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Thursday, June 17, 2010

 

Jailers frees 4 inmates by mistake

ajc.com

 

Clayton jailers' blunder frees 4 inmates

 

Raisa Habersham

 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

1:32 p.m. Thursday, June 17, 2010

 

A Clayton County sheriff's spokesman said Thursday that corrections officers' failure to fingerprint prisoners resulted in the improper release of at least four inmates from the county jail. 

Sgt. Sonja Sanchez, spokeswoman for the Clayton County Sheriff's Office,  told the AJC on Thursday that the corrections officers could have done several things to prevent the incident from occurring, but "the bottom line is they didn't fingerprint" and the inmates were released after giving false identities. 

"Had they fingerprinted, they would have been able to ID them," she said. 

Three of the inmates have been captured by the fugitive task force, but one, Jonathan Lemons, remains at large. Lemons, who was arrested under the name Michael A. Turner, was originally charged for violating probation following his arrest on drug charges, Sanchez said. 

Sheriff Kem Kimbrough Sr. told CBS Atlanta the corrections officers didn't follow proper procedure when checking the identity of the four inmates, who were released in late April and early May.

Kimbrough told the station that corrections officers, including supervisors, were lazy when it came to checking identities and that they believed what the inmates told them without verifying it.

“These corrections officers, that included supervisors, were just lazy,” Kembrough told CBS Atlanta. "I am absolutely appalled and disgusted and I am not going to stand for it." 

The mistake was caught in another department that matches fingerprints with inmates' files, Kimbrough said. That was when the jail realized inmates' fingerprints didn't match their files.

It is possible that other inmates have been released improperly. The jail is in the process of reviewing 1,800 inmates to ensure others did not give fake names. The jail is also overhauling its procedures to ensure incidents like this don't occur again. 

The 30 corrections officers involved in releasing the inmates will receive disciplinary action. Kimbrough said once the investigation is completed, officials will release the names of the officers involved.

 

 

 

 

Find this article at:

http://www.ajc.com/news/clayton/clayton-jailers-blunder-frees-551039.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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