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Virginia's COVID-19 early release program for inmates to end July 1

Department of Corrections Director Harold Clarke said that about 70% of the inmate population has now been vaccinated against COVID-19.

VIRGINIA, USA — An inmate early release program aimed at controlling the spread of the coronavirus in Virginia prisons will end on July 1. 

State prison officials have released more than 2,100 inmates early over the past year to reduce the prison population during the pandemic. 

The program was authorized under a budget amendment proposed by Gov. Ralph Northam and approved by state lawmakers in April 2020. 

The authorization expires on July 1. 

Department of Corrections Director Harold Clarke said that about 70% of the inmate population has now been vaccinated against COVID-19.

There are no current cases among the population. 

A total of 56 inmates and five staff members who tested positive for COVID-19 have died during the pandemic.