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Déja vu all over again: another prisoner mistakenly released

It was no April Fool’s joke.

It was no April Fool’s joke.

Yet another dangerous offender was mistakenly released from jail, the province announced Wednesday.

Ryan Jessop, 22, of Dartmouth was accidentally released at Halifax Provincial Court Tuesday, just one day after officials discovered they had accidentally released another prisoner six days earlier.

That man, Chancelor Faulkner, was apprehended by police Wednesday and is now back behind bars.

At a hastily called press conference, Justice Minister Cecil Clarke repeatedly called the releases unacceptable and unreasonable.

“To have this happen within a one day period is (more) than frustrating I can tell you. Because I would expect with the heightened awareness… that these matters would have had nothing but due diligence,” said Clarke.

Jessop was released the same way as Faulkner. He was on his way to court for charges including possession of a weapon, uttering threats and extortion, and should have been sent back to Burnside jail. But a clerical error led to his form saying he could be released.

Both incidents are being investigated and Clarke said “appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.” He also announced several new changes to the process to fight human error.

Forms that accompany inmates to and from court will now have an additional alert requiring staff to double check whether the inmate is supposed to return to jail.

There will be increased supervision of the admissions and discharge area. A senior employee will be assigned to oversee the process and ensure everything is accurate.

Digital recorders will be put on all telephones to record communications regarding the transfer of inmates.

Jessop is the 11th prisoner mistakenly released in Nova Scotia in the last three years.

 
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