According to the US Justice Department’s domestic watchdog, surveillance at a federal county jail in the Texas City of Beaumont was so inadequate that four detainees were able to run away by hiding dummies in their mattresses or having other convicts masquerade as individuals.
Surveillance cameras and inadequate security in prison
Inspector General Michael Horowitz claimed his office discovered a range of security flaws at the Bureau of Prisons’ detention centers and satellite campuses, including leaving doors unsecured or utilizing tamper-proof lock, as well as inadequate fence and surveillance cameras.
Low-risk convicts, including those condemned of petty narcotics charges or white-collar offenses are often housed in these kind of prisons.
According to Horowitz, many prisoners have attempted to evade or smuggle drugs into these prisons.
Horowitz recounted the breakout of four detainees from the Beaumont facility in a memo criticizing state prison protection.
According to the report, the prisoners reportedly able to flee for more than 12 hours by putting dummies in their mattresses to create the impression as though they were still in their bars, or by having other convicts masquerade as them. Although guards were conducting three overnight prisoner assessments, the ruse worked.
The convicts were not identified in the statement, nor were the date of the occurrence or the number of dummies utilized.
The four men’s absence was eventually uncovered when the morning inmate headcount took place, according to the report. It went on to say that two of the four had presumably fled the prison to procure some sort of contraband.
The Bottom Line
“We found that the outer doors of separate buildings within the satellite prison camp at FCC (Federal Correctional Complex) Beaumont were unsecured in that they were unlocked, were unmanned, were not equipped with surveillance cameras, and had either non-functioning alarms or alarms that could be manipulated by inmates,” Horowitz said.
He claims that security gaps at federal detention centers and satellite detention camps provide a risk of prisoners escaping and smuggling contraband back into institutions undiscovered, putting the public at risk.