For more information visit the Office of the Sheriff's COVID-19 Preparedness website.
As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to accelerate in Santa Clara County, the County is implementing aggressive measures to prevent its spread in its jails and juvenile facilities and to protect incarcerated youth and adults. The County of Santa Clara Health System's Adult Custody Health Services is the health care provider to the County jails and juvenile facilities. The Adult Custody Health Medical Director – in consultation with Public Health – recommended an immediate reduction to the adult jail population to reduce the risk of COVID-19 incidences in County jails. Since early March, the adult jail population has been reduced by hundreds of inmates, consistent with public safety considerations, through proactive release and jail diversion efforts. The Sheriff's Office has proactively worked on reducing the jail population by releasing sentenced misdemeanor inmates on alternative custody programs, delaying court-ordered commitments and other scheduled sentences for 60-days, and by working with justice partners, including Pre-Trial Services and the Court to re-evaluate pre-trial inmates for release. The primary goal is to reduce the population while also limiting the intake of new inmates to reduce exposure within the facilities.
Listed here is a summary of activities underway to assist the criminal justice community during this crisis.
Steps to stop the spread of COVID-19 in custody:
- COVID-19 symptom screening for every person who enters our jail facilities, including employees.
- Temporary suspension of jail visitation.
- A cleaning schedule was issued for all housing units/areas in the jail facilities to conduct deep cleaning 2x a day.
- Established COVID-19 Exposure Team (CET)
- Staff ensure inmates are receiving adequate cleaning materials for housing areas and increased distribution of personal hygiene kits.
- Health safety video bulletins and flyers are displayed throughout all custody facilities to keep staff and inmates informed of best health practices related to COVID-19.
- Each inmate receives two, free five-minute calls per week.
- Use of video arraignments to reduce court transports, as well as increasing the number of transportation trips to allow inmates distance from one another in the vehicles.
- Housing units at both Main Jail and Elmwood are receiving out-of-cell time in smaller groups to increase social distancing and allow for phones to be cleaned between uses.
- Inmate movement/rehousing within the inmate modules has been significantly curtailed.
- If an inmate exhibits flu-like symptoms, the inmate will be rehoused and isolated from the general population.
- If a staff member exhibits flu-like symptoms, the staff member will be removed from the jail facility and placed on leave to seek medical attention and self-quarantine.
A full summary of the County’s Infection Control Policies for its detention facilities is available here.
Steps to assist in the transition of clients from custody to the community:
Custody Health staff, in collaboration with staff from the County's Office of Reentry Services and Office of Supportive Housing, continue to link individuals leaving custody to healthcare needs and community services.
Released individuals needing housing assistance will be assessed by the Office of Supportive Housing (OSH) team and placed in an individual or congregate setting. OSH is continually working to increase the capacity of motel and hotel rooms for released individuals needing housing.
COVID-19 Housing Crisis Hotline (408) 278-6420
Steps to stop the spread of COVID-19 for criminal justice clients in the community:
The Office of Reentry Services (ORS) through its Reentry Resource Centers (RRCs) in San Jose and Gilroy, provides resource information and links clients leaving custody to services.
Individuals seeking services should call the RRC main number (408) 535-4299. For further information visit the Reentry Resource Center's website.
Reentry Services provides:
- Primary healthcare through the Mobile Medical Unit (MMU)
- General Assistance, CalFresh (food stamps), and Medi-Cal.
- Service navigation
- Employment providers
- Legal services
- Behavioral Health Services
- Child Support Services
- Housing through the Office of Supportive Housing (OSH)
- Public Defender's Record Clearance Program (expungement)
- Faith-Based Reentry Centers for community resources
- San Jose City College courses taught at the RRC now held on-line
- Parolee Support through the Day Reporting Center program
Individuals recently released from State Prison or the County Jail formerly required to report to the AB 109 Probation Assessment Team at the RRC now report to the Probation Department.
- Reentry Resource Center Website link: www.sccgov.org/sites/reentry/Pages/Reentry-Services.aspx
- Additional County Department Specific Information: www.sccgov.org/sites/opa/opa/covid19
- Addressing COVID-19 in the Homeless Community: www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Pages/homeless-response.aspx
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