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Clayton County Jail tightens security measures after inmate tries daring escape through HVAC system

06 Jan 2024, Jail News, by

Inmate attempts to escape through Clayton County Jail walls prompt Sheriff Allen to implement new security measures.

Clayton County Jail tightens security measures after inmate tries daring escape through HVAC system - Inmate Lookup

The incident originated with screams when an inmate in Clayton County jail became trapped inside a wall, attempting to escape through the HVAC system, according to Sheriff Levon Allen.

In response, the sheriff is implementing new security measures to prevent a recurrence. Sheriff Allen expressed astonishment at the events within Clayton County Jail, stating that the inmate did something unprecedented in 24 years.

The sounds perplexed the security guard and deputy. They heard banging and were uncertain if it was merely an inmate hitting the window in their view. Subsequently, they began hearing screams for help, according to Allen.

The escape attempt began when the inmate broke a 24-year-old lock, gaining access to the building’s plumbing. Describing the sequence, Allen remarked that once the inmate entered a specific door, they could access the plumbing chase of the building, allowing them to climb through and channel out to the other side.

The inmate reached the exterior of the jail through the HVAC system.


Security improvements

To enhance security, Sheriff Allen plans to install new locks on plumbing chase doors, making it more challenging for inmates to tamper with them. Additionally, he intends to implement further improvements by adding a cage or grate to the outside of the HVAC system, aiming to deter escape attempts.

Taking the attempted escape seriously, Sheriff Allen emphasized the importance of public safety, noting that with 1,900 inmates, including over 400 charged with murder, it’s crucial to prevent any inmate from escaping into the community.

Seeking $300,000 in funding, the sheriff aims to replace locks throughout the entire jail, hoping to prevent future bold escape attempts. Allen emphasized the need to learn from the incident, stating that it’s not uncommon and that the system needs to adapt and change.

Previously, the sheriff had requested $14 million from Clayton County Commissioners to address safety concerns, overcrowding, and deteriorating jail conditions.