Kern County Public Advisory on Statewide Zero-Bail Mandate
Sheriff Youngblood and DA Cynthia Zimmer addressed the statewide zero-bail mandate. As a result of emergency rules passed by the California Judicial Council, all counties have been required to follow a $0 bail schedule on all but the most serious and violent felonies. KCSO and KCDA have been working closely together to implement the mandated bail reductions while still ensuring that the most dangerous criminals are kept behind bars, where they belong.
KCDA is also encouraging law enforcement officers who have arrested suspects on zero-bail qualifying crimes to seek judicial approval of elevated bail in circumstances where the crimes or criminal histories of the offenders indicate a continued public safety threat or flight risk, and have drafted motions specific for the purpose to ensure that the most dangerous criminals (and prolific thieves) can be held in custody on reasonable bail settings.
Sheriff Youngblood commented on the mandatory bail reductions:
“This order forces us to implement a statewide bail schedule that doesn’t take into account a suspect’s criminal history, resistance to arrest or danger to the community, and creates a ‘catch and release’ system for many felony offenses. The order was unnecessary, as Sheriffs across the state have already implemented procedures to address the threat of Covid-19 while securing public safety.”
District Attorney Zimmer commented as well, stating:
“Under this new mandate, the presumptive bail on many crimes is set to zero dollars. We are empowering officers to seek increased bail on particularly dangerous offenders by bringing their concerns to a judge, who can still require a higher bail, even on offenses that fall under this mandate. By working with our partners in law enforcement, we will continue to do everything in our authority to limit dangerous and predatory criminals from being released back onto our streets.”