Inmates Get Jail Keys

by Christa Smith

Early Tuesday morning inmates of the Shelby County jail managed to get keys to other parts of the jail.  Two days later, members of the sheriff's office are still trying to figure out how they did it.

One jailer that was involved said the keys were laid out in a place where trustees, or inmates with privileges, have been allowed to be alone.  They then had access to these very important keys.  The sheriff Newton Johnson, says, luckily, they couldn't go far.  "This vestibule is a security area which takes other keys to open doors to go into any cellblocks," he told us.

The keys aren't normally kept in the office but they are upgrading their security system so they had them there.  Johnson says he's already put some new rules into effect to prevent these things from happening again.  "Until they get back up to full swing then we do 15 minute checks on every cell and every inmate in the jail every 15 minutes to secure their safety."  He has also taken the special privileges away from the two inmates who were involved in the incident.