The reduction of Philadelphia’s prison population—as a measure to control the spread of COVID-19—is picking up steam after a start that lagged behind other county jails in Pennsylvania. That’s because, after weeks of friction, court leaders and the District Attorney’s Office are finally on the same page, court watchers said.
In the weeks that followed the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordering nearly all judicial services be shut down as a means of combating the coronavirus, many of the state’s largest court systems reduced their prison population by 20% or more. In Allegheny County, the number of people in the local jails dropped by nearly 30%, between March 1 and March 31. In Philadelphia, however, the prison population reduction remained at less than 10% by the middle of last week.
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