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Sheriff: Convicted child abuser among California felons released from jail

It’s part of the state’s plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19 behind bars, but law enforcement is not happy about it.
Credit: AP

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. — They’re typically “the worst of the worst.”

That’s how San Bernardino’s District Attorney describes the men and women behind bars in his county. In a video posted on Twitter, Jason Anderson says California state laws have already made it nearly impossible to keep most accused criminals in jail before trial.

Now, he says some particularly dangerous individuals are being released.

It’s the result of an order from the California Judicial Council aimed at reducing jail populations to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

But Anderson says the order goes too far, allowing people accused of violent crimes like child abuse to go free before trial – without bail.

And, he’s not the only local leader upset by the state’s decision.

“The change to zero bail for arrestees dramatically compromises our communities sense of safety and well-being,” Sheriff John McMahon said on Twitter.

“It is our moral and ethical obligation to voice opposition to the release of these inmates under the zero bail criteria.”

Under the state order, an inmate charged with child abuse – who was previously convicted of the same crime – was walked right out the front door, according to Sheriff McMahon.

District Attorney Anderson said the aggressive attempt to protect inmates from the coronavirus simply isn’t necessary.

“There is only one case of COVID in the jails … If there is a significant problem, that we would address it as is required. But there is no significant problem currently in this county,” Anderson said.

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