RECENT ESCAPES
FROM PRIVATE PRISONS

1995-2000

(Source: http://www.crosswinds.net/~capp/recentescapes.htm )

March, 2000

Chula Vista, California (Extradition International)

A convicted murderer and a convicted robber overpowered a private guard, stole his gun and then stole a gun from the other guard who was sleeping in the transport van. The murderer was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. The Nevada inmates were being transported to other states.

{San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/ 27/00}

January, 2000

Acton, California (Extradition International)

Three inmates escaped from a private transport company when the private guards stopped at a mini-mart and left the keys in the ignition. When the guards weren’t looking, the inmates jumped in the front seat and the CA Highway Patrol on a high-speed chase that ended in a crash. {Los Angeles Times, 1/24/00}

November, 1999

McKinley County Detention Center, New Mexico (Correctional Services Corp/CSC)

On Friday, November 26, five inmates escaped from the county jail operated by Correctional Services Corp. This brings the total to 9 the number of inmates who have escaped from the prison in the last 3 months. CSC’s vice president blamed the escapes on the facility claiming it is structurally unsound. The inmates climbed through a skylight. CSC recently lost the contract to run this prison. {Albuquerque Journal, 11/26/99}

November, 1999

Pamlico Corrections Facility, North Carolina (Corrections Corp. of America/CCA)

A convicted murderer escaped from the custody of Corrections Corporation of America staff while undergoing medical tests. The inmate has a history of escape. CCA officials say that the state of North Carolina will pay for the cost associated with the search.

{New Bern Sun Journal (NC) 11/18/99}

October, 1999

Metro Davidson County Detention Facility, Tennessee (CCA)

An inmate convicted of aggravated burglary escaped from custody at the CCA-operated facility by slipping out of his handcuffs and running away. There was only one guard watching the inmates and he decided to stay with the other 15 inmates rather than pursue the escapee. {The Tennessean, 10/19/99}

 

October, 1999

Santa Rosa, New Mexico (TransCor/CCA)

A convicted murderer from North Dakota en route to Oregon used a handcuff key smuggled in his shoe to unlock his handcuffs, climb through a air vent and escape from a secure transport van operated by TransCor, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Corrections Corp. of America. Although the escaped occurred around 4:00 am, it wasn’t reported to police until 3:00 pm – 11 hours after the fact. {Albuquerque Journal, 10/14/99}

September, 1999

McKinley County Adult Facility, New Mexico (CSC)

Four inmates escaped from the private jail in New Mexico operated by Correctional Services Corp. The sheriff’s office was not notified of the escape until an hour and 15 minutes has passed. They crawled through an air vent. Two were jailed on parole violation and burglary charges. The other two escapees were in jail awaiting trial on murder, aggravated battery and kidnapping charges. {Albuquerque Journal, 9/6-8/99}

August, 1999

Liberty County Jail, Texas (CCA)

Two inmates escaped from the CCA-operated jail by climbing through an air vent in a bathroom. One was caught later that day, but the other, a charged with auto theft and burglary had a previous escape charge and was found 5 days later. {Houston Chronicle, 9-4-99}

August, 1999

Frio County Detention Center, Texas (CSC)

Two inmates escaped by digging a hole behind the toilet in their prison cell continue to elude authorities. They crawled from the hole onto an unguarded walkway and then slipped out of the building through an unsecured back door.

{San Antonio Express-News, August 30, 1999}

August, 1999

Hardeman County Correctional Facility, Tennessee (CCA)

While at a nearby hospital, after the guard took off his handcuffs and leg irons, a 5-foot, 4-inch inmate, weighing 130 pounds, overpowered the guard, stole his gun, took a woman hostage, stole her car and fled down the interstate. He was serving a 25-year sentence for robbery. {The Commercial Appeal, August 17, 1999}

August, 1999

South Bay Correctional Facility, Florida (Wackenhut)

Authorities were searching for an inmate who escaped from the medium-security to close-custody prison around 10:00 p.m. [Palm Beach Post, August 12, 1999}

July, 1999

Bent County Correctional Facility, Colorado (CCA)

A 24-year-old inmate escaped from the private prison. Officials believe he may have stowed away on a trash truck. He is still at large. Earlier in the month, another inmate who was working at the regional recycling center escaped after hot-wiring a prison van.

