VISALIA, California (KGPE) – Dozens of inmates have been released from Tulare County Jail under judges’ orders due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Sheriff of Tulare County confirmed Thursday that 43 inmates have been let out early – and more could follow.
Sheriff Mike Boudreaux says the public defenders’ office started to file motions a few weeks ago to let inmates out of jail early to reduce their potential exposure to COVID-19.
“Quite frankly, we run a very clean jail,” said Sheriff Boudreaux. “We bleach and sanitize our jail. We’ve done so even more so because of the COVID outbreak.”
Sheriff Boudreaux says there have been no cases of coronavirus in inmates or staff members at Tulare County’s jails. They also have a plan established if an inmate gets sick.
“Our inmate population has drastically dropped. We run a population of between 1,700 to 1,800 a day. We’re below 1,200 now which gives us an extra 500 to 600 beds.”
Boudreaux says the nearly four-dozen inmates ordered to be released by a judge include inmates serving time for probation violations and burglary. But some concern him, as does the chance they could re-offend.
“For me, arguably, I don’t feel it’s in the best interest of the victims; I don’t feel it’s in the best interest of the community with these inmates being released back into society.”
COVID-19 resource links:
- Fresno County
- Tulare County
- Madera County
- Mariposa County
- Merced County
- Kings County
- Kern County
- World Health Organization
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- California Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response