At least four prisoners in Atlanta’s Fulton County Jail have escaped or have been mistakenly set free in the last month, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. In the latest case, an accused rapist was erroneously set free, leading the victim, a homeless woman, to spend days hiding in woods after seeing him on the street.
Jail controversies have plagued Sheriff Jackie Barrett since a court hearing in March revealed a series of security concerns — jammed locks, assaults on guards and prison escapes.
The sheriff’s fugitive squad caught the rape suspect on Tuesday within three hours of learning he had been mistakenly released June 19. But it took officials at the jail five days to learn of the mistake because a deputy had assigned a bond paid for another prisoner to the rape suspect.
The County Commission has hired a consultant to analyze whether the jail is unsafe and insecure. “This is getting to be a little much,” said Susan Laccetti Meyers, spokeswoman for Commission Chairman Mike Kenn. “The chairman wants to hear what the management consultant has to say … Obviously something is lacking.”