Coronavirus: Lake County releases inmates to decrease jail population

Sheriff’s officials hope move helps eliminate spread of coronavirus


LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – The coronavirus pandemic is having an impact on Florida jails and prisons, including in Lake County.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office told News 6 that 44 nonviolent inmates, who were arrested on misdemeanor charges, have been released in order to lower the jail’s population.

In addition, the Florida Department of Health said state prison inmates and workers have been educated on how to prevent the spread of the virus.

As a result of the pandemic, noncritical transfers of inmates between facilities are being restricted, along with outside work crews.

Officials said inmates still have access to video visitations and phone calls.

Meanwhile, 164 inmates were approved for release in Hillsborough County.

“As your sheriff, there is nothing I take more seriously than public safety and protecting our community,” Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “In times of crisis, like the health crisis we are facing, agencies around the country are finding ways to balance public safety and the health of their employees and neighbors. We are no different.”

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About the Author:

Cathleigh is a newscast producer and has been with News 6 since 2014. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a degree in communications, with a focus in broadcast journalism. Cathleigh produces the 5:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. newscasts.