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Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Tuesday April 14th, 2020 :: 10:22 a.m. PDT


Inmates Released From Jail Under New Statewide Rule

Nature of Incident: Inmates Released From Jail Under New Statewide Rule
The Judicial Council of California has issued a new rule during the Coronavirus epidemic that eliminates bail for nearly all misdemeanors and some low grade felony charges. As a result, any person who is booked or is awaiting trial in a county jail in California will have zero bail if they are in custody for qualifying charges.
In the Ventura County Jail system, this has resulted in 77 inmates who qualified for immediate release from custody. The process to identify eligible inmates involved a collaborative effort between the District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, the Ventura County Superior Court, and the Sheriff’s Office. The process of releasing the affected inmates began over the weekend, and was completed on Monday, April 13, 2020 at 5:00 pm.
The current inmate population in Ventura County is approximately 1,000 inmates. Our total jail capacity is 1,650, and we average between 1,450 and 1,500 inmates in custody at any given time. The advantage of the reduced inmate population is it allows more flexibility to provide social distancing among the inmates. We also have some areas set aside to isolate inmates should an outbreak of COVID-19 occur.
“Going through these extreme times requires extreme measures to prevent the spread of this devastating virus,” said Sheriff Bill Ayub. “I’m not thrilled with the idea of having 500 more criminals out on the streets of Ventura County right now. However, I’m proud of the work we have done alongside our partner agencies to carefully apply the new rule in the best way possible and keep our most dangerous and violent predators off our streets.”
The implementation of the new rule equates to the potential release of thousands of inmates statewide. There is concern that with many more criminals out on the street, crime will increase. Car thieves, burglars and narcotics dealers are among the most common types of inmates being released in Ventura County. As always, people should take steps to keep their homes and vehicles locked, and their valuables out of sight. They should also report any suspicious activity in their neighborhoods right away.
“Our effectiveness in fighting crime only works because we have the support and cooperation from people in the communities we serve,” Sheriff Ayub said. “Now more than ever, we need our residents to be our eyes and ears out there and report criminal activity as it’s happening.”
The emergency bail schedule will be in effect until 90 days after the state of emergency is lifted in California.
Prepared by: Captain Eric Buschow  
News Release Date: April 13, 2020  
Media Follow-Up Contact: Captain Eric Buschow (805)947-8129
[email protected]
Approved by:
Sheriff Bill Ayub

Ventura County Sheriff's Office
800 S Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93003

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 805-654-9511

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