Oklahoma Lawmaker Wants State To Adopt An 'Inmate Alert' System

Thursday, January 22nd 2015, 10:04 pm
By: News 9

If one state lawmaker gets his way, you'll soon start getting alerts when an Oklahoma inmate escapes from prison.

The idea comes in the wake of six recent escapes from the facility in Boley.

People said most of the time they have no idea a prisoner has escaped until days later.

State Rep. John Paul Jordan said the idea is to use what he's calling an "Inmate Alert System."

He wants to use it exactly like an Amber or Silver alert is used right now.

No matter where you are in the state, you would get an instant notification, via email, on your phone, or even on social media when an inmate escapes a state prison.

“It's something that seems like a common sense solution to a problem,” said Jordan.

First year state representative John Paul Jordan said when an inmate escapes, their information should be put out as quickly as possible. There's never been a system in place to make that happen statewide.

“I envision it as tapping on to the system we already got in place,” said Jordan. “The infrastructure is there.”

Since December, six inmates have escaped from the John Lilley Correctional Center in Boley. The latest was Jimmy Fields, who was reported missing Monday afternoon.

But News 9 was told people living near the facility didn't know about his escape until days later.

“I've never known these many people to walk away from it, until recently,” said longtime Boley resident, Ethelyne Gonzales. “Of course we've always had escapees, but this many?”

News 9 talked to Ethelyne Gonzales earlier this month, and she said she's rarely, if ever notified when there's an escape at the Boley prison. It's less than a mile away from her business.

“It makes it hard for people who are scared to leave home. You're scared you're going to get broken into,” said Gonzales.

“People hear inmate, their ears perk up,” said Jordan.

Jordan said an "Inmate Alert" system is long overdue.

“Really what this is about is to make sure the public has the ability to protect themselves,” said Jordan.

Representative Jordan said he's not sure at this point if an inmate alert system would cost us taxpayers.

Of course, stay with News 9, we'll keep you posted.