Sonoma Co. inmates being released to limit spread of COVID-19

Some non-violent Sonoma County inmates are being released to keep the COVID-19 coronavirus out of the county's two jail facilities.

Sonoma County Public Defender Kathleen Pozzi said about 200 non-violent offenders who were waiting for trials on misdemeanor offenses have been released by the county's superior court judges and they will return to court at a later date, Pozzi said. 

None of the inmates or jail staff had tested positive for the virus as of Thursday, Pozzi said.

Pozzi said Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch released 25 prisoners who already were sentenced for non-violent offenses and had less than 60 days left to serve. 

Ravitch also directed law enforcement officers to arrest, cite and release offenders charged with most misdemeanors unless they were charged with domestic violence, Pozzi said.

The main county jail is in the county's administration center in Santa Rosa, and a detention center for inmates charged with less serious offenses is located northwest of the city.