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Sheriffs employ compassionately-release program

SAN DIEGO – A 64-year-old incarcerated man was arrested and booked on Jan. 25, 2021, by the San Diego Police Department. He was at the Vista Detention Facility.

From late January 2021 though March of 2021, the man was in and out of the hospital for several medical concerns. On June 23, 2021, the man was again admitted to a hospital for additional medical issues where he stayed for more than a year, a Sheriff spokesperson said.

On July 21, 2022, the man was compassionately released, transferred to a different part of the hospital where his health continued to decline. That same night just after 7 p.m., the man was pronounced deceased by hospital staff, he said.

There are several reasons individuals are released from Sheriff's custody while being treated at a hospital. When a death occurs after a release from our custody, and we are made aware of the death, we will report it and investigate it as an in-custody death, under most circumstances, the spokesperson said.

The reasons for release from custody include, but are not limited to; charges are not filed by the District Attorney, the charging agency declines to extradite on a warrant or file a case, or a compassionate release is authorized by the court.

The Sheriff's Department may seek a compassionate release of an individual who is in grave condition. This is done to facilitate family visitation and family decision making in medical decisions, he said.

Additionally, releasing the individual from custody, when they are not a threat to the public, hospital staff or others, allows deputies to return to other duties.

The county continues in its responsibility to pay medical expenses, even upon release of the individual, and no reduction in care occurs, he said.

The Medical Examiner's Office has been notified of the death. An autopsy will be scheduled soon, the spokesperson said.


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