The San Diego County Sheriff's Office reported that as of this weekend, it is transferring about 200 inmates from county jails to the women's prison in Santee as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“In the past few days, more than 350 people in the sheriff's custody have tested positive for Covid at our detention centers,” the sheriff wrote in a statement.
It is all “to ensure the health and well-being of those in our care, as well as jail officers and staff ”. About 200 male inmates will be temporarily transferred to Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Center in Santee, which is for women.
At that Santee prison, about 19 miles north of Chula Vista, the transferred inmates will be quarantined in a currently empty housing unit. Along with the inmates, the sheriff will send additional deputies and staff to handle the increased population at that facility.
According to the sheriff, the city of Santee has been notified about the move, and assured inmates temporarily housed at Las Colinas will not be released into the Santee community.
"We want to assure the citizens of Santee that these individuals will be properly secured within the facility," the sheriff stated. “The transfer of inmates will remain in effect until the positive cases of Covid decrease in the county jails. At that time, all-male inmates will return to their previously assigned facilities."
The sheriff continued:
"The health and well-being of the people in our custody, as well as the agents and employees who care for them, will always be a priority for the sheriff's department."