Paul Wellman (file)

After a 10-month hiatus, the Sheriff’s Office formally restarted this week the Night Jail Rides program, which offers taxicab rides to inmates released late at night from the County Jail. The program, funded through the Inmate Welfare Account, was suspended after the previous cab company, Rockstar, downsized its fleet. The drop-off point is the Rescue Mission in downtown Santa Barbara. Indigent inmates released during the day are offered a bus token, the department said. Sheriff Bill Brown thanked longtime advocate Peter Marin, among others, for helping formalize the agreement with local company United Taxi. “As a community we must look out for their welfare and not turn our back simply because they are no longer committed to our custody,” Brown said. A problem still exists, though, for the indigent inmates who need to travel back to North County.


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