Back in March of 2020, the Dane County Jail had a problem. The coronavirus pandemic had spread to the Madison area, and Public Health authorities had issued orders seeking to minimize crowds and gatherings of people, particularly in confined spaces to minimize transmission of the virus. The jail population at the time sat at 772 people, all housed in cramped conditions perfect for COVID-19 transmission. Within weeks, however, the jail inmate population had dropped by almost 40% to 441, where it sits today. How did the county manage to do that? And perhaps more importantly, if people could be released during a pandemic with no risk to public safety, why were they being held there at all? Eric Howland works with the Madison Organizing in Strength Equality and Solidarity, or MOSES, that recently analyzed the jail population reduction. Eric Howland joined the Monday 8 O’Clock Buzz on July 6, 2020.