Ray Nagin, the former New Orleans mayor who led the city during Hurricane Katrina, was released from prison early due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. On Monday (April 27) Nagn became the last to be released among a half-dozen inmates implicated in the corruption case that put him behind bars.
Nagin, 63, served just over five years of his sentence prior to being released from a prison camp near the Texarkana, Texas. In 2014, Nagin was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted for corruption which included fraud, bribery, and money laundering.
Last month, Attorney General William Barr urged BOP to “prioritize the use of your various statutory authorities to grant home confinement for inmates seeking transfer” due to the ongoing pandemic. The BOP says that it immediately began reviewing inmates who are potentially at risk for contracting COVID-19 to determine who should be released.
Nagin joins more than 1,500 federal inmates who have been released into home confinement. According to the BOP, 1534 federal inmates and 343 Bureau of Prisons staff tested positive for the disease as of Monday. At least 414 inmates have recovered, along with 132 BOP staff.
Approximately 31 federal inmates died from COVID-19, including 32-year-old Andrea Circle Bear, who passed away weeks after giving birth while on a ventilator. Circle Bear was serving 26 months for drug offenses, and is believed to be the first female federal inmate to die from COVID-19.