ABA policies have long called for the use of citations instead of incarceration to address low-level offenses. In 2010, the ABA House of Delegates adopted Resolution 102C urging jurisdictions "to undertake a comprehensive review of the misdemeanor provisions of their criminal laws, and, where appropriate, to allow the imposition of civil fines or nonmonetary civil remedies instead of criminal penalties, including fines and incarceration."
Many jurisdictions are releasing low-level offenders to diminish jail populations and prevent the spread and severity of COVID-19 in jails. Here are a selection of NEWS REPORTS:
- Agreement on low-risk offenders sets a strong example
- Legal Aid win releases of 51 more persons held at Rikers Island on parole violations
- Countywide effort reduces jail population in bid to reduce coronavirus spread in Tucson
Webinar and Materials
ABA SCLAID, together with the ABA Section on Civil Rights Social Justice and ABA Criminal Justice Section hosted a WEBINAR on the NJ Agreement to Release Low-Level Offenders to Combat COVID-19. The webinar is now available for replay. Additionally, the page for the webinar contains a summary of the webinar and documents relevant to seeking the release of low-level offenders.