COURT WATCH: Woman Struggling with Delays in Program Acceptance Kept in Jail  

By Audrey Sawyer

WOODLAND, CA — A placement review hearing in Yolo County Superior Court here to check in on the status update of a waitlisted woman waiting to be accepted into a particular program led to a decision to keep her jailed.

Deputy Public Defender Danielle Craig emphasized during the hearing how it was “frustrating” for the accused having to remain in custody pending acceptance to any program.

DPD Craig told the court that while she is aware that an officer is working diligently to get the accused placed, and is aware that it takes time, it is the third time that the accused has come back to court.

DPD Craig added the accused has now been at the jail for two months, and that she is now requesting for the accused to be released (pending her placement into the program).

According to DPD Craig, a friend of the accused has volunteered to house and transport the accused to future court meetings.

However, Deputy District Attorney Robin Johnson objected to the defense request, arguing the accused has had a failure to appear previously. The DDA also noted the nature of the charges (child endangerment) in which children had “tested positive for fentanyl under her (accused) care.”

DPD Craig argued the accused has been making efforts to obtain treatment, stating the accused had been in a treatment program in San Francisco and had come to court via ZOOM, even when it was not ordered for her to do so by the court.

Despite this, DPD Craig admits it was difficult for the accused to get to court in Woodland from San Francisco because the accused has “limited means.”

DPD Craig informed the court the co-defendant in the matter is out of custody.

Judge Sonia Cortés asked probation whether it had assessed the friend of the accused that offered her residence, to which probation stated that they had not.

DDA Johnson said, “It was part of the AIC [Addiction Intervention Court] agreement that she would remain in custody, so if she is released, we are not interested in AIC.”

Judge Sonia Cortés provided a two-week continuance for a report to be able to be given to the court, reminding the defense DDA Johnson is indicating that part of the agreement is that the accused remains in custody, but that they will have more time to “discuss these issues.” The accused is on the waitlist, but has not been officially placed.

While DPD Craig wanted to return this week due to the time restraint, Judge Cortés set the next hearing for Jan. 23.

About The Author

Audrey is a senior at UC San Diego majoring in Political Science (Comparative Politics emphasis). After graduation, Audrey plans on attending graduate school and is considering becoming a public defender.

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