Over the last couple months, we have been writing about the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has affected the criminal justice system in California. From the closing of courthouses to doing away with money bail for low-level, non-violent offenses, we have done our best to keep you apprised of the latest developments.
With more than 1.5 million Americans infected and nearly 100,000 dead, the coronavirus has changed life in America in innumerable ways. Concerns about the virus spreading through California jails and prisons has led to the early release of a significant number of inmates, and not without controversy.
Earlier this month, Orange County jails witnessed and uptick in coronavirus cases. As of May 8th, 251 inmates and five correctional officers had tested positive for the potentially deadly virus. Letting some inmates go early might make sense, but when the Orange County commissioner approved the release of about seven “high risk” sex offenders it caused a severe uproar.
Sex Offenders Rearrested
One man upset with the decision to release sex offenders was Todd Spitzer, Orange County District Attorney, CNN reports. He issued a warning to the community about the “high risk” sex offenders released from jail before serving their full sentences.
Each of the offenders released early were behind bars for violating the terms of their parole by evading electronic law enforcement monitoring. All were supposed to serve at least six months in jail.
“These kinds of high-risk sex offenders are the most dangerous kind of criminal and the most likely to re-offend,” wrote Spitzer in his public warning. “They are doing everything they can to avoid detection by the parole officers assigned to monitor them so they can potentially commit additional sex offenses.”
By May 11th, all but one of the sex offenders were back in jail for allegedly braking the terms of their release The Orange County Register reports. Spitzer said in a statement:
“It comes as no surprise that these high-risk sex offenders continue to violate the law and do everything they can to avoid being tracked by law enforcement. There is a concerted effort here in California and across the nation to open up the jailhouse doors and let dangerous criminals back into our streets without regard for the safety of the public which we are sworn to protect.”
Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney
Please contact the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower if you are facing criminal charges in the State of California. Attorney Brower has a long history of achieving successful outcomes for his clients.