With the Coronavirus Pandemic in full swing, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan issued another Executive Order allowing for the release of some Maryland prisoners among the state’s correctional facilities that met strict requirements. Hogan issued a similar order in April of 2020.
At that time Hogan wanted those eligible for home confinement to be considered for release, along with inmates convicted of nonviolent crimes over the age of 60 and with clean behavior records to be considered for parole. At that time, roughly 2,000 inmates were considered eligible for the Governor’s order.
This order is similar to the last one as inmates 60 and over, convicted on non-violent crimes and a clean behavior record will be considered for accelerated parole. Under the governor’s order, inmates eligible for early release or home detention include those whose prison term is set to expire within the next four months and are not serving time for a violent or sexual offense. An inmate’s medical condition and whether they are pregnant or have other special needs will be also taken into consideration in determining eligibility.
Prior to the inmate’s early release, he or she will be evaluated for symptoms of the coronavirus. “An inmate displaying symptoms of COVID-19 is ineligible for early mandatory supervision, home detention, or accelerated parole,” the order states. It adds that the inmate will be isolated and subject to virus testing procedures and protocols. The order also adds that any inmate released has to self-quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.
The state’s Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services reports that 1,199 inmates have tested positive for the coronavirus and 13 have died from virus-related complications as of Monday, the most recent data publicly available. Among the department’s employees, 857 have tested positive and two have died.