The Orange County, California Sheriff has been ordered by a Superior Court judge to reduce the inmate population of his county’s jail system by fifty percent to help spread COVID-19.
Let’s think about this for a moment: the people who are in the jails are the people we already know don’t obey the law.
Meanwhile, law-abiding California citizens have been forced to close their businesses and shutter themselves in their homes to prevent the spread of the virus.
Yet we’re going to release the non-law-abiding people in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus?
This is the result of generations of Americans who have never been educated in logic. There’s no other possible explanation. The Dumbing Down of America is officially complete.
I mean…right? In what other possible scenario would this sound like a good idea?
According to The Los Angeles Times, “the move came in response to a lawsuit filed in April by the American Civil Liberties Union against Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes, seeking the release of medically vulnerable and disabled inmates as well as necessary measures to protect those remaining in the jails from the coronavirus.”
The Times explained that Judge Peter Wilson ruled Barnes had violated the state constitutional rights of incarcerated individuals who were deemed as more susceptible to contracting and falling ill to the virus. This showed a “deliberate indifference” to the threat that disease poses to the inmate population on Barnes’ part, apparently.
“The uncontested facts found here include that conditions in the jail do not permit proper social distancing, there is no mandatory testing of staff or asymptomatic detainees after intake, and no strictly enforced policy of requiring masks for all staff interaction with inmates,” Judge Wilson concluded.
Barnes is not taking the order sitting down. In a statement, he indicated that his department is “evaluating the order, its impacts and our options for appeal.”
Sheriff, there is nothing to think about here in determining whether to appeal.
Please see my statement below following an order from the court mandating the release of more than 1,800 inmates from the Orange County Jail. pic.twitter.com/Y6PuIKVlPr
— OC Sheriff Don Barnes (@OCSheriffBarnes) December 12, 2020
“If the order stands, it will result in the release of more than 1,800 inmates,” said Barnes. “Many of these inmates are in pre-trial status for, or have been convicted of, violent crimes and will be released back into the community. This order puts our community at substantial risk and does not take into account the impact on the victims of these crimes.”
More from The Los Angeles Times:
The judge ordered Barnes to reduce the population in all congregated living areas by 50%, including all dormitory and barracks-style housing and multi-person cells. He also instructed Barnes to provide a release plan by Dec. 31 that lists all medically vulnerable inmates, and to identify measures to protect all people in that category who won’t be released or transferred from jail.
He ordered Barnes to maintain the reductions “until the current COVID-19 emergency is declared terminated” and to impose a strict policy for staff members to wear face masks anytime they are within six feet of an inmate.
The Daily Wire notes that, prior to the pandemic, the Orange County jail system was the second-largest in the state.
Last spring, Sheriff Barnes had already reduced the jail population by about 45% and was instructed by a court to release even more inmates, including some sex offenders. According to the Sheriff’s Department, the average daily jail population count declined to 2,826 on May 11th at the height of COVID-19 cases in the system.
Since then, the number has steadily increased up to 3,628 which is still far below its capacity of 6,159.
Not one inmate out of the 691 who contracted COVID-19 while incarcerated have died and only a scant three have been admitted to hospitals for treatment according to data provided by the department.
The Sheriff should load up buses to take the inmates out of the facility and drop them off in the neighborhood of the judge who ordered their release. Then he should provide the inmates with the address of the judge and tell them he’s offering bed and breakfast services.