Saturday, April 29, 2017

Complaints Ignored Before Jailbreak at the O.C. Jail

At the Los Angeles Times, "O.C. deputies complained of lax policies before 2016 jail escape, but they were ignored, grand jury finds":

Deputies at the Central Men’s Jail in Santa Ana had long complained of flawed inmate monitoring procedures that allowed three men to escape from the facility last year, but nothing was done to correct the problem, according to a report released by the Orange County Grand Jury this week.

The scathing study listed failures by officials that contributed to the escape, which made national headlines and became a major embarrassment for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

The grand jury cited a flawed inmate counting procedure, the failure of deputies to remove jerry-built tents around the escapees’ bunks that may have concealed their activites and inadequate monitoring of the jail’s plumbing system, which the inmates used to gain access to the roof, as major factors in the escape.

A lack of surveillance cameras and lighting in the plumbing tunnels and on the roof, which the inmates rappelled down from before, were also cited as problematic in the report.

Deputies failed to catch on to an escape plot even though the report found it likely took months of planning and would have involved loud sawing and cutting as the prisoners worked to gain access to the plumbing tunnels.

Authorities have said that Hossein Nayeri, Jonathan Tieu and Bac Duong were able to obtain a cutting tool and saw through several layers of metal and rebar when they broke out of the jail in January 2016, sparking a statewide manhunt that lasted nearly a week, according to the report.

Jail staff did not become aware of the escape until 15 hours after the trio climbed to the roof of the jail and fled, a time lapse that likely helped the fugitives stay well ahead of their pursuers. The men had been jailed on charges including attempted murder and torture.

“After conducting a comprehensive study, problems with both supervision and training became obvious,” the report read. “Lack of compliance with existing policies and procedures by various [Orange County Sheriff’s Department] personnel at all levels was the primary factor responsible for the escape.”

The inmates took a cab driver hostage and traveled as far north as the Bay Area. Their escape plot began unraveling days later, police say, when Duong rejected Nayeri’s plan to kill their hostage and fled to a San Jose motel with the cab driver.

Duong drove back to Orange County and surrendered to authorities on Jan. 29. Nayeri and Tieu were arrested in San Francisco the next day. The men are due in court for preliminary hearings in June, records show...
Brazen AF.

But keep reading.

And flashback to last year, "Experts Question Detention and Security Protocols at Orange County Jail."