Dozens of inmates at the North Dakota State Penitentiary have been granted early parole because of the coronavirus.

According to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, 56 people will leave the penitentiary in the coming weeks.

The move is being made with safety in mind: by reducing the number of inmates, the penitentiary aims to create more room for quarantine areas to keep inmates and staff save should an outbreak occur within the prison.

All 56 of those inmates had been scheduled for parole within the next three months.

Parole Board documents show the first departures from the jail will start as early as next week.