Four Inmates Escape Boley Correctional Facility In The Last Week
BOLEY, Oklahoma - In the last week, four inmates have walked out of a Boley correctional facility in Okfuskee County.
That has people in that area fearful for their safety. One inmate was still on the loose Monday night, and considered armed and dangerous.
Officials with the Department of Corrections said they believe 24-year-old Christopher Rowe has made it to the Tulsa area. The facility is considered “minimum security.” But, people in town said they believe there's no security at all.
“Everybody knows something is wrong when you're not tightening down on your inmates, they can walk away. Something is wrong,” said long-time resident Ethelyne Gonzales.
Ethelyne Gonzales, 82, said she's seen an uptick in escapes over the years at the John Lilley Correctional Center.
“I've never known these many people to walk away from it, until recently. Of course we've always had escapees, but this many?” said Gonzales.
Troy Gage, Eddie Patton, and Carlos Arkeketa all escaped from the Boley prison Dec. 27. All were located by the next day.
“Someone is not doing their job,” said Gonzales.
“How are they leaving so easily?” News 9's Evan Anderson asked. “Again, it's not a secure facility. So again, it's their ability to walk away without someone seeing them,” said Jerry Massie a Department of Corrections spokesperson.
Massie said the prison does not have a secure fence like a medium or maximum facility has, and that leaves the opportunity for an easy escape wide open.
“Should they be able to just walk out like that?” Anderson asked. “Well one thing about it … We caught the three, one within several hours, and the other two by the next day,” said Massie.
But Ethelyne said minimum security or not, it gives her and her neighbors little peace of mind.
“They aren't up there for going to Sunday school are they? I don't think so. It makes it hard for people who are scared to leave home. You're scared you're going to get broken into,” said Gonzales.
Massie said there are protocols in place to let people in the area know when a prisoner has escaped. He said there's also a routine process to make sure all inmates are accounted for.