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'Careless' release of an inmate is a mistake that can't happen again

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

When we heard last week a Brunswick County Detention Center officer had released the wrong inmate from jail, we wanted to know how that could happen.

Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram had an answer. It was “careless,” he said, not an “accident.”

Detention officer Jamie Lynn Jenrette released Rosher Rodriquez-Aguilar, 27, without properly checking his photo and identifying armband, Ingram said. The mistake ultimately cost Jenrette her job, indicating what appears to be a zero-tolerance policy for such behavior by the sheriff’s office.

Although sheriff officials don’t see the escaped inmate as a “threat to society,” this misstep has potentially put the general public at risk. What will an inmate do now he is on the run? No one can be certain.

Rodriquez-Aguilar is being searched for in Brunswick and New Hanover counties. That means law enforcement officials that could be using their skills elsewhere are now on a manhunt to find someone who should still be behind bars. All along, taxpayers will have to foot the bill for man-hours, equipment and more.

All because of “carelessness.”

Sheriff officials have said “redundant” procedures are in place, and further indicated this happened because none of those procedures were followed.

Now is the time to make sure this doesn’t happen again. After reviewing this situation, we hope sheriff officials will review policies as they have said they would.

If faults are found within the system, they should be immediately addressed and new or improved procedures should be put in place.

Once this happens, it is imperative all jail employees who have the responsibility of inmate release be retrained on these procedures. Since this incident appears to have happened because the release was left in the hands of one person, we suggest including a multiple person review of all inmates before they’re released from jail.

If it’s not already standard procedure, we hope it will become policy to have regular review of these policies with detention center staff.

This is an incident that can’t happen again, and we trust our elected sheriff will make sure it doesn’t.