Inmate hid sheet of personal data inside her body, planned to exploit info, Georgia sheriff says

CATOOSA COUNTY, Ga. — A plan to exploit inmates’ personal information was derailed by investigators at the Catoosa County Detention Center.

Catoosa County Sheriff Gary R. Sisk says a detention officer was using a printed housing sheet in the female cell block that inadvertently included inmates’ social security numbers and dates of birth.

Sisk said the officer mistakenly left the sheet behind in the block.

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On Feb. 10, inmates began telling detention officers about the sheet and that an inmate had it. The cell block was searched but they could not find the sheet.

Inmates were heard on recorded phone calls telling people about a data breach and that they were going to get “paid.”

Sisk said this appeared to be an organized effort to leverage the private information.

On Feb. 12, several inmates were interviewed and told officers that inmate Sarah Howard had the sheet. When interviewed, Howard said she sent the sheet out with an inmate who was released for “safekeeping.”

Sisk said Howard insinuated that she would return the data in exchange for her release from custody.

Investigators spoke with the inmate that was released to another law enforcement agency and she said Howard’s claims were not true.


On Feb. 13, the detention center allowed inmates to call the credit reporting agencies to freeze their credit as a precautionary measure.

Inmates continued to report that Howard still had the housing sheet.

Investigators questioned Howard again, who then confessed that she was storing the sheet inside her body.

She extracted the sheet and returned it to the detention staff. Sisk said Howard is receiving disciplinary action and is being considered for criminal action.

The other inmates who participated are also being considered for disciplinary action.

The detention officer who left the housing sheet in the cell block was reprimanded.

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