St. Louis County Jail to Continue Release of Some Inmates to Help Slow Spread of COVID-19

DULUTH, Minn. – The St. Louis County Jail is taking some precautions for what it believes will help prevent a large COVID-19 outbreak inside its walls.

St. Louis County Sheriff Ross Litman talls us the jail has been releasing low-level non-violent offenders like people with warrants for unpaid fines, traffic violations, misdemeanor theft, and their first DUI offense.

Because of that, the total inmate population at the jail has dropped from about 170 to 110.

County officials are working closely with jail staff, law enforcement, and the court system to ensure that inmates being released are closely monitored and follow their release conditions.

Most individuals that have been released have been those waiting for trial and those waiting to be formally charged.

“Typically back before this virus became such an issue for us, that individual might be spending the night in the St. Louis County Jail until they make their appearance in the next day or two. Now, officers on the street are making really good discretionary decisions and finding other options like possibly releasing them to responsible parties,” said Sheriff Litman.

For safety reasons, the jail has stopped allowing visiting with inmates.

The temperature of every employee is now being taken and workers are being screened with health questions before their shifts.

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