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Surge in COVID leads to delay of court ordered SJ jail stays
SJ sheriff

Anyone looking to turn themselves in to the San Joaquin County Jail for a court-ordered stay will have to wait for much of the remainder of the year to pass before they’ll be able to do so.

The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office announced last week on Friday that starting on July 18 they would be postponing all court-ordered surrenders and all book-and-releases for 120 days – citing a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the county as the reason for the precaution.

While the County of San Joaquin has officially retired its COVID-19 information dashboard, data compiled by the New York Times claims that from July 4 through July 17 there were 4,320 new cases diagnosed within the county.

Preventing an outbreak in the San Joaquin County Jail and the logistical headaches that such a scenario provides has long been a priority of the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office. During the early days of the pandemic Sheriff Pat Withrow pushed back against the decision by the California Judicial Council to release inmates back into the community. The feeling at the time, Withrow said, was that the nature of repeat offenders increases the likelihood of those released getting picked back up again on similar charges – and reentering the facility after circulating out in the community without safeguards in place.

During the heaviest days of the pandemic the jail even shuttered in-person visitation in order to protect the inmates and staff working inside of the facility. Those visits began again on Nov. 1.

Anybody that had a scheduled date and time to show up to either be booked or to serve a short sentence within the 120-day window must notify the agency – via email by sending to – with the name of the inmate, the date of birth of the person, the affiliated court case, and the scheduled turn-in date. Those who fail to follow those instructions will have “failure to appear” warrants issued from the San Joaquin County court system. 

To contact Bulletin reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.