Newton County is among several Georgia counties looking to reduce their prison populations in an effort to control the spread of coronavirus through the jail.
Sheriff Ezell Brown and the Newton County judges say they are actively working together to reduce the Newton County Jail population amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The jail population was significantly reduced by more than 100 inmate residents as of April 9. Inmate residents will continue to be released following court orders. Active work release inmates and weekenders will be monitored by Newton County deputies following release.
As of Thursday there has not been a COVID-19 outbreak within the facility.
“We strongly feel that we safeguarded ourselves from the threat of an outbreak because of the precautions we have taken so early on,” Sheriff Ezell Brown said. “We will continue to work daily with the Newton County judges, the District Attorney’s Office, the State, and probation offices to continue the effort in reducing the jail population. The health and safety of our entire staff and inmate residents have been top priority.”
Since early March, the Sheriff’s Office has implemented numerous preventive measures to ensure the safety of its inmate residents. The Sheriff’s Office temporarily suspended its weekender and work release programs, temporarily suspended all on-site visitation and offered free vaccinations to inmate residents.
Additionally, the Sheriff’s Office designated two areas within the jail for quarantine should an individual show any symptoms of COVID-19.