation, prisoners are being found to test positive for COVID, and often at higher than expected rates. Indeed, many states that have begun mass testing of prisoners and staff have found surprisingly high rates of COVID-19.
Thankfully, many states have begun releasing prisoners early in order to make sure that incarcerated individuals do not contract COVID-19 in prison.
Each state has established different procedures for determining what individuals can be released and under what circumstances those releases can occur. However, generally speaking, the following circumstances must apply in order for a prisoner to be considered for early release in order to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 in prison:
- The offender must be non-violent and have been convicted of a non-violent crime.
- The offender must be considered a low flight risk and a low risk to the rest of society.
- The offender has some sort of medical vulnerability, like diabetes or breathing difficulties, that makes them particularly vulnerable to severe illness or death if they were to contract COVID-19 in prison.
In Nevada, our sentencing commission is asking the pardons board to consider the early release of prisoners who fall into the above circumstances, and other attorneys are also working to obtain the release of low-level offenders.
Helping a loved one obtain an early release can be a legally demanding and complicated process. It requires expertise and experience with the prison system and someone who fully understands the mechanics of Nevada’s courts. If someone you love falls into any of these categories, make sure to reach out to Guymon & Hendron. We have years of experience at representing clients like your loved ones and are here to help make sure that they are safe.