Woodland, CA – As a result of the Yolo County Superior Court’s continued use of $0 bail, over 908 new crimes have been committed as of April 21, 2021.
In April of 2020, the California Judicial Council imposed the “$0” Emergency Bail Schedule in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although rescinded in June of 2020, the Yolo County Superior Court continues to use the Emergency Bail Schedule although the court recently indicated an intention to end the use of the Emergency Bail Schedule.
Since April 13, 2020, individuals released on $0 bail have committed over 908 new crimes. Those new crimes include 387 felonies and 521 misdemeanors, including crimes such as Attempted Murder (2 new victims), Assault with a Deadly Weapon or Assault by Means of Force Likely to Product Great Bodily Injury (21 new victims), Robbery (12 new victims), Burglary (52 new victims), felony domestic violence (14 new victims), possession of an assault weapon, gang crimes, and dozens of other new felony and misdemeanor crimes. Since the COVID 19 pandemic began, 522 individuals have been released a total 680 times on $0 bail.
Of those released on $0 bail, 41.6% have been rearrested at least one time.
Used throughout the vast majority of the pandemic, the Emergency Bail Schedule simply looks at the arresting offense and releases individuals on $0 bail, even those on probation or parole, without conducting a risk assessment for dangerousness. Additionally, upon release on $0 bail, offenders are given a court date 4-5 months in the future. This makes it nearly impossible to assess those individuals who are homeless, suffer from a substance use disorder, or from a serious mental illness in order to enroll them into one of the county’s diversion programs such as mental health court or addiction intervention court. Additionally, each subsequent arrest moves the initial court dates further into the future.
In March, the Yolo County Superior Court indicated its intention to end its use of the Emergency Bail Schedule once a 2021 Felony and Misdemeanor Bail schedule is finalized. The judges in each county set bail schedules. The court distributed the proposed bail schedule to the criminal justice partners for input. If adopted, the proposed schedule will significantly reduce bail amounts to fractions of amounts previously set in the current bail schedule.
For example, bail amounts for the crimes of possession of child pornography, felony driving under the influence, stalking and dissuading a witness will be reduced from $50,000 to $5,000.
Domestic violence and elder abuse may be reduced from $50,000 to $15,000 while a number of forcible sex crimes and child molestation crimes could be reduced from either $250,000 or $100,000 to $50,000. Typically, to post bail an individual need only to produce 10% of the bail amount up front. The District Attorney’s Office has submitted comments on two separate occasions raising concerns about the reduced amounts among other objections.
Since the beginning of the pandemic and the use of the $0 bail schedule, one individual has been rearrested 19 times after a $0 release. Another individual was rearrested 10 times after a $0 release; one individual rearrested 9 times after a $0 release; three individuals were rearrested 8 times after a $0 release; eight individuals were rearrested 7 times after $0 release; four individuals were rearrested six times after $0 release; and nine individuals were rearrested 5 times after $0 release.
Any further questions about $0 bail and rearrests should be directed to the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department.
Information released by Yolo County District Attorney