Michigan Prison Break Scenario Unlikely At Allen County Jail: Sheriff Fries

By Jeff Neumeyer

February 5, 2014 Updated Feb 5, 2014 at 6:29 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21ALIVE) --- Could it happen here?

Allen County's sheriff says it's highly unlikely our local jail is vulnerable to the kind of unsettling prison break that took place in Michigan this week.

It's puzzling how that escape went down.

An inmate who'd murdered four people somehow earned special privileges and freedoms as a trustee in the prison.

40-year old Michael Elliott snuck out to perimeter security fences, where he tore holes in the barrier, part of which was supposed to deliver an electric shock to anyone coming in contact with it.

The breach allowed Elliott to make his getaway.

He was caught in LaPorte Indiana Monday, after a carjacking and abduction.

Sheriff Ken Fries says Elliott likely spent a lot of time studying the prison's procedures and routines before pulling off his escape.

He believes security is boosted at our local jail, because prisoners are not allowed recreation time outside, in "fenced in" areas.
“We don't have the outside area we have to worry about. The biggest concerns we always have is, once they're outside the secured facility, because inside our jail is very secure and I doubt anyone will be able to get out. With all the monitoring systems we have in place, and different ways to check, it's going to be very, very difficult for that to happen," said Sheriff Fries.

There are times when inmates do get outside the walls of the jail.

They have to be transported from time to time to medical appointments, and of course, they have to be taken to and from court hearings.

Fries says those are times when you have the greatest chance of a jailbreak.

The sheriff says routines are changed up to keep inmates off guard, and unlike in prisons, where offenders often have a lot of time to plan out an escape, he maintains you don't really have that in jails that are generally temporary holding facilities.

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