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Stanislaus County Files Opposition To Some Pending Zero Bail Inmate Releases

MODESTO (CBS13) - The Stanislaus County Jail is going to start releasing inmates soon under the state's order getting zero bail for all misdemeanors and some non-violent felonies.

The state's emergency order will leave some cells at the jail empty but the county is fighting the order, trying to keep some people behind bars.

"As of today, we've been reviewing and filing oppositions to several cases and several defendants trying to ask the court to not set it at zero dollars and keep those people in custody," John Goold, a spokesperson for the Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office, said.

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There were rumblings that as many as 300 people would be released.

But, Goold said that it will be nowhere near that.

"The list we got from the Superior Court included maybe 150 different cases which means a lesser number of defendants who have multiple cases," said Goold.

Reactions to the plan are mixed.

"There's always that risk that we're taking by doing something that's going to allow them to come back into society. But, we have to see what's going to be the betterment for everybody," said Ysela Madrigal of Modesto.

"There's no consequence. If they're going to be released every time, there's no reason for them. They've already got that attitude. They're going to go in and get right back out again," Bill Ehrler said.

The country sheriff said concern for an uptick in crime is a legitimate one.

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"We're going to have to release local inmates, not by my choice, but because of that order. And, yeah, absolutely, I would expect that crime would go up as a result of that," said Sheriff Jeff Dirkse of the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office.

The DA's and sheriff's offices are using a provision in the emergency order to tack on felony or misdemeanor looting charges to burglary and petty theft crimes. They'll continue to look at every case objectively despite concerns about inmates being released.

"We are not automatically looking to file more serious charges just to keep someone in custody. We're not trying to give them more serious charges to avoid this emergency order," Goold said.

The DA's office wasn't able to provide the exact number of how many zero dollar bail cases it's challenging at this time. It said those figures could be made available tomorrow morning at the earliest.

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