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UPPER MARLBORO, MD – Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha N. Braveboy released the following statement to update the community on Operation Safe Release:
“As we begin to progress towards entering into Phase Three of our courthouse reopening process, I am pleased to update the community on our Operation Safe Release efforts. Since the start of the pandemic, I have stressed the importance of moving swiftly and responsibly to reduce the jail population. And I am well aware of the impact that the coronavirus has had on our community and inside the jail. As State’s Attorney, I made it a priority for my office to be proactive in safely reducing the jail’s population. This is reflected in our outcomes.
“On March 1, 2020, we activated Operation Safe Release, where we have been actively working with the Office of the Public Defender, the Judiciary and the Department of Corrections to reduce the jail population. Our efforts are ongoing, which is critical to ensuring that the detention center has the designated space to appropriately care for those who must remain in custody as a matter of public safety.
“As a result, we safely reduced the jail population by 192 inmates since March 1, 2020, an almost 40% reduction. There were 718 inmates in the county’s detention center on March 1st. As of July 1, 2020, there were 526—approximately 1/3 of the detention center’s inmate capacity—who remain in custody, most of whom are charged with violent crimes, very serious offenses or serving out sentences. Over 1,600 individuals have been released from the detention facility to include those defendants released during their initial appearance before a Commissioner, which occurs shortly after their arrest.
“Under Operation Safe Release, each case is reviewed to determine the appropriate recommendation for release. The State’s Attorney’s Office is not considering the release of defendants who pose a risk of danger to any alleged victims and/or the community at large. The goal is to safely and judiciously reduce the inmate population, prioritizing everyone’s health and safety during the coronavirus crisis.
“My first priority will always be the safety of our victims and our community. As such, we cannot and will not recommend the release of any individual charged with a violent crime, such as murder, rape, child sex abuse, or any other similarly serious offense and who poses a danger to the community. Under no circumstance will 100% of the prison population be released.
“I am especially grateful to the leadership of the County and members of our Circuit and District Court bench for accommodating our efforts. To the residents of this great County, I thank you for your continued support and for apprising my office of your concerns to be addressed. You know firsthand what is actually happening here in Prince George’s County and we are grateful to continue serving each of you. You have assured us that our efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus while maintaining your safety have been effective. “My office will continue to participate in all pretrial release hearings at both the commissioner level and before a judge to provide the appropriate recommendations. We remain committed to the importance of addressing and protecting public safety at all ends of this ongoing crisis now, and in the days and weeks to come.”
###Contact: Denise Smith | Phone: 240-832-4970 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org