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Judge Orders Release, Transfer Of At-Risk Inmates From Elkton Federal Prison

Federal Correctional Institution Elkton in Lisbon, Ohio.
Federal Bureau of Prisons

A federal judge has ordered the release or transfer of hundreds of inmates at Elkton federal prison south of Youngstown, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The government is seeking to dramatically reduce that number.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons created a list of 837 inmates at the minimum security prison who are older than 65 or have a medical condition, making them vulnerable to COVID-19.

A district court judge in Cleveland ordered that they be removed from Elkton. In response, the government identified five people eligible for home confinement and one for early release on medical grounds.

However, David Carey of the ACLU of Ohio, said that is not enough.

“We are going to investigate further to find out why it is the government came up with such a small list of people and see if we can follow up and do anything about it,” Carey said.

The government argues it is following the law on who is eligible for early release. However, transferring hundreds of inmates between prisons would be too difficult.