Two Denver Sheriff Department deputies were punished after mistakes caused inmates to serve extra time in the city’s jail, a recurring problem that the city acknowledges could leave it vulnerable to lawsuits, the Denver Post reports. The disciplinary cases, in which each deputy was suspended for two days, raised the number of deputies punished so far this year to three and the number of incidents to four. The cases come after Sheriff Patrick Firman pledged to fix problems in the records management unit after an inmate was housed 24 days beyond his release date.
Critics said the recurring late releases most likely are a sign of a bigger problem that goes beyond careless mistakes made by deputies. “When you see a pattern, the supervisors and the city become responsible for the problem,” said Mark Silverstein of the American Civil Liberties Union. “They are aware of it, and they need to step in and fix it.” Firman has requested a review by a team comprised of members of the department’s command staff and senior staff in the city’s Department of Safety. The team will seek ways to improve the unit and make it more efficient.