Judge denies release of ‘medically-vulnerable’ detainees in Shelby County Jail amid pandemic

Judge denies release of ‘medically-vulnerable’ detainees in Shelby County Jail amid pandemic

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A federal judge has denied the release of “medically-vulnerable” detainees inside the Shelby County Jail amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This comes after a lawsuit was filed against the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office on behalf of two inmates seeking to be released.

The Sheriff’s Office had sought to have the case thrown out but the judge denied that motion.

Instead, the judge said older and medically vulnerable inmates could qualify as a class in the lawsuit and the Sheriff must produce a list of people in that class.

Judge orders inspection of 201 Poplar

In June, an outside inspector was ordered to assess health conditions at the Shelby County Jail.

The inspector agreed that the jail is a high-risk environment for vulnerable inmates, but he found opportunities for improvement in critical areas during the inspection.

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