Many people wonder how 2020’s Covid-19 outbreak will affect their bail bonds process after being arrested and put in one of 100 North Carolina county jails. Under the governor’s leadership, the state’s prison system has one set of specific guidelines for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. But the network of county jails has 100 different sets of rules under the leadership of 100 county sheriffs. In those many counties are also the judges who make these bail bond decisions.
So, how can the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic affect your time in one of North Carolina county jails?
How the Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic Has Hit North Carolina County Jails
Near Raleigh, the Alamance County Jail has experienced a major Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic outbreak. This is the only county jail in the state that houses migrant detainees of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Since August, at least 120 detainees there have contracted Covid-19. At least one has died because of this illness.
Among North Carolina County Jails, the earliest outbreaks occurred before the end of August 2020. These took place in Rutherford, Durham, Carteret, Gaston, Catawba, Avery, Orange, Stokes and Wilkes counties. In Durham, eight inmates tested positive for the illness in April and one staff member died as part of the coronavirus pandemic. Avery County’s outbreak started with an infected inmate transferred into their jail from a state prison.
The Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic in Area County Jails Served by DJ’s Bail Bonds
As of October 2020, Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic information about individual North Carolina county jails served by DJ’s Bail Bonds can be found on each county’s website. These links for helpful information include:
As of October 15, 2020, Chatham County has no inmates reported as being currently positive for Covid-19. However, they have had at least nine positive inmates in the past who have now recovered. 19 staff members also had the coronavirus and have since recovered.
According to the News-Observer, 21 inmates tested positive as part of the coronavirus pandemic in late August at the Wake County Detention Center. Wake County is one of the busiest North Carolina county jails. But its population has decreased during the Covid-19 outbreak, by at least 240 inmates. They have dropped from 1312 inmates in February to 1062 in July.
In Franklin County, several inmates and staff members have tested positive as part of the coronavirus pandemic. The local sheriff confirmed this information in a news article released across the state. Likewise, a Lee County jail staff member tested positive for Covid-19 in May 2020.
How will the coronavirus pandemic affect my chance for bail?
According to the North Carolina Judicial Branch website, courts are still operating on reduced or changed schedules as part of the coronavirus pandemic. Covid-19 has also enabled many offenders to appear by means of a virtual connection for hearings.
To know what your county permits and what they expect of you for your hearings, you must talk to your lawyer or follow your specific county’s requirements. In essence, if your court documents say to appear at a specific time and on a specific day, you must show up at the courthouse. Otherwise, you risk losing your bail bond and getting thrown back in jail.
Judicial orders are changing often these days because of the coronavirus pandemic. Also, as said before, each of North Carolina’s county jails has its own rules, guidelines and requirements for jail inmates and visitation. While you can expect many things to go on “business as usual,” this pandemic is complicating many aspects of getting through the legal system.
If you or someone you love is in one of the North Carolina county jails now and can post bail in Chatham, Wake, Harnett, Franklin, Johnston or Lee counties, call DJ’s Bail Bonds for support. We can help you understand the current situation and rules of your county’s jail processes, such as how long it typically takes to get out after posting bail. We are operating normally at DJ’s Bail Bonds and are available 24 hours per day and seven days per week at (919) 986-1547.