Metro Corrections: Escaping Responsibility (5/25/06) - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Metro Corrections: Escaping Responsibility (5/25/06)

Last week, we learned that Metro Corrections recently released an inmate by mistake for the fifth time in less than a year. Which is bad enough. But I was more concerned with the comments of some of the people closest to the situation.

Russ Salsman, who chairs a committee formed last year to prevent such releases, said, "I don't know why they released him. They shouldn't have."

Meanwhile, Jefferson Circuit Judge James Shake -- who also sits on the committee -- said the rules currently in place "obviously haven't been effective," and that "the problem still exists."

And Metro Corrections spokeswoman Pam Windsor offered the opinion that "There's a lot of confusion here."

These astute observations hardly offer much in the way of solutions.

Here's an idea: As a last step before following through on any release order, why not require the jail to confirm the order - in writing -- with the office that issued it? And if it still turns out to be a mistake, how about...oh, I don't know...firing the person who signed the confirmation?

These are far more than just clerical errors. Mistakes like these could have tragic results.

In other words, hanging the keys on a peg just outside the cell may have worked OK for Andy and Barney. But this isn't Mayberry. And we aren't necessarily dealing with Otis here, either.

I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my...Point of View.

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