The mistaken release of the prisoner, who was serving a 60-year sentence in Indiana for murder, focused attention on an antiquated corner of the criminal justice system that still relies extensively on paper documents rather than computers in moving detainees around and keeping tabs on their court status.
The episode prompted promises of change, but also some finger-pointing about who was to blame for a mistake with precedent in the Cook County system.
"We're not ducking the fact we dropped the ball. We made mistakes," Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said Friday. "The public deserves much more. We're going to find out what went wrong here."
In Robbins' case, his transfer to Illinois to begin with was the result of a mistake, officials said.
He was brought before a Cook County Circuit Court judge on Tuesday and Wednesday over drug and armed violence charges in a case that it turns out had been dismissed in 2007. But because law enforcement authorities were still seeing an active arrest warrant, his transfer was requested and approved, according to Dart's office.
In a second lapse that Dart took responsibility for, he acknowledged that paperwork was lost that would have made it clear to Illinois officials that Robbins was to be returned to Indiana custody. As a result, he was allowed to walk out of the Cook County Jail's main gate on Wednesday evening. It took another 24 hours before the public was alerted that he was on the loose.