In this case, the forgotten item wasn't a light or a faucet or a burner on the stove or a door left unlocked. It was a prisoner left locked up in a holding cell for 4 days over a weekend with no food or water.
An Arkansas woman was left in a secure holding area at the Washington County Courthouse in Fayetteville over the weekend, according to the Washington County [Arkansas] Sheriff's Office.
At about 9:40 a.m. Monday, courthouse staff notified the Washington County Sheriff's Office that Adrianna Torres-Flores, 38, of Springdale, Ark., had been left in a detention room for four days.
Torres-Flores was left in the detention room --- intended for short-term detention only --- with "no water, no restroom facilities. You know, it was a very unfortunate situation," County Judge Jerry Hunton said.
Torres-Flores was transported Monday to Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville by emergency medical personnel. However, hospital representatives said she was never admitted to the hospital.
You'd think that before they left for the weekend the bailiff or sheriff would check to make sure the lights were out and all the prisoners shipped off to the county lockup. You'd also think someone from the sheriff's office would be in and out of that place over the weekend because crime doesn't take a break between Friday night and Monday morning.
This certainly illustrates a breakdown in procedure, with no means of checking the status of any detainees via a check-in and check-out process. Leaving it up to the memory of a single person obviously didn't work in Washington County, and no procedure should.
Hopefully the sheriff will take the necessary corrective actions to prevent something like this from happening again. The next time someone locked in the holding cell might not survive, leaving the county in one hell of a legal mess.