State Sen. Nancy Skinner is planning to introduce legislation that would ban the nighttime release of inmates from county jails across the state.
The move follows the death of Jessica St. Louis, 26, who was released from Santa Rita Jail in Dublin at 1:25 a.m. on July 28 and found dead at the Dublin-Pleasanton BART Station four hours later.
When released, St. Louis had been given a BART ticket. But the closest station is a 40-minute walk from the jail, and BART trains don't operate from that station at that time. St. Louis had been in custody for less than two weeks for theft and other minor crimes.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office says the medical examiner concluded there was no foul play and that St. Louis died of an apparent drug overdose, most likely from opioids. However, toxicology results have not yet been completed. There's been no independent confirmation that St. Louis had a substance abuse problem.
Skinner, who represents Richmond, Berkeley and Oakland, says releasing someone in the middle of the night without any assurance they have transportation, a place to go or substance abuse treatment is a “recipe for disaster.”