BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - It's deja-vu, take two. Another inmate has been mistakenly released from the Erie County Holding Center. Just about a month ago, a man accused of stabbing his wife was mistakenly released.
Once again the sheriff blames a clerical error for the mistaken release. It's the second time in about a month an inmate has been set free by accident and the sheriff says there needs to be swift changes. The sheriff also points to being understaffed.
Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard says another paperwork mix up is to blame for letting 19-year-old Donavan Devost go free by accident over the weekend.
"The transporting deputies were not aware of the charges from Alden, which was the reason that he was arrested," said Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard.
Erie County Holding Center Superintendent Robert Koch said, "Paper work was not sent to the Buffalo City Courts, so they were not notified of the detainer, which is policy. That paperwork should have traveled with that inmate to court."
The jail recently bought new Jail Management System software, that the sheriff says could prevent such mistakes. But the license on the old software hasn't run out yet, so the county hasn't authorized the new one.
Howard said, "To have less people involved in the entering of that data, certainly eliminates like multiple hand-offs of a football. Each one has an increased opportunity to fumble. And it's the same for us."
The sheriff says for the last 25 years the Erie County Jail has been understaffed and under-budgeted and it's time to stop talking about it and start doing something about it. The sheriff is calling on the Erie County Legislature to help make changes.
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