Alameda County Superior Court orders release of more inmates from Santa Rita Jail, resumes self-help services

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The Alameda County Superior Court ordered the release of low-risk offenders arrested for failing to appear in court from Santa Rita Jail on Wednesday in response to COVID-19, or the new coronavirus.

Wednesday’s order comes after two previous orders days earlier, one of which released 247 people and another that released eight people deemed “vulnerable” due to age or health condition. Released individuals were instructed to appear in court in eight weeks and check in with their service providers in the interim.

“These orders have all been issued with the specific intent to maximize the Court’s efforts to protect the health and safety of those who work within and interact with the Court while also balancing any potential risks to the community,” a court press release from Wednesday states.

The court has also resumed its self-help services available by phone call, according to the press release, but continues to provide limited activities. Jury trials have been suspended until May 22, according to an order released Monday from Judge Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the chief justice of California.

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Kate Finman is the university news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @KateFinman_DC.