FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear (D) may commute the sentences of another 700 inmates soon due to the coronavirus.

What You Need To Know

  • Beshear may release 700 inmates early due to coronavirus

  • He previously released 1,200

  • Beshear won't consider inmates with violent or sexual offenses

  • Medical history of inmate will also play a factor

Kentucky has already released around 1,200 inmates due to the coronavirus, giving those offenders shorter sentences to ease crowding.

There have been 941 cases of the coronavirus reported in state prisons among inmates and staff while eight inmates have died from the virus.

“Let me say that those with family members, it’s got to be really scary, like when it goes through a long-term care facility,” Beshear said. “I can tell you from the administration side, we care, and we are putting significant resources towards trying to address it.”

Beshear said the factors he’s looking at will be similar to how he handled his previous commutations. He won’t consider inmates convicted of a violent or sexual offense, and the inmates will likely have a small amount of time left on their sentences. Medical history will also be looked at.

Beshear says his next round of commutations is still in progress, so he’s not ready to announce specific names just yet.

“What happens is you get the initial pull, and then you gotta be really careful and go through the list, one by one, on the charges, on the time that’s left,” Beshear said. “The first time, I believe, it was very close to ensuring that every single individual fell within very defined parameters, and I think those are parameters that people can accept and understand.”

There have been reported cases in eight of Kentucky’s 13 state-run prisons, with the largest outbreaks occurring at the Green River Correctional Complex, the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women, and the Kentucky State Reformatory.

Cabinet Secretary J. Michael Brown said nine inmates are currently hospitalized while 432 inmates and 69 staff members have recovered.