OCSD extends suspension of jail visits, but says inmates can make free calls  

Editor’s note: Amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the Orange County Sheriff’s Dept. issued the following news release Monday, March 16:
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department announced Monday that it has extended the temporary suspension of public visits and jail educational courses until March 27 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The suspension doesn’t apply to attorney visits.

The department will provide inmates with two free five-minute phone calls each week.

“Given how COVID-19 spreads, the Sheriff’s Department is committed to our role in protecting the public by following the recommendations of public health authorities, which include avoiding large gatherings and practicing social distancing when possible,” the department said in a news release. 

The suspension impacts volunteers and contractors who hold classes at the jail and visitors who wait in close proximity to one another.

“By temporarily suspending these operations, the Sheriff’s Department helps minimize risk to the public, staff, volunteers and those in our care and custody,” the release said, adding, “The Sheriff’s Department understands that visiting and programming play a critical role in inmate rehabilitation, however safety remains the department’s top priority.” 

For the latest updates on COVID-19 in Orange County and additional health and safety information, visit www.ochealthinfo.com/novelcoronavirus