{The Denver Post, August 1, 1999}

July, 1999

Washington, District of Columbia (CCA)

Two maximum-security DC inmates who were serving time for murder escaped from two guards who were driving them back to a Virginia prison. The guards left the door to the van unlocked and the inmates were somehow able to remove their leg irons and flee.

{Washington Post, July 29, 1999}

July, 1999

Union City Center, Oklahoma (Avalon Correctional Services)

There have been six escapees since the center opened in February of this year. The latest escapee, being held on drug and auto theft convictions was caught minutes after scaling the center’s fence. The escape ignited a 45-minute rampage by three other inmates who attacked guards, damaged the building before they too, tried to escape. They were caught in the exercise yard. {The Daily Oklahoman, July 20-21, 1999}

June, 1999

Frederick County Juvenile Detention Facility, Maryland (CSC)

Three inmates escaped yesterday from the facility in the second security breach at a Baltimore-area CSC facility in 48 hours. They pried open the security screens and escaped in a stolen facility car. The escape follows a rape last week of a female employee. {The Baltimore Sun, June 28, 1999}

May, 1999

West Tennessee Detention Facility, Mason, Tennessee (CCA)

Two inmates escaped from CCA’s Mason facility in broad daylight on Thursday afternoon at 3:00. One of the inmates was serving 220 years for deliberate homicide and attempted homicide. The other was serving 50 years for robbery, use of a weapon and theft. They climbed over the fence. Two other inmates were caught on the fence.

{The Associated Press, May 21, 1999}

April, 1999

Promontory Prison, Draper, UT (Management & Training Co./MTC)

Three inmates used a file to cut through a section of the chain link fence and escaped from the private prison. They walked to a nearby auto mall, broke into a lock box and stole a car. {Salt Lake Tribune, April 6, 1999}

March, 1999

Correctional Treatment Facility, Washington, DC (CCA)

A convicted killer, confined to a wheelchair cut through the bars on the window of his eighth-floor cell, tied bedsheets into a rope and climbed out of the prison undetected. The sheets unraveled and he plunged to the pavement below. An unidentified woman picked him up and took him to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead an hour later.

{The Washington Post, March 16, 1999}

March, 1999

INS Detention Facility, Houston, Texas (CCA)

A Cuban national overpowered a guard and fled out of the facility into a waiting van. The escapee was convicted of "burglary of a habitation with intent to commit aggravated rape with a deadly weapon." {Houston Chronicle, March 2, 1999}

January, 1999

South Central Correctional Facility, Tennessee (CCA)

Confessed murderer David Britt escaped from CCA’s prison in Wayne County by dressing as a guard and getting a female private prison guard to escort him out during a shift change. {The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) February 1, 1999}

December, 1998

Polk Correctional Institution, Florida (CSC)

Two juvenile inmates successfully escaped from CSC’s facility. Both had prior escape attempts on record and remain at large. {The Ledger (Lakeland, FL) December 14, 1998}

December, 1998

Great Plains Correctional Facility, Hinton, Oklahoma (Cornell)

A convicted child molester with a history of escape climbed over the fence and out of Cornell’s private prison. He was captured five days later in San Bernadino, CA. Cornell reported that the escape occurred a full day after it happened. {Tulsa World, December 13, 1999}

October, 1998

Bexar County Secure Juvenile Correctional Treatment Center, Texas

(Children’s Comprehensive Services/CCS)

On October 21, three male inmates kicked open a rear gate and escaped. Less than a week later, another inmate escaped through an unlocked front gate.

