Federal prison camps see 29 inmates escape over 18 months
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Minimum-security federal prison camps across the country have seen 29 inmates escape over the past 18 months.

The inmates being held at these prisons are considered to be the lowest security risk by the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) as their crimes range from bank robbery to possessing and distributing drugs, The Associated Press reported.

Among the 29 that escaped, a little over half have been caught and returned to prison. The 12 inmates who have not been caught escaped from prisons in Florida, California, Louisiana, Texas and Colorado.

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There are “no sex offenses, public safety factors, terrorism offenses, serious violence, history of serious escape and institution misconduct” among the prisoners at these facilities, the BOP told The Hill in a statement.

The Bureau of Prisons refers to escaped prisoners as “walk-aways” at its minimum-security locations. 

“Following any incident, including walk-aways, a review is conducted to determine if any security weakness exists and, if warranted, corrective actions are taken,” the BOP said.

Escaped prisoners from minimum-security federal prisons were not a part of the Justice Department’s budget report with the department reporting no federal prisoners have escaped, AP noted. 

The more than two-dozen escapes have been blamed on relaxed security measures at these prisons, with some not even having fences around the premise.

There has also been a shortage of staff among federal prisons, with nurses and cooks having to help guard inmates. 

“We take seriously our duty to protect the individuals entrusted in our custody, as well as maintaining the safety of correctional staff and the community,” Bureau of Prison officials said.

Security at some prisons is being updated with the Satellite Prison Camp getting new alarms, fencing and camera upgrades, BOP said. 

The lack of security has not only allowed some prisoners to escape but has caused an issue with contraband at the facilities.

Updated: 3:35 p.m.