A woman visiting an inmate at an Orange County jail was forgotten and left overnight in the visitor’s area of the lockup, authorities said.
The woman, described only as being in her 30s, went to visit a person incarcerated at the Theo Lacy Facility, a maximum security jail, on Saturday, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
The person she was there to visit was not immediately available, so she was asked to wait in the visiting area, the department said.
While waiting, the visitor fell asleep in a booth. Visiting hours came and went, but no one noticed the woman, the sheriff said. It was not clear if the woman was locked inside or not.
She was left there overnight and was found the next morning with a minor laceration to her hand, according to a department press officer. It was not immediately clear how she was injured.
After the incident, sheriff’s officials launched an internal investigation and made two quick alterations to department protocol.
Supervisors are now required to physically check the visiting area after visiting hours end for the day. The jail is also planning to install an emergency phone in the area.
“This unfortunate incident should never have occurred. The department is committed to fully investigate and ensure this never happens again,” said Sgt. Frank Gonzalez, a spokesman for the department.