Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that his office resumed reviewing cases of those convicted of low-level, non-violence offenses who have 45 days or less remaining on their local jail sentences. This initiative by the Erie County DA’s Office aims to reduce the inmate population and prevent the further spread of the coronavirus in the county jails.
The decision follows the Erie County Sheriff’s Office announcement yesterday that 27 inmates housed within a specific area of the Erie County Correctional Facility tested positive for COVID-19.
Today, Assistant District Attorney Mara L. McCabe, Chief of the DA’s Training and Special Projects Bureau, appeared before State Supreme Court Justice Paul B. Wojtaszek to consent to motions filed by the Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo to allow the early release of three individuals. Two individuals will be released from the Erie County Correctional Facility and the other will be released from the Erie County Holding Center. All were convicted of low-level, non-violence offenses.
“In recent weeks, we have seen how the positivity rate can quickly increase throughout a community. This virus has the potential to spread rapidly through a jail population. In the interest of justice and public health, I consented to the early release of these individuals to allow them to serve the remainder of their sentence at home,” Flynn said.
Between April 7, 2020 and May 5, 2020, the Erie County District Attorney’s Office consented to motions, in the interest of justice, to allow the early release of 24 individuals who had 45 days or less remaining on their local jail sentences.
The DA’s Office will continue to consent or oppose motions filed by the Legal Aid Bureau on a case-by-case basis.