Officials: Alcorn jail more prepared since escape

By The Associated Press

CORINTH — Authorities say they have taken steps to increase security at the Alcorn County Regional Correctional Facility in responds to an escape in February.

Warden Doug Mullins tells WTVA-TV that security had to be revamped after two men escaped by scaling razor-wire fences and running out of an open delivery gate.

Mullins says he’s installed a new camera to monitor the recreation yard and hired a chief of security with previous correctional facility experience.

They also addressed what Mullins said was the biggest contributing factor to February’s escape: the delivery gate, which was open that morning.

He says the walk-through gate will be locked until authorities need to use it. That means the delivery gate will be open less often.

“Anytime something like that happens, of course, we look at our policy and procedure,” Mullins said.

February’s escape also drew attention to another problem behind bars: illegal cell phones.

“We have to combat that. We have to screen people and objects coming in rigorously,” security chief Keith Latch said. “We search mail, everything like that. Once we catch it, they think of another way, and we’ve got to learn how they’re doing that.”

Mullins said a contraband cell phone was used by Kendrick Davis, one of the two men who escaped in February. Davis allegedly assaulted a woman who lived nearby, but first threatened her through text messages before his escape.

Davis wrote explicit remarks to the unidentified woman before sending the message: “Text me back. I’m about to take it to the next level.” Hours later, he had escaped and was inside her home, authorities said.

Mullins said recent budgetary problems make it harder to fund some security upgrades, but the prison is managing.