Since Feb. 29, the in-custody population at San Mateo County correctional facilities has been reduced by 186 people, or 19 percent, and law enforcement agencies are continuing to evaluate the early release of certain inmates due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The County’s correctional system is operation at 59 percent of its rated capacity, “therefore should we need to quarantine individuals, we have that ability,” Sheriff’s Office Lt. Stephanie Josephson wrote in a statement Saturday.
“Recent changes in booking priorities, coupled with early releases, have significantly reduced our in-custody population,” Lt. Josephson said.
When evaluating early release cases, the Sheriff’s Office — which is working in partnership with the District Attorney, Private Defender Panel, Probation and courts — has prioritized age, medical condition and pregnancy. Pretrial individuals with bail of $15,000 or less and inmates with 60 days or less remaining to serve are being evaluated, Lt. Josephson said.
To date, no confirmed cases have been reported at County correctional facilities. Currently, all visits with inmates and in-person jail programs have been suspended, and anyone entering the facilities are being screened. All arrestees are screened outside the facility, which consists of a pre-booking questionnaire and medical screening. Arrestees displaying symptoms of COVID-19 who are medically cleared and must be booked are isolated in a medical housing unit, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Newly arrived inmates are housed in the Intake Housing Unit for 14 days before joining the jail’s general population.