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Editorial: Jail security

Thursday, May 10, 2007

After nearly a month of review by the sheriff, five Cape Girardeau County Jail employees have been disciplined for a security breach during which two male prisoners were able to get to the area of the jail where women inmates are housed. While part of the problem was inadequate camera surveillance, the sheriff's actions acknowledge the human error involved.

Quickly addressing the security breach is of considerable importance to the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department, because the jail is used to house federal inmates awaiting court appearances in local courtrooms. Income from those federal inmates brings in a considerable part of the department's annual operating budget. After the security breach occurred April 1, the U.S. Marshals Service pulled 19 of the 29 federal prisoners being housed there.

Sheriff John Jordan believes the actions he has taken will satisfy the marshals service, which must certify security upgrades made in the past month.

Maintaining a level of security that satisfies the federal marshals also creates a certain degree of public confidence in the sheriff's operations. The disciplining of the jail employees involved in the breach addressed that concern.


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