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Grant Co. Woman Released From Jail by Mistake

BENTON, AR--A Central Arkansas woman went back to jail Tuesday after authorities accidentally let her go free.
BENTON, AR--A Central Arkansas woman went back to jail Tuesday after authorities accidentally let her go free.

Late October Saline County authorities released Tara Rorie from jail even though she was wanted in another county.

Saline County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Don Birdsong says the mistake highlights their problem with overcrowding.

"We've never seen a year like this," says Chief Deputy Birdsong.

It's an unusual year at the Saline County jail. It's so overcrowded authorities say it's forcing them to release as many people as they can.

"We are in the 400s, we are begging judges to let them out," he says.

To make space, they sent Tara Rorie before the judge for bond late October on forgery, and other non violent charges.

She was released even she was wanted in Grant county for endangering the welfare of a minor. However, there was no proof in the state database.

"When we get it we check ACIC to check for holds and warrants. At that time, there was no warrant," says Chief Deputy Birdsong.

The Grant County Sheriff's Office says they dropped the warrant after they sent paperwork to Saline County, asking them to hold Rorie.

The Grant County sheriff's office didn't want to talk on camera about this issue but they did provide a document showing they sent warrant and hold information to Saline County.

The miscommunication led to Rorie's early release.

"We have a paper copy but when you look in the computer it says nothing," says Birdsong.

Rorie was on the loose for over a week before she turned herself in to Grant county Tuesday.

Chief Deputy Birdsong worked in the jail in March when Saline county released another inmate by mistake. While under different circumstances, he says overcrowding is a contributing factor to these mistakes.

"They are having to move faster," Birdsong says, describing how busy his deputies are this year. "The thing that worries me is the danger part of it, I have seven deputies on a shift with 243 prisoners."

Tara Rorie turned herself in and bonded out almost immediately Tuesday afternoon.

A spokesperson for ACIC says neither department did anything wrong by state standards that led to this mistake but they could have communicated much better to avoid it.
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