Woman Cites Transportation Issues for Failing to Serve Jail Time; Eventually Accepts Forced Labor Alternative

By Michael Apfel and Belen Avelar

WOODLAND, CA – A woman, who had previously pled guilty to one count of misdemeanor unlawful use of personal information to obtain goods and admitted to violating probation, was called back into Yolo County Superior Court Dept. 1 this week after failing to complete her jail time.

The accused had initially served nine out of 15 days in county jail for violating probation but could not serve the rest of her jail time because of, she claimed, transportation issues.

Deputy Public Defender Roberto Villa Olivas stated the woman had only had six days left to complete her sentence, but she had been recently recovering from COVID and shingles while taking care of her 81-year-old mother which made it difficult for her to take transportation to Woodland.

The DPD suggested the woman could do community service for the remainder of her sentence, since she had already completed nine days in jail, noting, “This would also allow (her) to keep caring for her mom while not being around other people where she can potentially get others sick.”

Deputy District Attorney Ashley Harvey expressed reservations about the defense alternative, insisting on a more structured program.

“I think if you could do community service, you can do SWIP,” said Harvey, although SWIP (Sheriff’s Working Inmate Program) is more of a forced labor option rather than volunteering with a nonprofit community program.

Still, the woman cited concerns about the travel distance, telling the court, “Again, it takes two and a half hours on the bus to get to Woodland and then two hours to get back,” the woman said, asking instead to complete her community service at a senior center in Yolo instead of serving six actual days in the county jail.

The defense eventually accepted the SWIP offer, and the accused was scheduled to begin her work program by Feb. 28, 2023.

About The Author

Michael Apfel is a second year at USC majoring in Legal Studies and minoring in Sports Media Industries. He plans on law school after his undergraduate studies looking to work in social justice.

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