BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) plans to release between 100 and 120 inmates in Bakersfield on Thursday, according to Bakersfield Police.
BPD says those being released will be dropped off at the Greyhound Bus Station on 18th Street between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. They say CDCR plans to stagger the release times in an effort to minimize the impact to businesses in the area.
According to Bakersfield Police, a majority of the subjects being released are not being paroled to Bakersfield or Kern County and should be seeking transportation to other areas in the state after their initial release in Bakersfield.
CDCR tells 23ABC that of the 100 to 120 inmates set to be released, 26 will remain in Kern County.
In an email CDCR added that "people are released from prison everyday across the state because they have completed their sentences per the law. They are released, for the most part, to the county where they committed their original offense. In some cases, they are offered transportation to get to where they need to be, and are given information and resources to endure a successful transition back to their communities."
The CDCR says that if the released individuals are on parole or probation supervision, they are required to check in with their agents. They say CDCR is "coordinating closely with local officials to minimize the impact to the community and ensure a secure and orderly release."
According to BPD, subjects are regularly released in this manner into Bakersfield, and the releases do not generally cause any disruption or incident. They say due to the passing of California Prop 57, a higher than normal number of prisoners are set to be released.
Bakersfield City Councilmember Andrae Gonzales, who represents Ward 2 and the downtown area, released the following statement about CDCR's planned inmate release.
Many of us locally have worked very hard to make Downtown Bakersfield a safer, more welcoming and vibrant place. And we will work even harder to keep it a safe and vibrant place. Releasing 100 to 120 inmates into the heart of our city is not a real plan. CDCR should do better and find more appropriate strategies to connect people with re-entry programs and services to help people transition back into society, not simply dropping them off at a greyhound.
Assemblyman Vince Fong issued the following response to the planned release of inmates at the Bakersfield Greyhound Bus Station:
The early release of prisoners is a clear example of poor liberal public policy that hurts the quality life in Kern County. Since the passage of AB 109 (early release) in 2011 and Proposition 57 (lowering serious felonies to misdemeanors) in 2016, the ruling party in Sacramento has done nothing to address the rise of crime that is taking over our communities. We see the strain on our law enforcement and the concern by local residents. It is long overdue for all Californians to call on the state legislature to undo these terrible laws.
BPD said that they have been in contact with businesses in the area and will maintain a presence in the area during the scheduled times.