{San Antonio Express-News, November 11, 1998}

October, 1998

South Central Correctional Facility, Nashville, Tennessee (CCA)

Four inmates (murderers and rapists) cut their way to freedom. Three were recaptured within days, but the last, serving a life sentence for aggravated rape and robbery was recaptured a month later in the Los Angeles suburb of San Fernando. The guards did not learn of the escape until they discovered the hole in the fence.

[The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) October 30, 1998}

September, 1998

West Tennessee Detention Facility, Mason, Tennessee (CCA)

An inmate serving 34 years for aggravated rape escaped from this CCA facility and made it to New Mexico before capture. A traffic cop pulled him over for a routine stop, and then learned that he was the escapee. When the local tv station in Tennessee first inquired of CCA if there had been an escape, CCA said that there had not been an escape.

{The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) September 7, 1998}

August, 1998

Teller County Jail, Colorado (Civigenics)

Andre Ingold slipped out a door at the jail’s gymnasium about 6:30 p.m., climbed a fence and fled across a field. He is charged with beating a man to death with a shovel in May.

{The Denver Post, August 8, 1998}

August, 1998

Auburn, California (TransCor/CCA)

One of 11 inmates in a van operated by TransCor, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CCA, escaped in Placer County. The inmate, picked up in Texarkana, TX was being delivered to an Arizona prison. A search team comprised of 30 officers from various agencies began a massive manhunt. TransCor was making a loop through northern CA.

{Sacramento Bee, August 14, 1998}

July, 1998

Newton County Correctional Center, Texas (CSC)

A convicted rapist from Hawaii cut his way out of a maximum-security private prison and hitchhiked his way out of town. He was serving seven life terms for stabbing and torturing a blind man and raping the man’s girlfriend. {Austin American-Statesman, July 21, 1998}

July, 1998

Northeast Ohio Correctional Center, Youngstown, Ohio (CCA)

Six inmates, in broad daylight, cut through the fence with wirecutters and escaped. Four were convicted murders. Five were caught within days, but the sixth was on the run for over a month, finally captured in New York. The inmates got past the motion detectors, the fence sensors, the video cameras, the guards inside the perimeter and the guards outside the perimeter. It was the other inmates who first notified law enforcement. They called from inside the prison and told the county sheriff of the escape. When the sheriff called CCA back, the sheriff was told that there was no escape. The sheriff found CCA guards combing the nearby woods, claiming they were conducting a practice drill.

{Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 2, 1998; Columbus Dispatch, July 27, 1998}

May, 1998

Broward County Jail, Florida (Wackenhut)

Two inmates escaped from Wackenhut’s Broward County facility.

{The Sun-Sentinel (Ft. Lauderdale, FL), May 26, 1998}

May, 1998

Hardeman County Correctional Facility, Tennessee (CCA)

Convicted rapist Reginald Ivory was released by CCA two years before his release date. Ivory remains at large. {CCA’s Hardeman County Correctional Facility Incident Report, May 7, 1998}

March, 1998

Taft Correctional Facility, California (Wackenhut)

An inmate escaped from the maximum-security area from this privately-operated Federal Bureau of Prisons facility. [The Bakersfield Californian, December 9, 1998]

 

March, 1998

Florida County Jail (Wackenhut)

Unbeknownst to the Wackenhut guards monitoring the minimum-security facility, two convicts escaped through a window. While Wackenhut officials said they think their staff followed procedures, it was later learned that a Wackenhut guard had befriended the inmates and purposefully left a door open so the two could escape.

[The Sun-Sentinel (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) March 25, 1998 & April 2, 1998]

January, 1998

Santa Rosa Facility, New Mexico (Wackenhut)

A federal inmate escaped from Wackenhut’s Santa Rosa facility after cutting a hole in the fence and jumping to the pavement. A guard discovered the hole, and after a head count learned of the escape. (Motion detectors, fence sensors, cameras and guards failed to notice the escape in progress.) {San Antonio Express-News, January 25, 1998}

December, 1997

Illinois, TransCor, (CCA)

Three convicts removed their shackles, kicked the private guard out of the van and sped away while the other guard was buying Whoppers inside the Burger King. One of the escapees, Homer Land, convicted of aggravated battery, kidnapped a nearby couple for 12 hours before they were able to escape. Homer had been picked up in Minnesota and was en route to Florida at the time of his escape. {Chicago Tribune, 12/7/97}

December, 1997

Indiana, TransCor (CCA)

A convicted pedophile was among several convicts who escaped from a CCA-TransCor van. They kicked the guard out of the van and made their getaway.

