Sheriff thanks public for help finding missing inmates

Sheriff thanks public for help finding missing inmates, discusses work detail program

INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - Sheriff Shawn Stephens has a couple of words for concerned citizens who helped his office find two inmates: “Thank you.”

According to a Facebook post issued by the Independence County Sheriff’s Department, Joseph Jones and Samantha Payne walked away from their work detail around 10 a.m. Friday, July 12.

They were both found on Harrison Street and were taken back into custody after a short pursuit.

The post stated the sheriff’s department wanted to thank all the citizens who provided law enforcement with information that led to locating them.

Stephens confirmed that inmates are not overseen by law enforcement while out on work details. He also said this happens often.

~~UPDATE~~ Jones and Payne are back in custody. Both individuals were taken into custody on Harrison Street after a...

Posted by Independence County Sheriffs Department on Friday, July 12, 2019

However, he said this is still a good program for the county and jail, as well as the inmates.

“It’s a good way for them to take care of their fines and it does good for the community," Stephens said.

Inmates pick up trash and do different odd jobs to help the city.

When inmates leave their work details, they are taken off the job. They also could face a Class A misdemeanor, which is up to a year in jail.

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