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San Joaquin County To Implement New Inmate Screening System

sjgov.org / courtesy

The San Joaquin County jail.

sjgov.org / courtesy

Jail overcrowding in San Joaquin County has meant  many inmates have been released the same day they were arrested because of a lack of space. But a new release system will try to keep the more dangerous inmates behind bars.

The San Joaquin County Jail is under a court-ordered cap, meaning inmates must be released when the limit is reached. 

Up to now, releases were based on the seriousness of the current charge. 

In August  the county released 50 inmates charged with felonies, and almost 350 charged with misdemeanors. 

San Joaquin County Chief Probation Officer Stephanie James says the new system will look beyond the current crime and into an inmate's past. 

She describes the type of inmate that's likely to remain locked up. 

"So somebody who has a violent history, reported failures to appear in court, and have had bench warrants issued in the past," says James. "They don't have a job, not attending school they don't have a stable living environment."

James says the new program will create room at the jail and hold the worst offenders. 

"It's going to free up 100 or 150 jail beds for that offender who is violent, that is continuing to commit crimes and really needs to remain in custody," says James. 

Local police agencies say early jail releases have pushed the crime rate up. 

The new jail release system goes into effect Oct. 27.

 san joaquin

Rich Ibarra

Contributing Central Valley/Foothills Reporter

As the Central Valley correspondent, Rich Ibarra covers San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced counties, along with the foothill areas including Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. He covers politics, the economy and issues affecting the region.   Read Full Bio 

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