Advocates are calling for large-scale prison releases to knock back the coronavirus, as detention facilities throughout the country report positive cases among inmates and staff.Across the United States, local and state officials have begun freeing low-level and nonviolent offenders — among them, migrants, the elderly, the infirm and those with short remaining sentences — to avoid an outbreak that the American Civil Liberties Union warned would spread “quickly and devastatingly.””Unfortunately, we know that prisons and jails are virus vectors, and people who live and work in these institutions are virtually sitting ducks for the virus,” Amy Fettig, the deputy director of the ACLU National Prison Project. “All of these people are now extremely at-risk because they can’t practice the social distancing that public health officials tell us is absolutely necessary to protect ourselves.”New York University’s Public Safety Lab, which tracks daily jail populations, said this week that it had started to see “sharp declines” in populations at many county jails, particularly in Washington state, where the number of inmates at some facilities has been reduced by nearly 50 percent since the start of the month.Overall, county jail populations have dropped by about 20 percent since the start of March, Anna

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