SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Sacramento County jails are at capacity as the sheriff’s office said they have about 400 more inmates than they should, and on top of that, COVID-19 cases continue to spike inside some jails.
“Currently, there are 76 positive cases at the main jail and 48 positive cases at (Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center),” Sgt. Rodney Grassman said.
It left Sheriff Scott Jones with a difficult choice.
“The sheriff is going to be utilizing, under government code 8658, an emergency release of some inmates,” Grassman said.
In total, 203 inmates will be released from both facilities. The sheriff’s office said these inmates have already been sentenced and will be released up to 90-days early.
Those charged with domestic violence, DUI, violent felonies and nuisance offenders will be excluded.
“This is about creating quarantine areas for people that are positive,” Grassman said.
The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office said the process will take some time, and over the next few days, a good portion of those inmates will be released from the jail in downtown Sacramento.
“We are trying to look at and minimize any problem that there might be after the release,” Grassman said.
Kristina Rogers with the Land Park Community Association, however, doesn’t buy it.
“You don’t put the public in harm’s way because criminals might get COVID,” Rogers said.
Rogers said the sheriff’s decision is not in the interest of public safety.
“What they’re doing is the complete opposite of what they say that they want to do, which is protect the public,” Rogers said. “What happened to Katy Tibbitts could’ve happened to any one of us.”
Back in September, Tibbitts and her two dogs were killed in their Land Park home. The suspect had been charged and was out on bail at the time.
In hopes of minimizing the risk of repeat offenses, the sheriff’s office said they evaluated each inmates criminal background before giving the green light for their release.