Prison chief says state didn't detect prison flaws

Aug 19 2010 - 12:42pm

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Department of Corrections says a privately operated state prison in Kingman was plagued by security problems prior to the escape of three inmates, including two convicted of murder.

Corrections Director Charles Ryan on Thursday says the department's routine security audits didn't detect the flaws, which included a poorly functioning alarm system that had numerous false alarms.

He said that led to lax responses by prison personnel, and he also cited operational practices that led to a gap in permitted staffing during an evening when the July 30 escape occurred.

Ryan says his department has accepted a security improvement plan by the operator, Centerville, Utah-based Management & Training Corp.

Two of the three convicts have been recaptured, but one remains at large along with a woman accused of aiding the escape by tossing wire cutters into the prison.

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