District Attorney Jason Alexander

The San Bernardino County district attorney's office is not a proponent of the release of inmates solely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and we do not support the release of county jail inmates awaiting the court process.

Through orders from the governor's office and numerous health officers throughout the state, millions of California residents have been ordered to stay inside their residences, to help flatten the curve and stop the virus. We are resistant to having a judicial council located roughly 500 miles away, force our local judges to make decisions about releasing inmates into the community.

This same judicial council should not be making decisions about a jail population they don't even have an understanding about, especially when there is only one single case of an inmate being diagnosed with the virus, so far.

Everyone in San Bernardino County needs to know that the inmates that are in custody have already had their cases reviewed by judges and determined to be a risk to the safety of the public. The fact that there's a pandemic doesn't mean they are less of a threat to the public if released.

The criminal justice system has a proven track record of being able to handle more than one issue at a time. We can make sure the public is safe, while we also make sure inmates are cared for by a qualified jail and medical staff. As shown earlier this week, we can also make modifications to the criminal justice process in the courtrooms to make sure due process continues, and everyone's constitutional rights are observed, which includes the health of inmates.

If there were numbers indicating there was a medical crisis in our jail system here in San Bernardino County, then Sheriff John McMahon and I would immediately take action to address such a situation.

Ironically, many inmates in jail and prison environments have better access to medical care than when they are out of custody and in the community. In the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department Jail System, there is medical staff on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

At this point, there are no indicators leading us to believe it would be in the best interest of our community to release criminals from custody. The hard-working, productive and contributing members of our society expect and deserve to be safe from crime and criminals.

From business owners and teachers to service industry and laborers, these people decided to abide by the laws of our society and do good for themselves and their communities. They've struggled through this pandemic, but continue to do the right thing, day in, and day out. For those who decided to take a different path, and harm others through the commission of crimes, they rightfully should remain in custody.

The hard-working, productive, and contributing members of our society expect and deserve to be safe from crime and criminals. From business owners and teachers to service industry and laborers, these people decided to abide by the laws of our society and do good for themselves and their communities. They've struggled through this pandemic, but continue to do the right thing, day in and day out. For those who decided to take a different path, and harm others through the commission of crimes, they rightfully should remain in custody.