{Indianapolis News, December 12, 1997}

October, 1997

Toledo, Ohio (Federal Extradition Agency, Inc)

Four inmates escaped in a private prisoner company van with a shotgun and four rounds of ammunition in it. The two guards had left the inmates alone in the van with the engine still running. They were later re-captured by the Ohio Highway Patrol.

{United Press International, 10/24/97}

September, 1997

Basile Detention Center, Louisiana (LCS, Inc.)

Five Idaho inmates escaped from a private prison in southwestern Louisiana. Of the two remaining at large, one is a convicted murderer, the other a convicted child sexual abuser.

{Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA) October 9, 1997}

August, 1997

Eagle Mountain Community Correctional Facility, California (MTC)

On August 12, 1997, one inmate escaped from the Eagle Mountain Community Correctional Facility in Desert Center, which is operated by MTC of Odgen, Utah.

{Offender Information Services Branch. CA Dept. of Corrections, 1999}

July, 1997

Pueblo County, Colorado (Federal Extradition Agency, Inc.)

An Arkansas convict, serving two life terms for two kidnappings, six rapes and an assortment of other crimes, escaped from a private prisoner transport company. He was on his way to Arkansas from Utah when he disarmed the lone guard in the van while the other guard was delivering a California prisoner inside a Colorado county jail. The escapee then used the gun he stole from the guard to commandeer a pickup truck.

{Denver Post, 8/4/97}

July, 1997

Baker Community Correctional Facility, California (Cornell Corrections)

Two inmates escaped from Cornell Corrections Baker facility for men on July 15. The facility houses approximately 270 inmates.

{Offender Information Services Branch. CA Dept. of Corrections, 1999}

July, 1997

Hardeman County Correctional Facility, Tennessee (CCA)

A convicted rapist escaped from CCA’s Hardeman County Correctional Facility. He climbed over a back fence about 9:00 pm, Saturday night. He was serving a 10-year sentence for two counts of rape and aggravated burglary.

{The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) July 28, 1997}

In the eight county jail facilities operated by CCA, there have been 26 escapes

{The Ledger (Lakeland, FL) June 9, 1997}

 

June, 1997

Marion County, Florida (Federal Extradition Agency, Inc.)

A convicted felon being taken to Broward County left alone to urinate behind a gas station escaped from the private guards. Authorities believe he may have hitchhiked a ride with a trucker and left the county. {Palm Beach Post, 6/22/97}

May, 1997

Aurora Detention Center, Colorado (Wackenhut)

At least two guards were fired and another one quit after investigation into an escape by three inmates from the Aurora center that holds undocumented aliens.

{The Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO), November 30, 1998}

April, 1997

North Harris County Facility, Texas (CCA)

A 35-yr old Cuban national escaped from CCA’s North Harris County Facility on April 30, 1997. He had been convicted for aggravated assault on a police officer. He left the facility sometime between 8:30 pm and 11:00 pm. {Houston Chronicle, May 2, 1997}

February, 1997

Columbia Training Center, South Carolina (CCA)

A mass escape of eight youths from CCA’s private prison for juveniles has prompted the Governor to call for an investigation. Officials with the prison say they were following established procedures. (The Governor cancelled the contract with CCA later that year.)

