Prosecutors and public defenders are working to release an unknown number of nonviolent inmates in the county jail in Tucson to guard against the spread of COVID-19, marking another effort to reduce the state’s jail population after 50 inmates were released last week in northern Arizona.
Attorneys in the Pima County Public Defender’s Office spent the weekend compiling a list of 139 inmates who they say should be released and delivered the names on Monday to County Attorney Barbara LaWall’s office, which confirmed its participation in the push to free the inmates.
It’s unclear how many inmates could end up being released from the county’s jail, which has about 1,850 inmates.
Officials say 234 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Arizona.
No confirmed cases have been reported in Arizona’s jails and prisons, though they are believed to be vulnerable spots for the spread of the coronavirus because inmates with compromised health live in close quarters.