In the days following the escape and recapture of two dangerous inmates from Hopkins County, Texas Rangers and the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice have worked with the sheriff's department to identify the problems with the jail.
Chief Sheriff's Investigator Lewis Tatum said the sheriff's office “makes no excuses, but assures the citizens of Hopkins County steps have been taken to reduce the possibility for any future escape.”
Rangers and prison officials identified flaws in jail security, policies and procedures that contributed to the escape last week.
“The issues were that there were not proper, I'd say in the way inmates were being watched,” Tatum said. “Basically, there was not a guard outside that fence, they were watching [inmates] from the guard shack and that's where our problem was.”
Sheriff Butch Adams said a jail supervisor should been on the recreation yard or outside the fence when the escape occurred.
“At that time they had a person in the guard shack that was watching them,” he said. “I can only assume they got distracted working the board opening doors and stuff and by the time they looked back, we're talking three to five minutes before they figure out they were gone.”
“That problem has been taken care of,” Tatum said. “We hope to not have this problem in the future.”
Patrol Captain Henry Turner is, on a temporary basis, assisting Jail Administrator Kevin Lester in working with jail staff to maintain the security measures and to improve procedures within the county jai.
Sheriff Adams and Investigator Tatum emphasized that the department's highest priority is to protect the citizens of Hopkins County and all necessary steps are being taken to insure this protection.
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