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Order To Reduce Bail To Cut Jail Population Draws Fire From Central Coast Public Safety Officials

A move to reduce the coronavirus threat in the state’s jails is drawing fire from some public safety officials on the Central Coast. The California Judicial Council ordered counties statewide to cut bail for those awaiting trial for most misdemeanor crimes, and for some non-violent felonies. The order which took effect this week reduces bail to zero for offenders in those categories.

The idea is to keep jail populations to the bare minimum, to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

But, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson opposes it, saying some people in those categories could pose a threat to the community. And, San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow says it could mean some career criminals could be released, as could people facing charges like drug trafficking.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.