The Suburbanite
  • Jail should not release inmates without rides after dark

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  • I was shocked to read of the death of 29-year-old Heather K. Smith, who was killed in a hit-and-run accident while walking along U.S. Route 62, (”Woman out of jail killed in hit-skip,” July 7).
    She had been released on bond from the Stark County Jail at 1:12 a.m. Saturday, and “she had no ride, and as with many released inmates, she walked.”
    Surely there is a better solution than sending someone outside to make her way home. Walking along Route 62 would be dangerous any time, but in the dark, it is more so.
    I did not know Miss Smith, but her death would not have occurred if some other procedure was followed. My sympathy to her friends and family.
    I feel that the Stark County Jail should change the policy of releasing anyone after dark if they do not have a ride (“Woman out of jail killed in hit-skip,” July 7).
    What a shame that this woman is dead due to walking on a highway after dark. If she had been released during daylight hours, she would still be alive today.
    I found it hard to believe the events of the July 7 story “Woman out of jail killed in hit-skip”)
    My question about the “Serve and Protect” motto of the Stark County Sheriff’s Office is: If people are arrested and taken to jail, isn’t it part of the “protect” to release them to a safe place or return them to where they were arrested?
    Why release someone from jail at 1:12 a.m. to walk on Route 62?
    The sheriff should review the release policy and at least set the release time for the daylight hours if they have no transportation, so this tragedy never happens again.

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