If you think social distancing in what we call the "real world" is difficult, imagine trying to keep your space if you were incarcerated. That's the issue facing the Louisiana Department of Corrections.

They've already seen what the coronavirus can do in a prison setting, just ask administrators at the federal prison in Oakdale. And they're contemplating actions that would prevent such an outbreak in state-run facilities.

The Department of Corrections has identified 1,200 inmates that could be eligible for a furloughed sentence. The first group of those 1,200 that have been identified not only meet the Department of Corrections criteria for the program but those inmates have reported pre-existing medical conditions.

Jimmy Leblanc, the Corrections Secretary told the Louisiana Radio Network just what inmates are being considered for the program.

Serving sentences for nonviolent and non-sex offenses, are within six months of their release, and they must have housing or a residence planned, ready to receive them

The next group to be considered for the furloughed sentences will meet the same criteria, minus the medical concerns, and those inmates must have already served at least six months of their sentence.

Each inmate's case will before a panel that includes Leblanc and five others. In order for an inmate to be furloughed five of the six members of the panel would have to give their approval. Leblanc noted that furloughed inmates could be subject to home incarceration with ankle monitors and active supervision. The inmate reviews are set to begin on Friday.



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