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COVID-19 Response

April 1, 2020 5:00pm

Sheriff Jim Hart has been working closely with County Law Enforcement Chiefs, the County Health Officer and other Governmental Agencies, following the Shelter in Place Order to ensure public safety. Shortly after the County enacted a Shelter in Place Order, Governor Gavin Newsome imposed a statewide Shelter in Place Order.

This is an unprecedented emergency and our response is fluid based on the latest health directives and situations we encounter.

To date we have modified our operations accordingly:

Law Enforcement

  • Deputies are working a 12-hour shift.
  • Deputies will respond to in-progress calls for service and handle non-priority calls by phone.
  • Patrol will continue highly visible, proactive park, business and school security checks along with foot patrols.
  • All service centers are temporarily shut down.
  • Deputies have received training on procedures and have access to Personal Protective Equipment.
  • Deputies will educate the public and seek voluntary compliance surrounding the County’s Order.
  • Deputies will be discouraging public gatherings and encouraging the closure of non-essential businesses.


  • With authorization from the Health Officer and Presiding Judge, early release of persons charged, convicted or accused of non-violent, non-sexual and non-serious offenses.
  • Work Release Program suspended; participants will receive appropriate credit.
  • Identify and establish Preliminary Observation Unit for newly housed arrestees.
  • Mandatory showers for all newly housed arrestees who must remain in custody.
  • Establish dedicated housing unit for incarcerated persons 65 and older.
  • Establish dedicated Quarantine and Isolation units.
  • All visitation suspended except Attorneys and Clergy.
  • Free video visitation available for 15 minutes per week.
  • Free phone visitation for all housed incarcerated persons 10 minutes per week.
  • Free postage for all outgoing mail.
  • All programming suspended.
  • Mental Health and Medical services continuing.
  • Screening all employees before entering jail facilities each workday.
  • Screening all arrestees for symptoms prior to entry.
  • Screening individuals already in custody.
  • Jail tours have been suspended.
  • Increased hygiene and cleaning procedures in housing units.
  • Educating inmates on proper hygiene and safety techniques.
  • Developed a symptom response protocol.

With the Jail Lobbies closed, money orders (payable to the inmate) can still be mailed in addressed to:
Inmate Name, Inmate S#
Santa Cruz Main Jail
259 Water Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060.

Credit card deposits can also be made at these websites:,, or by phone at (866) 345-1884.

Court Security

  • Increased security staffing to support court operations.
  • In-custody arraignments being conducted in Department 11.
  • Persons issued notices to appear are not required to complete pre-booking process.


Sheriff’s Office Staff

  • Screening all employees prior to entering any Headquarters building.
  • Limiting internal meetings.
  • Giving option for some support staff to work from home.
  • Staffing plan for those impacted by illness, childcare or a sick loved one.
  • Training and information on best hygiene practices.

To learn more please visit the County of Santa Cruz Public Health website by clicking here.

For a list of Frequently Asked Questions, please click here.

The State of California has also launched a website dedicated to COVID-19 you can visit by clicking here.

If you have questions about Coronavirus/COVID-19, please call United Way of Santa Cruz County at 211 or text "covid19" to 211211