The Detroit News reports on efforts by Wayne County to incorporate recent jail reforms made due to COVID-19 into regular practice in an article posted June 2nd.
The population of the Wayne County Jail has fallen by 40%. There are now more people on tether supervision than behind bars. Wayne County worked with the Vera Institute of Justice to study and analyze the county’s jail system and practices.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought devastation and tragedy,” the institute writes in its coronavirus-themed preface, which acknowledges the report was prepared before the global pandemic.
“However, it has also shown us that significant jail decarceration is possible within an extremely short period of time,” the report continues. “Wayne County, like other jurisdictions across the country, has an opportunity to use lessons from this rapid jail population reduction to continue to decarcerate as regular life resumes.”
The study found that only about half the jail’s inmates are being held pretrial; that number was thought to be closer to 60% prior to the study. 34% are serving sentences handed down by a judge and the remaining 15% are being held for another agency or on probation violations.