SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order directing the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Secretary to temporarily halt the intake and/or transfer of inmates and youth into the state’s prisons and youth correctional facilities.
Newsom said those inmates and youth will remain in county custody for the next 30 days. The period can be extended if needed.
“This action builds on the state and local correctional and public safety leaders’ partnership, to protect public health and safety in the context of the COVID-19 crisis,” Newsom said.
The emergency authority is granted to the Governor under the Emergency Services Act and to the CDCR Secretary.
“The State of California is responding in real-time and fighting hard to deploy every resource to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and we are working with our public health experts, corrections system and our local sheriff’s departments to ensure proper protocols and procedures are in place to effectively limit risks in correctional facilities,” said Newsom.
Additionally, the executive order directs the Board of Parole Hearings to develop a process to conduct all scheduled parole suitability hearings through videoconferencing starting no later than April 13, 2020. The process would facilitate remote participation of those typically in attendance, including staff, parole board members, victims, families and their representatives, inmates, attorneys, and others, Newsom said.