Two inmates at a Mississippi county jail that recently had four others break free escaped on Monday morning. One was recaptured by law enforcement but the other escapee remains on the loose.
According to local media sources, Michael Lewis and Joseph Spring, both 31 years old, crawled through an air duct to at least temporary freedom from the Raymond Detention Center. Their escape was discovered during the morning headcount.
Hinds county Sheriff Tyree Jones told reporters the breakout occurred “inside the ceiling” above the facility’s recreation room. The two inmates apparently entered the air duct and made their way out of the building.
Lewis and Spring then cleared the fence and left the grounds.
Later in the day, Jones said that a deputy discovered blood where the two fled along with other items believed to be in their possession. He apologized to the community for the incident, terming it a “public safety breach” Monday afternoon.
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Authorities report Spring had been incarcerated there since last November due to burglary charges and a parole violation. Lewis arrived at the detention center a month later due for a DUI and marijuana possession.
Lewis was apprehended on Memorial Day evening near Seven Springs and Springridge Road by law enforcement during their manhunt, but Spring at last report was still on the run.
It was just April when four other detainees were able to break free from Raymond Detention Center. This security breach ended tragically as one of the escapees then killed a preacher before dying in a house fire while in a standoff with Leake County deputies.
Another of the detainees was found dead in a white pickup truck at a New Orleans truck stop. The two others were later recaptured after a massive manhunt.
Sheriff Jones told reporters that funding is a major issue at the facility. He said the detention center needs upgrades “to be able to address some of these long-standing issues.”
The number one priority for those who run detention facilities is the safety of the surrounding community. Clearly this county jail needs upgrades, whether they are in infrastructure, manpower, leadership, or all three.
Six inmates allowed to escape in just over a month is an indefensible track record.