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Arkansas Woman Left in Cell for Four Days Without Food or Water

Arkansas Woman Left in Cell for Four Days Without Food or Water

In March 2008, a woman was locked in a small courthouse holding cell without food or water for four days after an Arkansas bailiff forgot about her.

Adriana Torres-Flores, 38, a mother of three and an illegal immigrant from Mexico, was left in a nine-by-ten foot concrete cell for four days after Jarrod Hankins, a bailiff for the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, forgot she was there. Torres-Flores’ cell, designed to hold prisoners for only an hour, contained no water, food, toilet facilities or bunk. As a result, she was forced to drink her own urine in order to stay hydrated, and slept on the floor. She was not discovered until Hankins returned to work and opened the cell.

“It was just a horrible mistake,” stated Jay Cantrell, Chief Deputy for the sheriff’s department. Roy Petty, Torres-Flores’ immigration lawyer, was not so sure. “Frankly that’s how they treat Hispanics down here. They treat Hispanics like cattle, like less than human,” he said.

Torres-Flores was taken to the hospital, treated, and then sent home to recover. Ironically, the charges against her – related to the sale of pirated CDs and DVDs – were dropped after prosecutors verified her alibi. Hankins was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. He was later suspended without pay for 30 days, but will keep his job.

Sources: New York Times,

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