{State News Briefs, South Carolina, February 12, 1997}

January, 1997

Karnes County Correctional Center, Texas (Bobby Ross Group/BRG)

A Colorado inmate, Agustin Bravo, who was serving a 24-year sentence for murder escaped from the private prison in Texas. {San Antonio New-Express, January 14, 1997}

January, 1997

Lockhart Correctional Facility, Texas (Wackenhut)

State prison officials captured an escapee from Wackenhut’s Lockhart facility in Texas. He climbed over a back fence in heavy fog. A patrol guard responded to the fence alarm shortly after 7:30 am and didn’t see anything suspicious. Several inmates noticed him missing, but he wasn’t reported missing until 1:00 pm.

{Austin American-Statesman, January 25 & 27, 1997}

November, 1996

Frio County Detention Center, Texas (Dove Dev. Corp.)

The escaped-plagued, privately run detention center is scheduled to change hands later this month. Eight inmates have escaped from the facility during the past year, with the latest two escapees still at large. {San Antonio News-Express, November 1, 1996}

October, 1996

Central Arizona Detention Center, Florence, Arizona (CCA)

Six inmates from Alaska escaped, including a murderer (beat his wife to death) and a rapist (repeat sex-offender who raped his girlfriend’s 9 year old son) from CCA’s prison in Arizona. CCA’s VP of Communications, Susan Hart, said its too early to tell if CCA did anything wrong! The inmates cut a three-foot hole in the fence, the alarms sounded, but the guards found nothing wrong. One of the escapees had previously escaped from a jail in Alaska. {Anchorage Daily News, October 22, 1996}

September, 1996

Karnes County Correctional Facility, Texas (BRG)

Two Colorado inmates escaped from the private prison in Karnes County Texas. The escapees were serving time for aggravated robbery and attempted first-degree murder.

{San Antonio Express-News; October 1, 1996}

September, 1996

Central Arizona Detention Center, Florence, Arizona (CCA)

Kelly Chavez, an inmate from Oregon, scaled the razor wire at CCA’s Florence Arizona prison and escaped. Oregon Dept. of Corrections spokesman Perrin Damon said he’s still confident in CCA and that "It’s a very secure facility."

{The Bulletin (Bend, Oregon), September 9, 1996}

August, 1996

INS Detention Center, Houston, Texas (CCA)

Two Oregon sex offenders escaped from the facility. However, nobody in Texas knew CCA was housing violent out-of-state criminals in the minimum-security detention center. The two were caught about 10 days later on the outskirts of Dallas. The chairman of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice said that he fears Texas is becoming a "dumping ground" for the worst kinds of prisoners from other states. The inmates cannot be prosecuted for escape in Texas (not a crime to escape from private company) nor can they be prosecuted for escape in Oregon (they committed no crime in Oregon).

{Houston Chronicle, September 3, 1996; The Bulletin (Bend, Oregon, August 28, 1996}

Relatedly, CCA issued a statement saying, "The company is not obligated to notify local authorities or state corrections officials of out-of-state inmates being housed there. However, considering the interest of those officials, the company believes that notification in the future is appropriate." Susan Hart, CCA’s VP of Communications said, "It is not our function to capture them." This was the fourth escape since CCA opened the facility. {Houston Chronicle, August 18, 1996}

August, 1996

Columbia Training Center, South Carolina (CCA)

Three youths escaped from the state’s newest juvenile prison which had opened just last month. The facility is operated by CCA.

{The Post Courier (Charleston, SC), August 13, 1996}

August, 1996

San Antonio Corrections Center, Texas (Wackenhut)

A double-murderer escaped from Wackenhut’s San Antonio Corrections Center in August. He was serving a life sentence without parole for the 1992 killing of two people in Oklahoma. {San Antonio Express-News, October 6, 1996}

August, 1996

Karnes County Correctional Facility, Texas (BRG)

Two men convicted of burglary escaped from the privately-operated prison in August.

