Boxing Bout Fallout

Boxing Bout Fallout
By:  Wes Wallace
New Madrid, MO -- Inmates at the New Madrid County Jail recently got ringside seats to a boxing match.  Apparently, a dispatcher and a jailer wanted to have a friendly boxing bout, so a deputy let all the male inmates out of their cells to watch.
"It's a severe breech of security, not only for the officers, but also for the inmates," explains Sheriff Terry Stevens, "Our actions affect other people's lives, so we have to use the utmost care before we do anything, because they all have repercussions."
Stevens had to fire all three workers because of what he calls a lapse in judgement.
"I took no joy in doing this, they were all good workers," says Stevens.
The sheriff was already short-staffed, now he has to hire three more employees.
Most folks in town we talked with say Sheriff Stevens did the right thing.
"You have to follow the rules, if you don't you get punished for it.   You have to lead by example, " says Karen Sullenger.
Tommie Strong has concerns about the level of respect inmates should have for jail workers. "They can't be getting out to watch boxing matches, it could have gotten out of hand."
Addie Pruitt adds, "I don't think they should have been playing like that during worktime, I think the sheriff did what he had to do."
Due to legal reasons, Sheriff Stevens couldn't release the names of the former workers.