Metro Corrections blames human and computer errors for inmate ja - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Metro Corrections blames human and computer errors for inmate jailed months too long

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A Metro Corrections inmate was mistakenly incarcerated several months after serving out his sentence because of an error by the jail’s computer system that was not caught by employees, an internal investigation has found.

Because of the mistakes that left David Reyes in custody five months after his sentence was completed, jail officials have made changes “to prevent similar errors from happening in the future,” including double checking an inmate database.

One employee had a sustained finding of failing to properly perform her duties, but no punishment is mentioned in the investigation summary obtained by WDRB News under the Kentucky Open Records Act.

Reyes served out a 353-day sentence for domestic violence, unlawful imprisonment and sexual misconduct involving a spouse in September 2016. But it wasn’t until Feb. 13, when Jefferson District Court Judge Amber Wolf notified the jail he was still in custody, that Metro Correction officials realized the error.

Reyes was then turned over to U.S. Immigration, Custom and Enforcement Officers (ICE), which had placed a detainer on him, identifying Reyes as a person of interest.

Metro Corrections has been under fire for several months for alleged repeated failures to properly release inmates. 

Members of Metro Council have repeatedly asked Metro Corrections director Mark Bolton about the Reyes case. Council members have called for an audit of the jail to see how many inmates are mistakenly being released early or late. 

In the internal investigation, one employee said it is not unusual for the department’s $1.5 million management software system to “incorrectly display” information about inmates.

Another staffer told investigators someone failed to properly amend Reyes’ charges when he was convicted of lesser crimes, so it appeared he should remain in custody longer.

This technician, Jacora Smith, said she missed catching the mistake because of inexperience and she “still did not feel prepared to do the job,” according to the investigation.

A finding of “sustained” was returned for Smith for failing to exercise due diligence in performing her duties, as investigators determined she should have noticed Reyes’ charges had been amended down. The investigation does not say what punishment, if any, she received.

Steve Durham, a spokesman for the jail, did not immediately return a phone message. 

A supervisor now double checks the work of technicians whenever they process an inmate's sentence time, the report noted.

Investigators spoke to Reyes, who told them he was fortunate because he was able to hire an attorney, who then informed Judge Wolf.

He “believed there were other inmates who were in the same situation he was in, but who did not have the money to hire a lawyer," according to the investigation.

Reyes also said he repeatedly asked jail staffers why he was still in custody after his sentence had ended but they “seemed angry with him because he was asking the same question.” And he said some inmates do not speak English, and the jail does not have enough staffers who speak Spanish. 

Rachel Carmona, an attorney for Reyes, did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

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