The Board of Correction on Tuesday unanimously approved making 742 inmates eligible for early release immediately by invoking the Emergency Powers Act to ease prison crowding.
The board has routinely invoked its emergency powers every 90 days for nearly 20 years in order to free up bed space for a backlog of prisoners waiting to be transported from county jails, according to prison spokesman Solomon Graves.
On Tuesday, 614 men and 128 women were made eligible for early release. However, some will still need to take additional steps before they are allowed to leave prison, Graves said.
The releases are broken up into 30-day windows during the next three months.
The board's action affects prisoners who have already been approved for parole by moving ahead their release dates to within the 90-day window, so long as they complete all the conditions of their release. Other inmates who are now eligible for early release must still get approval from the parole board.
According to the Department of Correction, there were 15,002 men and 1,369 women housed in state prisons Tuesday, more than 107 percent of the department's capacity.
The county jail backlog was at 1,243 men and 58 women Tuesday, according to the department.
Metro on 11/23/2016
Print Headline: Prisons full, board OKs release for 742