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St. Petersburg, Florida

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Bob Carroll
Bob Carroll
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Running A Jail – Lession # 1 – Keep Inmates Inside And Alive

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Suicides and accidental releases of inmates keep popping up at the Hernando County Jail. A jail is supposed to confine an inmate and to keep him alive. Seems like pretty basic stuff. If this keeps up somebody might get hurt.

A St. Pete Times story tells more.

County jail accidentally releases 2 men

A lawyer for one of the inmates calls it “the worst-run jail I can remember seeing in my 30 years of practice.”

Daniel Swetokos.

The 33-year-old was released from the jail Dec. 19, spent the night at his girlfriend’s house and then showed up for a 9 a.m. meeting with his probation officer – only to find out that he was going right back to jail. Turns out he wasn’t supposed to have been released in the first place. Four senior officers from the jail arrived to rearrest him.

“They said, ‘Turn around and cuff up. You were released on accident . . .’ ” Swetokos told the St. Petersburg Times.

Aaron Hagen.

The 26-year-old was sentenced on Jan. 17 to five years in prison after he pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter. But Circuit Judge Jack Springstead ordered that he be kept at the county jail until his co-defendant’s case was resolved. Hagen’s mother and wife went to the jail Monday morning to visit him.

One problem.

He wasn’t there.

Hagen had been taken – in violation of Springstead’s court order – to the Central Florida Reception Center in Orlando.

The Swetokos and Hagen incidents fit with other clerical mistakes, a spotty audit and three suicides in as many months, all of which have the jail under increased scrutiny.