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The capture of two escaped murderers earlier this week brought a welcomed sense of relief to Utah residents - especially to the families of the killers' victims. Now comes the task of evaluating why the escape occurred and how to prevent similar incidents in the future.
As long as there have been jails, inmates have found creative ways to escape. Give a desperate prisoner an inch and he'll find a way to squeeze through it. In this instance, though, it appears the inmates were given gaping holes.
-Only one full-time sheriff's deputy and one other employee on duty at the time overseeing 118 inmates at the Daggett County jail!
-A malfunctioning security camera in a key area!
-An electronically controlled security door left open!
The temptation to make a run for it must have been irresistible, which is a very sad commentary on the state of that particular jail. It begs the question: how many gaping holes might there be in the 20 county jails in Utah that house some 1,500 state prison inmates? And what of the practice of sending hardened prisoners, including murderers to such facilities?
Naturally, this terribly embarrassing incident has led to immediate evaluations of policies and procedures. Getting answers and implementing solutions must be equally expeditious.