San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon says state officials’ recent decision to reduce bail to zero for misdemeanor and many felony arrests in an effort to reduce jail crowding is threatening public safety in his jurisdiction.
The Judicial Council of California decided earlier this month to reduce bail to zero for misdemeanor arrests, as well as felony arrests considered to be “lower-level. The decision was among 11 measures taken by the council to help reduce jail populations and slow the spread of COVID-19.
But in a statement issued Thursday, McMahon said the policy is making his county more dangerous.
“Putting undue stress on our residents by releasing a record number of inmates into the community goes against our mission of providing law enforcement solutions that meet the needs of communities,” he said.
“The change to zero bail for arrestees dramatically compromises our communities’ sense of safety and well-being,” according to the sheriff.
He added that the policy does not only affect new arrests, but inmates already in custody, as well.
“Hundreds of inmates who have been in our custody for months, and even years in…