18 Miami-Dade inmates getting early release in coronavirus agreement

State Attorney said plan will create space for more dangerous offenders during pandemic

18 inmates will be released early from Miami-Dade County due, in part, to the coronavirus outbreak (WJXT)

MIAMI, Fla. – Eighteen inmates serving jail sentences at Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department facilities will get an early release most likely in the next 48 hours, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said Friday.

The unnamed inmates had sentences that were due to expire in the next two months. It is not known how long each of them have been incarcerated.

The release is part of what Rundle’s office stated was an “Agreed Order To Terminate Jail Sentences Early Because of the Coronavirus Disease.”

The order was a “collaborative effort” by Rundle and prosecutors of the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, the Miami-Dade Public Defender, Carlos Martinez, and the Administrative Judge of the Criminal Courts for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida, Judge Nushin Sayfie, and Daniel Junior, the Director of Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department (MDCR).

Rundle said it was a way to reduce the number of people held in local jails as an effort to reduce the chances that COVID-19 could spread among staff and inmates. Also, would create space for more dangerous and violent offenders during the pandemic.

"As a result, releasing inmates shortly before their jail sentences end will not only promote the health of our community by minimizing the likelihood of an outbreak in our jails, but protect the safety and health of our entire community," said Rundle. "We have reviewed the cases involving each of the inmates being released and believe that releasing these individuals a short time earlier than originally planned will not undermine the safety of Miami-Dade County residents."

According to the procedures, MDCR will release the identified defendants from jail within 48 hours if they have “no other holds,” according to Rundle.

About the Author:

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.