Prince George inmate count declines to 144

Prince George Regional Correctional Centre saw a decline of 22 inmates over the previous month, but none of the decrease was due to granting early releases to inmates serving time.

PGRCC held 144 inmates as of April 2, compared to 166 on March 1, according to B.C. Corrections numbers provided this week.

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Over that time, there were 93 new admissions while 111 were released either because they had completed their sentences or were granted bail, for a difference of 18.

Another four were given temporary absences from intermittent sentences, which are usually served on weekends.

B.C. Corrections has said it was considering early releases for inmates serving time for non-violent offences as a way to reduce jails' populations and the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus should it get into a facility.

However, it also said candidates had to have community supports in place upon release. Criminal history, sentence length, offence type and risk to public safety have also been part of the assessments.

Of those who remained at PGRCC as of April 2, 30 were serving sentences, 111 were on remand and three were immigration holds.

The population for all 10 provincial jails stood at 1,805 of that date, down 363 from the month before.

There were 893 new admissions while 1,282 either completed their sentences or were released on bail.

Just eight serving traditional sentences were granted early releases and 87 serving intermittent sentences were issued temporary absences.

The maximum sentence that can be served in a provincial jail is two years less a day. Those sentenced to longer terms go to federal institutions.

There has been one confirmed case of COVID-19 at a provincial jail. An inmate at Okanagan Correctional Centre near Oliver was isolated under medical observation after testing positive last week, B.C. Corrections said.

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