Sheriff candidate calls for change after accidental inmate release

Marion County Jail
(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Republican sheriff candidate Emmitt Carney spoke out Wednesday afternoon in front of the Marion County Jail, after two more accidental inmate releases this week. Carney said there are “systematic problem” with personnel at the jail.  In the past two weeks, four inmates have been released from the Marion County jail. Sheriff John Layton cited a glitch in new software and human error for the release.

“You’ve heard many times someone make a statement and two people took it two different ways, and that’s exactly what happened here. So therefore it was an unfortunate release of both of those inmates,” said Layton.

There is currently an internal investigation at the Marion County Sheriff’s Office to find out exactly what happened and where communication broke down in the most recent release. Carney said there needs to be more checks and balances in the sheriff’s office.

“If this trend [accidental releases] continues, it’s just a matter of time before a suspect gets out and then creates a heinous crime,” said Carney.

“We’ve had some issues, but still that error rate is less than one hundredth of a percent. If it were a hospital or a doctors office or any place that deals with the safety of individuals they would be very happy to have that error rate,” said Lt. Colonel Louis Dezelen.

Carney insists that error rate could still be improved, and says he would have at least two people cross-checking documents before anyone is released.

“It comes down to attention to detail, cross-checking and having a program in place, I think if they had a program in place this wouldn’t be happening,” said Carney.

But the sheriff’s office says at least two people already check every case, and the computer glitches have been worked out in their office.

“In public safety everything doesn’t go perfect every day. That’s a perfect world, and I wish I lived in it,” said Layton.

All the inmates accidentally released are now back in custody. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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