Elizabeth Mansfield, 22, stood before Judge Rachel Bringer Shepherd at the Marion County Courthouse in Hannibal on Monday, Nov. 18, for a probation condition review hearing. The judge commended her for making payments to the court as scheduled, for having gainful employment, and for reporting regularly to her probation officer.
There was only one item that caused the judge concern. Mansfield was recently caught trying to sneak cigarettes to her brother, an inmate at the Marion County Jail in Palmyra. “I appreciate your love for your brother,” the judge said, “but I can’t have people trying to deliver contraband to prisoners.
“This came out of nowhere,” the judge said. “You are very bright and very capable. You can do about anything you like, you just have to put your mind to it.”
The judge expressed gratefulness that it was only cigarettes, not marijuana or narcotics, involved. But regardless, she wanted her message heard.
She sentenced Mansfield to 10 days in the county jail, to be served 48 hours at a time, within the next two months, and for her to reimburse the county for her board bill. The judge also recommended family or codependency counseling.
Marion County Prosecuting Attorney Tom Redington told the judge he does not plan to file a motion to revoke her existing suspended execution of sentence. She received the SES in February 2012 after entering a guilty plea to tampering with a motor vehicle, a Class C felony.
Sheriff Jimmy Shinn, in response to questions about smuggling issues at the jail, said that when inmates are transported to the Hannibal or Palmyra courthouses, smuggling opportunities arise.
He said that inmates will ask family and friends to tape items under the rail inside the elevator in the Hannibal courthouse, or under the toilet at the Palmyra courthouse. The inmates then check these spots in order to retrieve the contraband. His deputies are always on the lookout for such actions, the sheriff said.
As a sidenote, smoking is not allowed at the Marion County jail. The new vapor cigarettes, which emit vapor instead of smoke, are allowed, if inmates buy them for themselves, Sheriff Shinn said.
He said since the jail went smoke free, the overall atmosphere of the jail is cleaner, and they have noted fewer respiratory medical complaints from the inmates.