Knox County, Tenn. releases inmates with misdemeanors and non-violent felonies

Published: Apr. 1, 2020 at 2:22 PM EDT
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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Tennessee Supreme Court Order, the General Sessions Court Judges of Knox County are taking new measures to reduce the spread of the virus.

Due to the population density at Knox County detention facilities and the need to reduce the spread of the coronavirus to inmates, correction officers, and healthcare workers the following temporary measures are being put into place.

The Knox County District Attorney's Office has reduced the current inmate population in Knox County detention facilities by 20 percent in less than two weeks. As of the Supreme Court's order, many inmates have been released on their own recognizance.

According to officials, any individual arrested for a misdemeanor offense that does not involve domestic assault or DUI will be released on their own recognizance. And any individual who is arrested on a non-violent felony and is determined to be indigent should be released.

Any person arrested on a violation of probation should also be released if there are no pending violations of probation and the new violation 1) alleges a failed drug screen, 2) alleges ascension for less than three months, 3) alleges a new non-violent misdemeanor offense, 4) alleges the failure to satisfy monetary obligations in any form, or 5) any other alleged technical violation.

The order, however, does not limit the ability of the Knox County DA to seek bail for people who committed a crime while free on bond or revocation of bail to those who pose a threat to the community,

The order is set to stay in place until April 30, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.