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Lawsuit filed by Dallas County jail inmates asking for release amid rising COVID-19 number has been dismissed two and a half years later

A group of inmates filed the lawsuit in April 2020, demanding immediate release for inmates over 50 years old who were considered "medically high-risk" for COVID-19.
Dallas County Jail

DALLAS — A lawsuit filed in April 2020 that demanded the immediate release of Dallas County jail inmates who were over 50 and considered “medically high-risk” for the COVID-19 has been dismissed, according to a press release from the sheriff's office.

The lawsuit claimed the jail was not protecting personnel or jailers from the novel coronavirus. It also called for the implementation of six-foot social distancing in the jail, a safety plan to prevent further spread of COVID-19, free cleaning and sanitizing solutions for inmates, coronavirus testing for inmates and jail employees alike, the daily sharing up up-to-date coronavirus information, medical isolation spaces and waiving copayments and charges for those with coronavirus-like symptoms.

Furthermore, the suit claimed the jail was operating on a short staff.

County officials said at the time of the lawsuit's filing that they were cleaning the facility and keeping inmates who have tested positive in isolation.

RELATED: Dallas County inmates file federal lawsuit asking for release amid soaring coronavirus cases

Dallas County Sheriff Marian Brown was the defendant named in the lawsuit. 

Today's dismissal brings an end to the nearly 2.5-year lawsuit.

"We are pleased at the Court's decision, and it affirms the hard work of the employees who manage our detention system," Brown said in a statement. "It also clears the way for the Dallas County Sheriff's Office to continue our focus of providing quality care to the individuals charged to our care."

In related news, the jail made headlines earlier this week when it was revealed that Dallas County commissioners are considering moving the county jail and its neighboring criminal courthouse from the western edge of downtown, potentially opening hundreds of acres of prime real estate to development that could permanently change the city skyline.

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