DOC: Escapes Due To Manpower, Funding, Structural Issues At Minimum Security Prison
McALESTER, Oklahoma - Changes are coming to the Jackie Brannon Correctional Center in McAlester to hopefully prevent more prisoners from walking away.
Officials with the Department of Corrections say that funding, man power, and structural issues are just a few factors contributing to inmates walking away.
They say there are only nine officers per shift watching more than 700 inmates.
The warden says that structural issues throughout the prison also make it hard to keep contraband out.
“This was originally build as a hospital in 1938,” said Warden Greg Breslin. “It wasn’t built originally or designed as a prison.”
Just last month, the warden says, a prisoner got caught after sneaking out a window.
“He thought, ‘I’m tired of being incarcerated’ and he just walked off,” said Breslin.
Matt Elliott with the DOC says walkaways are not an issue that happens often at minimum security facilities.
The types of individuals who are inmates at minimum security prisons, they are doing their time,” said Elliott. “These folks are trying to get treatment, they are trying to get work experience so they can get out and put this behind them.”
Breslin says one security change the prison is making is for prisoners to wear bright orange jumpsuits instead of gray ones, so the prisoner is easier to spot if they walk away.
The struggle right now, officials say, is finding the balance between letting the prisoners have the independence minimum security facilities allow and making sure they don’t escape.
The Warden says they are in talks about possible bolting the windows closed to prevent future prisoners from walking away.