Roughly 10 inmates who served time in Kern prisons were released Thursday. Some of the inmates passed through Bakersfield while others were released at the Greyhound bus station in Downtown Bakersfield.
This comes just one day after California Department of Corrections initially reported that 112 inmates would either be transferred or released at the bus station. However, after Mayor Karen Goh and other leaders became involved, the number of inmates was reduced almost entirely. 8 to 10 inmates passed through the Greyhound Bus Station Thursday, according to the Bakersfield Police Department. The inmates, all men, were dropped off from vans.
Thursday’s release consisted of fewer inmates than the 10 to 25 average number of prisoners who pass through the station on a daily basis.
A representative with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said inmates dropped off at the bus station must return to their last county of residence.
“I was very nervous, afraid and excited as well, but grateful,” said Anthony Ventura, a San Bernardino native who spent the last year at North Kern and Kern Valley State Prisons in Delano. There, he served 12 months of an 18 month plea deal for assault. Now, a year later, he says he’s a changed man.”
“There’s programs at the prisons to rehabilitate yourself, to get yourself out there to be prepared for the world,” Ventura continued.
Rodney Washington said he was not prepared for the real world when he was released from prison at the Greyhound Bus Station about a decade ago. Today, this man of faith was waiting out front to offer support the newly released inmates.
“[I] Had no hope, had no direction,” he said. “But someone witnessed to me and I want to witness to them. I just want to give them a spark of hope.”
Ventura intends to take with him a similar spark of home back to his family, excited to begin his second chance at life.
“My plan is to go home to my mom and surprise her. [I want to] start over. I have a 10-year-old girl named Mirayah Hernandez. Don’t worry,” he said to his daughter while addressing the KGET camera. “I will be home soon. Daddy will be home soon.”
BPD officers patrolled the bus station Thursday and were inside the facility keeping the peace. BPD confirms there were no incidents reported.”
Ventura, meanwhile, took a bus to Southern California where he will need to make arrangements to get back to San Bernardo.