As published by Alameda County Public Health Department in an emergency health release dated July 3, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is releasing eligible inmates with 180 days or less remaining on their sentence to parole or probation supervision prior to their original release date.
These expedited releases from state prison are effectuated by the Secretary’s authority under Government Code section 8658, which allows alternative confinement or release in any case in which an emergency endangering the lives of inmates has occurred or is imminent.
These Alameda County residents are returning home from facilities where COVID-19 has spread widely, including several facilities that are reporting significant outbreaks. The officials responsible for supporting the return of individuals from state prisons to the community are taking steps to protect the safety and welfare of all involved – the community at large and the individuals who are granted early release. Each returning individual will have increased monitoring by probation or parole including more frequent contacts.
The Alameda County Health Officer issued a Public Health Order that requires all individuals being released early from a facility with positive cases to isolate/quarantine in one of the operation comfort facilities in order to protect the individuals returning, their families and the public. The order requires individuals to isolate or quarantine for 14 days, whether they test negative or positive.
“We now know that the COVID-19 test can return a negative result even while an individual is incubating the virus,” wrote the release. “We have a responsibility to support these returning residents in protecting their own health as well as that of their loved ones and the community.”
Multiple county agencies are involved in the return of these individuals to their community including health care services, social services, probation, and the Office of Emergency Services. Many community-based organizations are collaborating to ensure wrap-around care, education and communication for the people who are being released early, their families, service providers and the community.
The release concluded, “The collaboration across all of these providers ensures a safe and successful reentry for the individuals returning home.”