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Two Inmates Remain at Large in Louisiana Jail Escape

U.S.Two Inmates Remain at Large in Louisiana Jail Escape

Four men were able to escape from Tangipahoa Parish Jail in Louisiana over the weekend because of an eight-inch gap and a lack of oversight at the facility, the authorities said. Two of the men were still at large as of Tuesday night, while the other two had been found hiding in a dumpster, the police said.

Jimmy Travis, the chief of operations for the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s office, blamed structural issues and a lack of oversight by the jail staff in a news conference on Monday.

The four men escaped after they evaded correction officers during recreation time in the yard and hid out until darkness, according to a Facebook statement from the Tangipahoa Parish sheriff, Daniel Edwards.

The men escaped in pairs, Mr. Travis said. The first two — Avery Guidry, 19, and Travon Johnson, 21 — left the jail on Saturday by evading correctional officers and escaping through a narrow, eight-inch gap under a wall before scaling two fences after dark. On Sunday, two other inmates — Omarion Hookfin, 19, and Jamarcus Cyprian, 20 — copied that route for their escape.

The authorities were not aware that the men had escaped until a family member of one of the escapees called them on Sunday, saying that the men had tried to seek refuge at a relative’s house, Mr. Travis said. He attributed the delayed realization to understaffing and a lack of oversight.

“If proper head counts had been conducted we would have known about it immediately,” he said.

The staffing issues at the jail over the weekend are not unique for the state, which has one of the most overcrowded prison systems in the country. In 2022, Louisiana corrections officials told lawmakers that state prisons and juvenile detention facilities were understaffed because of low wages and poor conditions.

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