According to a press release, LaPorte County Sheriff Mike Mollenhauer announced yesterday that an incident has occurred in which an inmate was mistakenly released from the LaPorte County Jail– the third such incident in about five weeks.
All three incidents occurred due to jail staff failing to follow proper procedure. The latest incident, which occurred on Feb. 28, was blamed on a paperwork mistake, and the error was not discovered until March 5. The man released, Jervon Martin, was being held on drug and resisting law enforcement charges, and is still at large, possibly in the St. Louis area.
One supervisor has been terminated from employment because of the incidents, and another has been suspended and demoted to the rank of officer. A third officer received a written reprimand for their part in the incidents, and all booking officers are now required to attend supplemental training with a focus on the subject of releasing inmates.
Sheriff Mollenhauer stated that factors contributing to these incidents include understaffing at the jail, overpopulation, and an overworked staff. However, he says that this is no excuse, and incidents of this nature cannot and will not be tolerated.