Bill To Prevent Fraudulent Release Of Inmates

TALLAHASSEE-- State lawmakers are considering a bill that supporters say should prevent the fraudulent release of prison inmates.

The proposal would require the Florida Department of Corrections to determine if prisoner release orders involving reduced sentences are real or fake.

Corrections officials would have to verify the order with the judge who issued it, before releasing the inmate.

The State Senate unanimously passed the legislation Tuesday.

The legislation is a direct result of last year's mistaken release of two convicted murderers who were serving life sentences.

Thirty-four year old Joseph Jenkins walked out of the Franklin Correctional Institution on September 27, thirty-four year old Charles Walker on October 8, both using nearly identical forged documents.

The U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force re-captured the pair at the Coconut Grove Motel on Front Beach Road here in Panama City Beach on October 19.