Officials to address accidental MDC releases

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The inmate who was inadvertently released from MDC Tuesday is once again behind bars. Officials say the slip-up happened because jail staff misread the inmate’s paperwork, and they say it’s that unusual.

Bernalillo County Deputy Manager Tom Swisstack says 14 inmates were accidentally released from the Metro Detention Center over the past year, which comes to about one inmate a month. There have been 40 accidental releases since 2011.

“The accidental releases are not acceptable,” Swisstack said. “One is not accidental.”

Taylor Roberts walked out of MDC Tuesday night. More than 12 hours later jail officials realized he was out and shouldn’t have been. Roberts was tracked down to an Albuquerque hotel where he was taken back into custody.

MDC officials say Roberts was released because staff misread his paperwork.

“We’re evaluating what was the cause, where was the breakdown in the system, and going back to those respective individuals and then holding those individuals responsible,” Swisstack said.

Swisstack tells KRQE News 13 all jail staff will be re-trained on how to read court documents and what to look for as they process individuals.

“We take this serious, wrongful releases, and as a result, we’re setting the bar to try to make sure this incident doesn’t happen again,” Swisstack said.

County officials also plan to create a quality assurance program so at the end of each shift, jail staff verify they released the correct individuals.

Inmates who are accidentally released are not punished. County officials say the staffers responsible for the release could face everything from a written reprimand to termination, depending on the situation.

blog comments powered by Disqus