Half of inmates released from custody earlier this year have reoffended
according to research conducted by Tulare County District Attorney's Office staff.
From April and July, the district attorney's office stated its prosecutors opposed hundreds of motions requesting inmates housed in Tulare County jaila be released due to COVID-19.
As a result of those motions, more than 100 inmates were ordered by the Tulare County Superior Court to be released back into our communities.
“I recognize that there is a technical distinction between incarcerated defendants who were released as a result of COVID orders and those potential inmates released immediately due to zero-dollar bail, but there is no distinction in the impact on our community,” Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward said. “History shows us that repeat offenders will, and have, re-offended.
“While it is a sad fact that half of these inmates released are facing new charges, the real travesty is that about one-third of these repeat offenders are now facing felony charges involving crimes such as robbery, kidnapping, and domestic violence. These victims, these families, and these members of our community are why my office stridently opposed these motions and their voice deserves to be heard.
Ward added he has repeatedly advocated for the elimination of the $0 bail system that was implemented in California this year.
California's voters also voted to keep the cash bail system when they approved Proposition 25 in the November 3 election by a 55-45 margin. The measure overturns the $0 bail legislation that was passed in 2018.
In June, the Judicial Council of California also voted to stop the mandatory policy and to leave whatever bail system is practiced to the discretion of the counties.
But the Judicial Council issued a notification on Thursday that no order was given to rescind $0 bail. So the $0 bail system will continue in Tulare County.
“I do support some modification to court operations which allow parties to appear in court via remote technology, but I have been very vocal about opposing these early release schemes,” Ward said. “In light of the voters of this county and state declaring that cash bail should remain, I am disappointed that our law enforcement partners and residents are left unprotected.
“One cannot remain committed to a theoretical social experiment without due regard for the people who shoulder the burden of crime. Please know that the dedicated Prosecutors who carry the torch for victims and their families will continue striving to seek justice every day and we will continue to oppose the unwarranted release of inmates.”