Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has issued an executive order to expedite the release of hundreds of inmates scheduled to be let out in next four months.
The order signed Saturday and posted on the governor's website Sunday also orders the Department of Corrections to accelerate consideration of parole for inmates over age 60 with records of good behavior.
The Baltimore Sun reports about 700 inmates scheduled for release in the next four months could see their return to society expedited. The accelerated parole provision would cover about 100 inmates.
More than 18,000 inmates are incarcerated in state prisons.
The executive order would not apply to inmates convicted of sex offenses. It contains a provision that requires victims of inmates' crimes be notified about any early release.
Hogan and other state officials have expressed concern about the spread of coronavirus in prisons.
One inmate has died and more than 100 have tested positive for the coronavirus in Maryland prisons.