Denver Deputies Punished for Mistakes in Inmate Releases

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Denver Sheriff Patrick Firman has ordered an audit of his records management unit because deputies have continued to make mistakes when releasing inmates from jail — either too soon or too late, reports the Denver Post. In the past month, four deputies have been punished for mistakenly releasing inmates. In one incident, an inmate spent 52 days on the lam after she was accidentally released a year too soon. Another deputy was suspended for a paperwork error in 2015 that left an inmate in jail 24 days past his release date. The mistake put the city at risk of a lawsuit, the deputy’s disciplinary letter said.

“Errors regarding the proper release dates of inmates are a serious concern and deputies involved in recent incidents have been suspended without pay,” said sheriff’s spokesman Simon Crittle. Starting today, two additional deputies will be assigned to the records department to audit paperwork in an effort to prevent further errors. The releases prompted former interim Sheriff Elias Diggins to change the release process so that any inmate’s release paperwork required three signatures. The department’s records management unit already has been a focus of its massive reform effort.


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