Supes to Discuss Jail Release Policy


The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will look over this year’s grand jury recommendations tomorrow, including the report that called for the end of Humboldt County Jail’s late night release policy.

Sheriff Mike Downey said in August that the jail would not comply with the report, and would continue to release people between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., despite community and grand jury concerns that the practice put the public and outgoing prisoners at risk.

St. Bernard Pastor Eric Freed was killed on New Year’s Day, allegedly by a Garberville man who had been released from jail hours before.

It’s unclear if the board will discuss late night releases, but county Chief Administrative Officer Phillip Smith-Hanes wrote to the supervisors a recommendation to adopt another of the grand jury’s recommendations: That the county provide transportation to outgoing inmates who were arrested 25 or more miles from the jail per California law. That means bus tickets for people arrested where the Humboldt Transit Authority services, and some other means of transportation for remote arrestees.

“The Grand Jury's recommendation to contract with Humboldt Transit Authority (HTA) requires additional financial resources and may be an option if the county's sales tax measure, Measure Z, passes in the Nov. 4, 2014 election, and the community identifies this as a priority. However, HTA is limited by its operational schedule, which is primarily daytime,” Smith-Hanes wrote.

Read more on the grand jury recommendations and the county’s jail release policy.

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