Senator will hold briefing on releasing prisoners to slow COVID spread

524
Sen. Jose "Pedo" Terlaje (file photo)

Senator Jose “Pedo” Terlaje — Chairman of the Committee on Public Safety, Border Safety, Military and Veterans Affairs, Mayors’ Council, Infrastructure and Public Transit — will hold an Informational Briefing on the mitigation of the COVID-19 cluster at the Department of Corrections.  

The hearing will be held on Friday, November 20, 2020 beginning at 5:30 p.m. via Zoom Conference platform.

While other states have released prisoners in order to reduce prison population density to slow the spread of Covid, Senator Pedo Terlaje said in a release that doing so will “is not going to be an option on Guam,” and  “I emphatically oppose the release of criminals as a Covid mitigation strategy.”

However, he told K57’s Patti Arroyo this morning that he is willing to reconsider his stance depending on the outcome of the hearing.

Expected to be in attendance are Director Cabullido of the Department of Corrections and Director San Agustin of the Department of Public Health and Social Services, along with members of their leadership staff.

Senator Pedo Terlaje encourages any members of the public with questions and concerns about the Covid cluster at the Department of Corrections to submit those concerns to his office at senatorpedo@senatorjpterlaje.com so they can be addressed.  

Any interested stakeholders wanting to testify may also contact the office at senatorpedo@senatorjpterlaje.com to participate in the hearing.  

A study by the Prison Policy Institute found that states released nearly 33% of their prisoners due to Covid outbreaks in March and April of this year. (https://www.prisonpolicy.org/blog/2020/09/10/pandemic_population_changes/).

In New Jersey, 2,258 inmates were released on a single day (November 11th) to reduce the density of the prison population and mitigate the spread of Covid.(https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/04/nyregion/nj-prisoner-release-covid.html)

According to UCSF 1200 prisoners and 70 staff members have died of Covid across the country.  (https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2020/10/418876/prisoners-pandemic-hits-greater-force)

##