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Inmate Working Inside the Joplin Jail Escapes - KOAM TV 7

Inmate Working Inside the Joplin Jail Escapes

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

***** UPDATE (12/6): Mark Taylor, the inmate that walked away from Joplin Jail on December 3rd, was located by Carl Junction Police Department in a crawl space in a residence in Carl Junction at approximately midnight, the night of December 5th. CJPD has returned Taylor to JPD's custody.*****

Joplin Police are on the lookout for 20-year- old Mark Taylor an inmate working for the jail who took off while taking out the trash.

Joplin Jail Administrator tells KOAM’s Diane Gerstenfeld "The officer was as close as you and I are at the time that he fled to the northeast of the police department. So he was in about two feet of supervision so you can't get much more direct supervision.”

Officials say like other trustees working for the jail he's considered low risk.

Joplin Police Department Public Information Officer Bob Higginbotham says "We made some immediate efforts last night when he initially ran with the canine and the officers on the street came on the street to try to locate him. They weren't able to do so."

Inside trustees like Taylor do household chores inside the jail like laundry, cooking, and even feeding meals to the inmates.

There are also those with more privileges who do handy work outside.

Captain Higginbotham says "We essentially replace a full time person for facility maintenance with a trustee work."

The trustee program has been running for at least the past fifteen years. The jail administrator says this is the first time that an inmate working on the inside has escaped.

Dotson says "We've had that happen rarely from our outside trustee. We've had that happen one time with our inmate work detail, which is a completely different program, but it's still using inmates for labor. We had one that's coming in from a work detail, decided he wanted to go home, so he got in the car with his mother and went home. But turned himself in about twenty minutes later."

The program helps inmates reduce their sentence, while saving the city money. Officials say despite the breakout they don't plan on stepping up security anytime soon.

"This program is too good just because of this one incident to disbar or disband this program because it's way too successful. So we're always looking to improve it to make it better. But at this point we're not going to change anything."

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