The state's high court on April 3 sanctioned early releases to thin prison and jail populations to curb the spread of disease.

The provision would give inmates fair protection from a sometimes-deadly virus, particularly where there's overcrowding. It also would, in turn, protect the public.

But it was intended for the nonviolent offender.

Now judges have to weigh these new factors when making decisions about whom to release amid a pandemic. And the Berkshire District Attorney's Office has opposed a number of these early COVID releases since the requests began in late March.

Corrections officials are alarmed.

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