Advocates demand end to late-night releases of female prisoners from Dublin's Santa Rita Jail

DUBLIN, Calif. (KGO) -- Community groups calling for change at the Santa Rita jail after a woman who was released in the middle of the night was later found dead.

Protesters took part in a nearly two-mile walk to voice their opposition to the release of female inmates in the early morning hours.

RELATED: Woman found dead at East Bay BART station

In late July jail deputies released 26-year-old Jessica St. Louis around 1:30 in the morning after she'd completed her sentence.

Around four hours later she was found dead at the Dublin BART station.

While foul play has been ruled out in St. Louis death her death does highlight the issue of releasing vulnerable people at a time of day when they're less likely to get help.

A crowd gathered in front of Alameda County's Santa Rita jail in Dublin in vigil and protest.

The coroner has ruled out foul play saying the death appears to be a drug overdose.

RELATED: Family, advocates say releasing prisoners from Santa Rita Jail at night is dangerous

St. Louis' mother says her death was preventable.

"We're still in such shock for them to release her at such a late hour in the morning. As you can see it's totally dark with just a BART ticket and no cell phone. With not even allowing her to have communication with us. We did not even know that she was released," St. Louis' mother Benita Turner said.

"I don't care who you are sure as women we're more vulnerable walking on an abandoned or desolate street in the middle of the night, but anyone is. Anyone is vulnerable and I don't want any deaths, male female or anything," Skinner said.

The sheriff's office says it's obligated to release people when their sentences are complete regardless of what time it is.

State Senator Nancy Skinner plans to introduce a bill to change when people are released.

She said St. Louis is not the first to have died in this state following an overnight release.
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