Overcrowding has forced the Alameda County Sheriff's Department to release more than 4,000 prisoners early from the Santa Rita Rehabilitation Center in the last year, Undersheriff Howard T. Garrigan reported. The department took the action because of a Superior Court order on jail overcrowding. "We're releasing dope dealers, shoplifters, burglars, embezzlers, all kinds of criminals," Garrigan said. "They're getting out anywhere from five days to four months early. "Unfortunately, this damages the credibility of the system." The court ruled that the jail could house no more than 1,610 men and 240 women. When the county jail system exceeds the limit, it must release inmates close to finishing their sentences.