Sheriffs: Employee errors allow most jail escapes

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV)- Investigators are looking into how jail employees allowed three men to escape from the Faulkner County Detention Center over the weekend.

Chief Deputy Matt Rice told THV the escape wasthe result of employee error, andauthorities arereviewing employee policies at the department.

Lonoke County had a similar situation earlier this summer when a misdemeanor suspect escaped.

"It was a lapse in judgment by two of the detention facility employees who allowed the doors to be open at the wrong time and allowed the wrong doors to be open," said Sheriff John Staley. "Sometimes it's a training issue. Sometimes people make a mistake and a majority of the time it does result in termination or somebody losing a job."

The state's largest jail, in Pulaski County, had a similar incident with its most recent escape which happened two years ago. "The last escape actually came out of a rec yard for us as well and once again they were able to finagle something through the fence but it really did come down to employee diligence," added Pulaski County Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Carl Minden.

Sheriffs in Garland, Jackson, and Faulkner Counties have each had an escape in the past three weeks, however, authorities there have notcommented on how they plan to deal with employees involved in the incidents.

Arkansas Sheriff's Association Director Ronnie Baldwin said, "The counties are strapped for money and so lack of money leads to a lack of staffing. A lot of these jails are understaffed."


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