The worldwide COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on California prisons. Due to the large number of people in one concentrated area, COVID-19 has spread amongst inmates, with over 3,000 cases and at least 16 deaths.
At the beginning of the pandemic, California leaders created a statewide policy of $0 bail for misdemeanors and lower-level felonies to help reduce jail populations. According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, this policy “reduced jail populations by more than 20,000 suspects.” The goal was not only to prevent overcrowding, but also to keep people safe from the virus if possible.
Public defenders believe that this policy should continue as it did not increase crime. And, right now, “as the nation confronts racial inequalities in the criminal justice system” ending this policy will “disproportionately devastate communities of color.” The state $0 bail policy ends on June 20th, though counties have the option to continue the policy.
Even under the policy, suspects accused of violent or serious crimes were not eligible. However, the policy is helpful to those accused of low level crimes, helping them avoid possible contraction of the coronavirus, and solve other issues around the bail system that is already known for being unfair and particularly harsh on the poor.
If you have been charged with a crime, it is important to talk to a skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who can help you navigate each step of the criminal justice system from bail forward. During this unusual time, it can be confusing to try to understand all the changes going on, which is why you want an experienced defense attorney by your side. The attorneys at the Kann California Law Group are staying informed on all of the changes and are ready to help assist with your case. Contact our office at 888-744-7730 for a free case consultation to discuss the details of your situation, get answers to your bail questions, and talk about your options. You can also contact us through our on line form and one of our attorneys will call you right away. We look forward to discussing your case with you.