{San Antonio News-Express, January 14, 1997}

April, 1996

Liberty County Jail, Texas (CCA)

A child molester and armed robber escaped from the CCA-operated county jail in Liberty, TX. They hit one guard over the head with a hand tool and then locked up two guards in a cell before they escaped. Authorities believe that the two may be armed with a .410-guage shotgun. {The Houston Chronicle, April 10, 1996]}

April, 1996

Limestone County Detention Center, Texas

(Capital Correctional Resources Inc./CCRI)

Two Oklahoma inmates cut a hole in a fence and escaped. {Saturday Oklahoman, April 6, 1996}

March, 1996

Shelby Training Center, Memphis, Tennessee (CCA)

Three inmates escaped from the Shelby Training Center. They were sitting in a stolen car when they were captured by US Marshals. {The Chattanooga Free Press, September 19, 1996}

February, 1996

Wyatt Detention Facility, Central Falls, Rhode Island (Cornell)

Four prisoners cut through a fence and climbed over razor wire to escape from a privately operated federal detention facility. One was considered extremely dangerous. Over the course of several weeks, the detainees cut through a chain-link fence with a hacksaw they had smuggled in. They were undetected by the video cameras and the passing security guards. {The Providence Journal-Bulletin (Rhode Island) April 20, 1996}

January, 1996

Odessa Detention Center, Odessa, Texas (GRW Corp.)

Two medium-security inmates, one a convicted murderer and the other who was convicted of possession of a weapon in jail climbed through the wire fence at the privately-operated prison. {Tulsa World, January 17, 1996}

1995

Tennessee Prison (CCA)

Inmate escaped from a Tennessee CCA prison in 1995 was captured in 1997 in California and sentenced to 15 years for weapons possession. {Chattanooga Free Press, April 6, 1998}

December, 1995

Mesa Verde Correctional Facility, Bakersfield, CA (Alternative Programs, Inc.)

On December 18, one inmate escaped from a private community correctional facility (CCF) in Bakersfield operated by Alternative Programs, Inc.

{Offender Information Services Branch. CA Dept. of Corrections, 1999}

November, 1995

Baker Community Correctional Facility, Baker, California (Cornell)

One inmate escaped from the Cornell Corrections – operated facility in Baker, California on November 22, 1995. Offender Information Services Branch. CA Dept. of Corrections, 1999}

November, 1995

Metro Detention Facility, Nashville, Tennessee (CCA)

The nine juveniles who walked away from the CCA facility had a 30 minute head start before authorities started looking for them. Several teens jumped a pair of guards and then fled. Although police were there immediately, they was forced to wait outside for 15 minutes until a CCA representative came out and told them that an escape had occurred. The security system had been broken for days. One of the escapees was awaiting trial for murder. {The Nashville Banner, November 8, 1995}

 

 

November, 1995

Metro Detention Facility, Nashville, Tennessee (CCA)

A four-time escapee, convicted of assault, stalking and burglary, escaped once again from a CCA facility. He scaled the razor-wire fence. This is the fourth escape at the same facility in the last three years. {The Tennessean, November 28, 1995}

September, 1995

Metro Detention Facility, Nashville, Tennessee (CCA)

Two inmates, convicted of aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery, escaped from the CCA facility armed with a screwdriver. {The Tennessean, September 25, 1995}

August, 1995

Baker Community Correctional Facility, California (Cornell)

On August 14, one inmate escaped from Cornell’s Baker CCF.

{Offender Information Services Branch, CA Dept. of Corrections, 1999}

July, 1995

Florida (TransCor/CCA)

Three juvenile inmates escaped in the TransCor car when the guard got out and left the keys in the ignition. They stole the car, burglarized a home and stole another car before the last of them was recaptured two days later. {The Tampa Tribune, August 1, 1995}

July, 1995

Silverdale Workhouse, Tennessee (CCA)

An inmate placed a blanket and mattress on top of the razor wire, climbed over the fence and escaped. CCA said he escaped sometime between 9:30 and 11:15 pm.

{The Chattanooga Free Press, July 3, 1995}

CCA, commenting on its potential legal liability stated, "There can be no assurance, however, that the Company’s insurance will be adequate to cover potential third-party claims." {CCA Prospectus; Summary, May 31, 1996}