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Miami-Dade to release 18 jail inmates because of coronavirus

The inmates were awaiting trial or serving sentences of 364 days or less.

File photo
File photo

MIAMI – Miami-Dade County is releasing 18 inmates early from its jail as a response to the new coronavirus, officials said.

State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle announced an agreement Friday between her, Public Defender Carlos Martinez, Eleventh Circuit Criminal Courts Judge Nushin Sayfie and County Corrections and Rehabilitation Director Daniel Junior to release the 18 inmates whose jail terms are set to end within the next two months.

“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,” Fernandez Rundle said in a statement.

“We have reviewed the cases involving each of the inmates being released and believe that releasing these individuals a short time earlier than originally planned will not undermine the safety of Miami-Dade County residents. ”

The jail will release the inmates within 48 hours if they have no other holds. They must report to the Florida Department of Probation within one day of their release to serve any term of community supervision that was part of their original sentence.

The Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department operates the eighth-largest jail system in the country, incarcerating more than 4,000 people on any given day. The inmates are awaiting trial or serving sentences of 364 days or less.