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Grand Jury Revising Jail Procedures
updated: Feb 05, 2014, 12:35 PM

Source: Santa Barbara County Grand Jury

Inmates released from the Santa Barbara County Main Jail during the night are not always advised that they have the option to remain in the jail lobby until daybreak.

The 2013-14 Santa Barbara County Grand Jury found there is no consistently administered policy regarding information provided to inmates upon release during late night hours. As a result, the Jury recommends that the Sheriffs Office establish a policy that advises inmates, in writing, of their options upon discharge. According to the report, these options should include the use of a telephone, the use of available transportation, and the right to stay in the lobby until daybreak.

By law, the Sheriffs Office is required to release inmates at the end of their sentence or by court order. An average of nine inmates are released each day from the county's main jail between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. The Jury concluded that failing to advise inmates of their options upon discharge creates an avoidable safety issue for inmates and for the community.

The entire report entitled Inmates Released During Late-Night Hours can be found on the Grand Jury's website at sbcgj.org.

The Santa Barbara County Grand Jury is a basic part of state government within the judicial branch. The Grand Jury is charged with keeping watch over county government as well as cities and districts operating within the county. ###


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