Alameda County
Bar Association

COVID-19: Release of Inmates in County Custody 
A CDC graphic of the COVID-19 virus via MGN

This morning the DAs from San Francisco and Contra Costa called for the release of inmates in county custody.

Moments ago, Alameda County Public Defender Brendon Woods called on the Courts and DAs to release all individuals who have less than 45 days left on their sentence. In his call he said:

“COVID-19 is a pandemic and we need to take extraordinary steps. The jails are not equipped to treat people with COVID-19 or to prevent or eliminate an outbreak in the jail. The LA County Sheriff has agreed to cite and release anyone whose total bail is less than $50,000.

“Protecting the rights of those in custody is paramount as the statistics are overwhelming that remaining in custody increases the risk of danger to inmates and members of the Sheriff’s Dept. The Sheriff’s spokesman Sergeant Ray Kelly, stated on March 9, to KRON4, if the coronavirus took hold inside their jail it could be bad news for the inmate population, ‘We’re dealing with a population of people that are most at risk.’”

The Court’s response to Mr. Wood’s call was to say that they are ready to process any releases. It is our understanding that these releases must be stipulated to by both sides.

The District Attorney’s Office has stated that it is reviewing each case, and determining whether victims must be notified, and is moving as quickly as it can.  Kevin Dunleavy ( has been designated as the point person to handle these requests.