Another accidental release from Delco prison

December 14, 2010 3:21:34 PM PST
It seems to be an ongoing problem in Delaware County.

Another prisoner has been mistakenly released early from the Delaware County Prison, and it's being blamed on a paperwork mix-up.

In what is believed to be the seventh mistaken prison release this year occurred a week ago when alleged burglar Christianus Felten was allowed to walk out.

As it turns out, Felten was supposed to be held until a home monitoring system was set up. However, security officers who volunteered to implement the system missed the home monitoring instructions, and Felten was set free.

Prison officials did not realize Felten was missing until someone outside the prison called to report that a home monitoring system had not been set up, so Felten was picked up and sent back to jail.

For local residents, this has become a too-frequent occurrence.

In June, 21-year-old Taaqi Brown of Upper Darby, a murder defendant, was mistakenly let out the door. In August there were multiple releases. One suspect, David Wilson, was able to walk out and remain free until late November.

Upset public officials demanded the privately-run prison overhaul its discharge procedures. The attorneys for the county's oversight board said it did.

"We have increased the job qualifications, we've increased the training, we've tried to streamline the system," said Robert DiOrio, the solicitor for the prison board.

Clearly, the revised procedures were not fool-proof.

"This was human error. But, the prison board feels this is supposed to be a flawless procedure and we're working towards that," said DiOrio.

People who live near the prison were not happy to hear this happened again.

"It's shocking, it really is," said Shannon Thornton of Concord Twp.

Steve Blaisse of Middletown summed it up by saying "It does concerns me that they don't seem to take it seriously."

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