Ankle monitor shortage keeping inmate behind bars

Ankle monitor shortage keeping inmate behind bars
Rozell Martin is suing Sheriff Jim Neil and the Hamilton County Commissioners. His mother posted his bond the day after his arrest on May 22 but he remains behind bars because of an ankle monitor shortage (FOX19 NOW)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A Cincinnati inmate is suing the sheriff and Hamilton County Commissioners.

Rozell Martin should legally be at home right now on house arrest. His mother posted 10 percent of his $10,000 bond the day after his May 22 arrest.

However, Rozell remains behind bars because jailers can't release him until they fit him with an electronic ankle bracelet and they currently don't have any left.

Rozell isn't even next on the list to receive an ankle monitor; he's number 13.

"Something that should take four hours five hours is taking three weeks for a person to be released on electronic monitoring.  And that's a violation of their constitutional rights due process 8th Amendment to bail and the fact they're being held and they haven't been convicted of a crime." said attorney Carl Lewis

Rozell is suing commissioners and Sheriff Jim Neil.

Erikca Montgomery says the same thing happened to her in 2017. Montgomery says she spent nine days in jail after all charges against her were dropped.

"I continued to sit and sit and sit so I had to put in paperwork more for like social services because I started losing faith I started panicing and  having anxiety Like am I going home" said Montgomery

Lewis says since he filed the lawsuit Friday, 24 people have called his office. He says he is still working to check out their stories.

"We have to sift through the facts to see if it's truly a case which fall within the parameters of our lawsuit.  If an individual is arrested posted  bond and is waiting for an electronic monitoring device and they've not been released they fall within our parameters" said Lewis

FOX19 NOW reached out to Sheriff Jim Neil for comment. He said he doesn't comment on pending litigation.

FO19 NOW also reached out to all three county commissioners. Todd Portune said he would get back to us, Chris Monzell and Denise Driehaus said they knew nothing about the lawsuit.

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