Only 28 prisoners escaped in 18 month, but the escapes are amazing
Prisons are in gross neglect
In the United States, 29 prisoners have escaped from state prisons in the last year and a half. Sometimes guards forget to lock doors, broken security cameras are not made directly, and sometimes guards don’t notice they’re missing a prisoner for hours.
News agency The Associated Press (AP) writes today. In a Cell Complex in Texas, Security is so lax that local law enforcement jokes about ” open door policy.” The escapes all took place in prisons with minimal security, some of which do not even have a fence. The jailed who are still unaccounted for have a ‘low security risk for the community’: for example, they were detained for extortion, internet fraud, bank robberies, drug possession and drug trafficking.
In Beaumont, Texas, the prison faced an escape that would not be out of place in a comic book. Four prisoners’ escape out and their cell went unnoticed for more than twelve hours. During that time, prison guards carried out three prison counts, but the escapees had put dummies in their beds to deceive the prison guards.
“These are very small, unsafe facilities,” says Cameron Lindsay, a retired director of the Bureau of Prisons. Because of the generally low risk that prisoners pose, federal prison camps often have the lowest staffing levels in the justice system. Sometimes there’s only one officer who oversees a shift, he says. Incidentally, the Justice Department itself says that there have been no escapes, but those who have escaped from minimum security prisons or camps are not included. The federal government calls these prisoners “runaways”.
According to AP, the figures give rise to serious concerns about this part of the US judicial system. There is ’chronic mismanagement, misconduct and a serious staff crisis’, which makes it unable to perform its most basic function: keeping prisoners in prison. One third of the custodian vacancies have been open for a long time, giving cooks, teachers and nurses, for example, the task of keeping an eye on prisoners.
Meanwhile, the Beaumont cell complex is building a fence, broken door alarms are being repaired elsewhere in the country and additional video cameras are being installed.
“We take our duty seriously to protect the persons entrusted to our custody, as well as to maintain the security of the custodians and the community.”