Prisoner release procedure streamlined

Samantha Brennan has voluntarily resigned as director of the Department of Corrections.

After an oversight hearing uncovered several flaws in the prisoner release procedure of the Department of Corrections, DOC director Samantha Brennan has initiated several corrective actions to streamline the procedure.

In an interview with the Patti Arroyo show on NewsTalk K57, Brennan said only one person will now be authorized to approve prisoner releases.

This corrective action was done after the oversight hearing conducted by Vice Speaker Telena Nelson, the acting public safety chair, discovered that the erroneous DOC prison releases were partly caused by too many people being involved in the prisoner release process. This resulted in a lot of confusion, mistakes, and lack of accountability.

“Now, we’re adopting a security measure in that there will only be one person authorized to sign off on the releases for anybody,” Brennan said.

She added: “Releases are still going to be reviewed by two other people. The initial person and a secondary officer. But the final authority, which is usually the platoon commander, will be the final person to authorize the prisoner release.”

According to Brennan, they’re also retraining everybody who’s considered management on the proper use of databases involved in the release of prisoners.

During the same interview, Brennan said DOC is also taking extra precautions with regard to its half-way house from which two inmates, who have since been back in custody, escaped a couple of weeks ago.

“Because of the incident that happened, I’m taking all precautions to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I understand it is a half-way house, but at the same time, we want to be able to ensure that there’s no room for mistakes in the future. We just want everybody to understand that what we’re doing is for the safety and security of everybody,” Brennan said.