Hundreds of nonviolent inmates released early from Duval County jail, per SAO

Jacksonville, Fla. — Hundreds of nonviolent offenders have been released early from the Duval County jail since mid March, according to the State Attorney’s Office.

It’s part of an ongoing effort to reduce the jail population and slow the spread of the coronavirus.

On June 19, an inmate at the Duval County Jail tested positive for COVID-19, marking the first confirmed case at the facility.

By June 27, the number climbed to 178 cases in inmates. At least 19 corrections officers also tested positive for the coronavirus.

Since then, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said all of the inmates being housed at the three facilities have been tested at this time, with the exception of a few who refused.

JSO said it continues to test all new suspects arrested on a daily basis who are booked into the Pre-Trial Detention Facility. If an inmate refuses to be tested, they are placed in quarantine for two weeks.

Action News Jax told you in March, the SAO sent a memo outlining strategies to limit the spread of the coronavirus by expediting cases to safely reducing the jail population.

The SAO said between mid-March and June 23, just over 500 nonviolent offenders with low-level charges have been released from the jail since mid-March. That number includes both defendants with pending cases and those with pending filing decisions, per an SAO spokesperson.