The San Benito County Jail is disallowing most in-person visitations for the time being, while it continues to have video visitation set up as an option.
The only outsiders allowed inside the jail are for legal visits, such as an attorney talking with an incarcerated client, said Capt. Eric Taylor with the San Benito County Sheriff’s Office.
“It’s just to make sure,” he said regarding the coronavirus pandemic and potential infections. “You clearly have a captive population there. We’re just trying to keep them safe.”
Taylor noted that anyone coming into the jail is medically screened, with additional questions now being asked of those people. If there’s any indication of recent travel or other risks, the person would be screened at the hospital, he said.
Beyond that, Taylor said there have been added efforts to ensure proper sanitation inside the jail. Additionally, all programming and classes – including clergy and Gavilan College instruction – have been put on hold.
The sheriff’s office has also taken efforts to limit the number of new inmates by receiving permission to issue citations on some non-violent matters where arrestees would normally be booked, Taylor said.
The jail is following in line with other county jails in California that have taken similar steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.