Governor Kate Brown will reduce the sentences of 57 medically vulnerable prison inmates in Oregon, according to a release sent by the governor’s office Thursday.
The release said Gov. Brown will commute the sentences because of the inmates’ “risk for significant health challenges should they contract COVID-19.”
Of the 57 inmates who will be released early, three inmates are from the Deer Ridge Correctional Institution in Madras. One of those inmates is Crook County resident Michael Schwartz, who was arrested for driving under the influence in 2018. The other two are from Multnomah County.
Another inmate who qualified is Moises Sanchez-Alcaraz at the Two Rivers Correctional Institution, who was arrested in Deschutes County for delivery of cocaine in 2017.
Gov. Brown’s announcement does not impact county jails, such as the Deschutes County Adult Jail. All released inmates will come from state penitentiaries.
On July 12, Gov. Brown directed the Department of Corrections to analyze all Oregon prisoners’ underlying health conditions, crimes committed, prison conduct, time already served and risk to public safety, among other criteria.
The Department of Corrections returned a list of 61 inmates and 57 were authorized to serve shorter sentences than originally given, the release said. The others were denied because they were scheduled for release within the next seven days or because an early release seemed premature.
Thirteen adults in custody already have housing and health care plans in place, so the early release process can begin as soon as those inmates test negative for COVID-19.
The other inmates will begin the commutation process after the DOC confirms their housing and health care plans and they test negative for the virus.
The release said the time remaining on an inmate’s prison sentence will be converted to post-prison supervision time, which includes requiring former inmates to check in with parole officers and participate in substance abuse evaluations.