Butte County justice system impacted by coronavirus

State penitentiaries are restricting county jail inmates forcing places like Butte County Jail to use extra resources.

Posted: Jul 28, 2020 8:58 PM
Updated: Jul 29, 2020 10:42 AM

OROVILLE, Calif. -- Many inmates are stuck in county jail as state prisons are restricting new inmates from coming in.

As of Tuesday, Butte County jail has 70 inmates that have to stay put because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Action News Now spoke to Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea about already limited resources being used while trying to keep everyone safe.

"Certainly having 70 beds being taken up by people who should be serving their sentence at the state prison limits the resources that we have internally," said Sheriff Honea.

District Attorney Mike Ramsey said court cases are backlogged since the Butte County courthouse hasn't had a jury trial since Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a stay at home order last March.

For now, the jail isn't over its capacity. It holds close to 600 beds, with roughly 450 being occupied.

D.A. Ramsey and Sheriff Honea say, depending on the length of the sentence, some inmates could serve their full sentence without having to go to the state penitentiary they were originally sentenced to.

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