Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has signed another executive order granting the early release of around 1,200 prisoners in an effort to slow transmission of COVID-19.
Signed Tuesday, the order applies to prisoners who are already up for release in the next four months or eligible for home detention. Priority goes to nonviolent offenders who are at least 60 years old, are medically vulnerable and have a record of good behavior. Prisoners must be examined for COVID-19 symptoms before their parole is approved, and inmates convicted of sex crimes are not eligible.
“To mitigate the effects of the spread of COVID-19 and protect the public health, welfare, and safety, especially of vulnerable workers or incarcerated persons at Maryland prisons, it is necessary and reasonable to implement protocols and procedures for transfer out of the State’s correctional institutions,” the order says.
The early release order came at the request of the state’s corrections secretary, Robert L. Green, the Washington Post reports.