KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — In a new order issued Monday by Criminal Court and General Sessions Court judges, non-violent arrestees will no longer be detained in jail in order to keep the inmate population down as the county responds to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

It’s another focus on safety in fewer numbers as officials work to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The order comes as an amendment already in place that suspended in-person court proceedings. The new amendment states:

“New felony arrests: any individual who is arrested on a non-violent C,D, or E felony be released on their own recognizance. However, nothing in this Order is intended to limit the ability of the Knox County District Attorney to seek bail or revocation of bail pursuant to TCA 40-11-141 in specific cases where individuals pose a threat to the safety of the community.”

The term, “on their own recognizance” means the defendant pledges to show up to their court proceeding when required as their case goes through the courts system.

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Earlier this month, the Tennessee Supreme Court had issued an order suspending in-person judicial proceedings, with some exceptions, through April 30 for courtrooms across the state.

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