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Eureka Council Member supports bill proposing alternative to late night jail releases

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A bill allowing county jails to provide an alternative to late night releases for inmates was the topic of discussion at the recent League of California Cities’ Public Safety Policy Meeting.

Eureka City Council Member Melinda Ciarabellini and other city officials urged the Public Safety Policy Committee to support Senate Bill 833. The bill would allow the Sheriff of a county to offer a voluntary option for prisoners to stay in jail on the day of their release, up to 16 hours later or when it is normal daytime business hours, instead of a late night release. The Public Safety Policy Committee voted unanimously to support the bill if it includes additional liability language recommended by the California State Sheriff’s Association. The Police Chief of the Eureka Police Department, Chief Andrew Mills, also had a presentation at the meeting, where he voiced his support of the bill.

"When you release somebody in the day time, it allows there to be natural surveillance.  In other words, people are walking around, it's in daylight, you can see people easily and you can get on the cell phone and call the police if something is amiss.  This gives us the opportunity to do that. So 833 is a good start for this process for the community be safer who live near jails statewide, not just here in Humboldt County," said Chief Mills.

The Public Safety Policy Committee will make its recommendation to the League of California Cities’ Board of Directors regarding SB 833. The Board of Directors will then hold a vote on April 24th to decide whether or not they will support the bill.