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UPDATE: Jail break at Alabama prison where Vermont inmates were held


Published June 8, 2009 at 1:56 p.m.

File this story under "And not a moment too soon": An embarrassing (and dangerous) jail break occurred two weeks ago at the Alabama prison where some Vermont inmates had been held until just recently. In April, the Vermont Department of Corrections decided to remove the 80 or so inmates it had at the Perry County Detention Center in Uniontown, Alabama, over concerns about safety and (go figure) lax security. The prison is owned by LCS Corrections Services, a for-profit prison company based in Lafayette, Louisiana.

According to this June 5 Associated Press story, police in seven states are now searching for a convicted murderer, a fellow inmate and the women who busted them out of the privately owned prison. Reportedly, the Alabama Department of Corrections wasn't notified of the escape until 12 hours after it occurred. (There's no mention in the story as to why it took the AP two weeks to learn of the escape.) Meanwhile, seven prison employees have been fired for the series of security blunders that allowed the daring plot to occur.

"You can't deny it: they did an excellent job," Richard Harbison, executive vice president of LCS Corrections Services told the AP about the escapees, not his staff. "But you have to remember that inmates have 24 hours a day to sit around and think up ways to escape."