Shocker: Convicts Let Out on Tsunami Fears Don't Return to Jail

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Where are we as a society when we can’t trust inmates to voluntarily return to jail after a conditional release? Honor must truly be dead.

Officers at a prison in Pidie, Aceh, Indonesia (pictured below), released 62 prisoners from jail this weak over fears of an imminent tsunami after a magnitude 8.7 earthquake rocked the area near the prison. Of those 62 convicts, only 28 returned as promised.

That means more than half of the inmates released from Aceh are now at large in the Indonesian province.

“They didn’t break out, but were released. It was because there were people shouting about rising [sea level],” said Aceh Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Gustav Leo, According to the Jakarta Globe.

Officials at the prison explained the conditional release, citing residual trauma from the 2004 tsunami that claimed more than 200,000 lives in Aceh. Corrections officers called the release an act of mercy.

According to prison records, many of the criminals who failed to return are violent offenders serving out sentences for murder and drug convictions.

“Some of them have called and said they will be back,” a prison official assured the Globe, but as of Thursday morning, the whereabouts of the remaining 34 convicts remained unknown.