Damaging a spork gets Johnson County inmate in trouble - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Damaging a spork gets Johnson County inmate in trouble

Tera Harris, 25 Tera Harris, 25
A spork A spork

An inmate at the Johnson County Jail was initially charged with fifth-degree criminal mischief after damaging jail property -- specifically, a spork.

Tera Harris, 25, was charged Sunday after authorities say she was given a food tray after normal inmate feeding times, started throwing food around the cell block and intentionally broke a spork.

The Johnson County Sheriff's Office said the sporks are specially designed for institutions that allow them to be washed and re-used, and called them "semi-indestructible."

A bag of three dozen polypropylene sporks is valued at $15.99, making the price of one spork approximately 44 cents.

The charge was later dismissed Tuesday morning by the Johnson County Attorney at Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek's request.

 In a statement, the Sheriff's Office said, "The decision to charge the person for the damage is not uncommon in the jail, but in this case a determination was made to handle it internally now via an inmate rules violation instead of pursuing the criminal violation."

Harris was in jail on charges related to an alleged theft at the Coralville Scheels store on April 7. According to a criminal complaint, Harris tried to take $564.91 of merchandise from the store. She was charged with third-degree theft and trespass.


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