Statewide Bail Rule Reveals Revolving Door for Some Offenders

An emergency statewide bail rule, which was implemented in April by the Judicial Council of California, has resulted in 34 offenders being booked and released multiple times from the Ventura County Pre-Trial Detention Facility. One man has been booked and released six separate times in three weeks.

The rule eliminates bail for nearly all misdemeanor offenses and some low grade felonies, and was intended to reduce jail populations statewide to keep the coronavirus from spreading among inmates. Qualifying arrestees are booked and released without having to post any bail.

“The problem with this scheme is these repeat offenders keep coming back to jail and are more likely to contract and spread the virus than if they stayed in custody in the first place,” said Sheriff Bill Ayub. “It’s frustrating for deputies to arrest the same people over and over again and see them walk out of jail.”

With court cases on hold, offenders are not being sentenced to serve their time in jail. As a result, the local jail population is now below 900 inmates. The jail population in Ventura County normally averages between 1400 and 1500 inmates.

The zero bail rule will remain in effect until 90 days after the state of emergency is lifted by Governor Gavin Newsom.


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