Agreement leads to some Moffat County Jail inmates being released early |

Agreement leads to some Moffat County Jail inmates being released early

The Moffat County Sheriff's Office, Craig Police Department, Colorado State Patrol and the Moffat County Jail all operate out of the 45,482 square foot Moffat County Public Safety Center, pictured here on 1st Street. The police department occupies 2,258 square feet of exclusive space in the center.
Craig Press File

Social media was ablaze Thursday in Moffat County as rumors circulated that the Moffat County Jail was undergoing a mass exodus of inmates due to the COVID-19 concerns.

Thanks to a preliminary agreement between the District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defendant’s Office, Law Enforcement, and the 14th Judicial District, some low-risk offenders and those with medical issues putting them at risk for COVID-19 issues were released throughout the week.

As part of a system wide effort to combat the spread of the COVID-19, a temporary emergency order has been adopted in the 14th Judicial District regarding the risks of further spread of the disease related to incarceration in county jails.  The order is in place until May 15, 2020, or until modified by the Chief Judge of the 14th Judicial District.

The emergency order allows for expedited processing of a limited classification of persons arrested or jailed for low level, low risk offenses, and provides for the appropriate treatment of persons with verifiable medical conditions which public health experts have identified as COVID-19 risk factors.

“Based on the information available from public health experts, collaborative efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 are a crucial part of managing this life-threatening pandemic,” 14th Judicial District Attorney Matt Karzen said. “Mutual aid in these circumstances is absolutely critical, and I view this judicial directive as an appropriate and important part of the criminal justice systems effort to combat the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.  Under very difficult circumstances, this temporary measure represents a balancing of that effort with the need to maintain a functional law abiding society. 

“Dealing with something like this is complicated and quite stressful, and the District Attorney’s Office is grateful for the thoughtful contributions our judicial branch, law enforcement agencies and public defender’s office have made in managing this unprecedented public health emergency.”

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