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COVID-19 Outbreak In Ventura County Jail System Prompting Some Early Inmate Releases

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A COVID-19 outbreak at the Ventura County jail has prompted the Sheriff to order the release of more than 70 low-level offenders, to improve safety.

45 inmates and three staff members have tested positive for the virus as the result of a recent outbreak.  So, to reduce the danger, 76 inmates who have less than two months on their sentences are being reduced. 

The inmates were serving time for non-violent, non-sexual, non-gun-related crimes. Many are drug offenders.

More than 1300 people were in custody as of Tuesday morning.  The inmate release began Tuesday afternoon. A handful of the inmates qualified for electronic monitoring and are now in that program.

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.