California Releases Inmates to Stop ‘Overcrowding,’ While Moving Homeless to Residential Areas

A pedestrian walks past tents and trash on a sidewalk in downtown Los Angeles on May 30, 2019. - The city of Los Angeles on May 29 agreed to allow homeless people on Skid Row to keep their property and not have it seized, providing the items are not bulky …
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

California’s coronavirus policy has reached a point of contradiction: the state is releasing inmates from its jails to prevent the spread of coronavirus in close quarters, while at the same time moving homeless people to recreation centers in residential areas.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

More California counties are releasing inmates to protect their jails againstpossible coronavirus outbreaks.

In Alameda County, officials announced 247 people were being released from the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. San Diego County officials have announced similar moves, as have San Francisco, San Mateo and other counties.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has reduced its inmate population by 6% in the last three weeks and Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey said her office would consider reducing bail for thousands of nonviolent offenders.

There were no confirmed coronavirus cases inside L.A. County jails as of Thursday, the Times notes.

But on Friday, the city began implementing a plan to move thousands of homeless people into temporary shelters inside recreational buildings in residential areas.

The plan is opposed even by some homeless people, who fear they will be more susceptible to coronavirus inside shelters — even with beds 6 feet apart — than in the open.

Officials are struggling to prevent a coronavirus outbreak among homeless people who a live in crowded makeshift encampments alongside streets and in vacant lots. They are also trying to create space for “social distancing” inside existing homeless shelters by relocating residents.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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