More jail inmates released early

As part of an effort to reduce costs to the county, 42 more inmates were released early from the John Latorraca Correctional Center on Friday.

A total of 83 inmates have been released early so far, bringing the jail population to about 630, said Cmdr. James Buttrey of the Merced County Sheriff's Department. To get in line with the county's $8 million cut to the department, the jail population needs to be down to a 580-inmate daily average.

All the inmates released Friday have served at least two-thirds of their sentences and are nonviolent and nonserious offenders, said Buttrey, who added that it costs $124 a day to house an inmate, barring any medical problems or other issues.

-- Mike North