By: Lanetra Bennett
August 4, 2014
Quincy, FL - A Gadsden County inmate allowed to go home for a few hours was brought back to jail and charged with choking and threatening his wife.
The incident has brought into to question the jail's furlough program.
Authorities say on any given day, the Gadsden County Jail is about 50 percent over-populated. One of the things they do to try to alleviate that .. is furloughs that allow inmates to go home for eight hours.
However, after an inmate was charged with threatening to knock his wife in the head with a wrench, some question if it's worth it to let inmates go home during their sentence.
Jeffery Phillips is in the Gadsden County Jail for child support. He mops floors and does other chores so he can be eligible to leave the jail for a few hours and visit home.
Phillips says, "It's a real relief not being locked up all the time. I'm able to see my kids. I make sure to do right in here and out there and not come back."
57-year-old Stanley Hall did have to come back -- with more serious charges.
Hall -- like Phillips -- was serving six months in jail for child support. But, on his furlough day on July 13th, authorities say Hall had a fight with his wife.
She reported that he choked her and said, "If you call 911 I'll kill you." She says Hall grabbed a wrench and said he'd knock her in the head with it.
Maj. Robert Barkley with the Gadsden County Jail says, "We didn't see anything in this young man's file that would indicate that he was a violent person."
Maj. Barkley says inmates are eligible for the furlough program after they're sentenced, they first have to be a trustee, and they must take a drug test before they leave and after they return to the jail.
He says, "We don't just turn anybody loose. We make sure they're going to be safe for the community. But, occasionally something like that happens. This is one in a probably thousand that this person committed a crime while he was out. We certainly don't want anyone to go out into the community and hurt someone; whether it's a wife or family member or not."
Maj. Barkley says the community should not be worried.
When Sheriff Morris Young took office ten years ago, he changed the furloughs from a full weekend to only eight hours. Maj. Barkley says furloughs happen about once a month. He says they're only during daytime hours to try to decrease the probabililty of an inmate committing a violent crime while they're out.