(a) The sheriff has the authority, after conferring with a physician who is neither a county employee nor under a preexisting contract with the county, to release from a county correctional facility for transfer to a medical facility or residential care facility, a prisoner whose physical condition, in the opinion of the examining physician, is such that he or she is rendered incapable of causing harm to others upon or after release from custody. Prior to authorizing the release, however, the sheriff shall first determine that all of the following conditions exist:

(1) The prisoner, upon diagnosis by the examining physician, is deemed to be so severely physically incapacitated that he or she poses no threat to the safety of others.

Terms Used In California Government Code 26605.5

  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • County: includes city and county. See California Education Code 19428
  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.

(2) The examining physician has no reasonable expectation that the prisoner’s physical condition will improve to the extent that he or she could pose a threat to the safety of others.

(3) The prisoner’s medical needs would be better served in a medical facility or residence other than a county correctional facility.

(b) Prior to the release of any prisoner pursuant to this section, the sheriff shall notify the presiding judge of the superior court of his or her intention to transfer a severely incapacitated prisoner to a medical facility or residence for the provision of medical care and other services. This notification shall include:

(1) The prisoner’s name.

(2) The offense or offenses for which the prisoner was incarcerated, if applicable, and the pending charges, if applicable.

(3) The date of sentence, if applicable.

(4) The physician’s diagnosis of the prisoner’s condition.

(5) The physician’s prognosis for the prisoner’s recovery.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing the sheriff to refuse to receive and incarcerate a defendant or sentenced individual who is not in need of immediate medical care or who has a terminal medical condition.

(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 697, Sec. 7. Effective January 1, 1993.)