US prison populations down 8% amid coronavirus outbreak

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — There has been a major drop in the number of people behind bars in the U.S. An analysis by The Marshall Project and The Associated Press found that between March and June, more than 100,000 people were released from state and federal prisons. That’s a drop of 8%. By comparison, the Vera Institute of Justice found that for all of 2019, the state and federal prison population fell by 2.2%. As the U.S. struggles with the coronavirus, prison reform advocates are urging releases to halt its spread in correctional facilities. But their release, and how they behave when they’re out, is likely to affect the larger criminal justice reform movement.