Inmates Accused Of Assault Released From Jail Because Of Coronavirus

All News KCBS Radio
March 20, 2020 - 12:22 pm
Santa Rita Jail in Dublin

Santa Rita Jail in Dublin (Photo credit: Alameda County)

The coronavirus pandemic could provide an opportunity for hundreds of inmates across the country to be released early in an effort to prevent an outbreak behind bars.

Santa Clara, San Francisco and Alameda Counties are all working on early release plans for mostly low-level offenders, as well as others with underlying health problems.

Alameda County Sheriff spokesman Ray Kelly said that nearly 250 inmates have been released from Santa Rita jail in Dublin and that in times like this, tough decisions have to be made.

“There were some that, typically, we would not want to release,” Kelly said. “There were people who had been involved in some assaults, and we’re doing everything we can on the public safety side.”

So far, there have not been any coronavirus cases at Santa Rita Jail, but Kelly said that the facility’s high turnover could change that quickly.

Two California state prison employees from Sacramento and San Quentin have tested positive, however, but there have been no reports of cases among inmates at either facility.