A look at prison breaks

Kyla Herrmannsen
prison break blog

Prison Break is a popular television series that, as the title implies, follows a group of men on their quest to break out of prison. Though the issue is dramatized in the series, in reality prison breaks are real phenomena that occur worldwide.

Just today, the ‘hunt for six prisoners’ in Mpumalanga, South Africa, is making headlines. The six awaiting trial prisoners escaped from police custody – they reportedly “removed the toilet and broke bricks from around the toilet then escaped through the hole.”

Below are a number of prison escapes and escape attempts that have occurred in 2013 alone:

49 Tunisia prisoners break out of jail

“Tunisia’s state news agency says 49 inmates broke out of jail in a southern coastal town after staging a prison uprising to escape.

Monday’s report quoted a security official saying police and soldiers are searching the area around the city of Gabes and have recaptured 13 inmates.

The escape took place in the early hours of the morning, the report said, adding that the prisoners were mostly young people and common criminals”


Liberia: Gun Fire At Central Prison – 12 Prisoners Break Jail

“Gun firings were heard early Tuesday morning at the Monrovia Central Prison or South Beach in central Monrovia as some 12 prisoners broke jail, according to residents.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, several community dwellers said they heard firing sound during the jail break, believed to have been executed by armed officers of the UN Peacekeepers mentoring local correction officers at the central prison.

Eyewitnesses said they saw five inmates jumping down at the front view of the prison fence, while seven others jumped from the rear of the compound, respectively. No casualties have however been reported so far. But Justice Ministry and police authorities put the number of escapees at seven, out of eleven prisoners, who allegedly broke jail”


Oklahoma Prisoner Dialed 911 to Report Escape

“Prisoner Joshua Silverman passed up a taste of freedom this week and called the police instead.

Silverman could have fled with two other inmates who stole the unattended transport van he was riding in, but he dialed 911 and alerted authorities about the escape”


17 prisoners escape Zambian prison

“Seventeen dangerous criminals have escaped from Mbala State Prison, District Commissioner Best Kabulembe has confirmed.

The development has cast a dent yet again on the Zambia Prisons Service coming barely two months after a daring jailbreak at Mukobeko Maximum Security Prison, condemned section in Kabwe when three death row inmates bolted to ‘freedom’.

Two inmates have since been re-arrested after police launched an immediate manhunt for the suspects in the Northern Province District.

“A total of 17 inmates were being held in the cells at Mbala Prison and they managed to escape. After a manhunt was launched, police only managed to re-arrest two prisoners, the rest are still being hunted,” Mr Kabulembe said”


Awaiting trial prisoners escape

“Two awaiting trial prisoners have escaped while being transported to prison, Mpumalanga police said on Friday.

“The fugitives managed to cut off steel at the back of the rear window of the bakkie on Thursday, smashed the glass and escaped,” said Colonel Leonard Hlathi.

Zakhele Nkambule, 34, and Malibongwe Sydwell Butatshe, 37, were being taken from the Evander Magistrate’s Court to Bethal Prison when they escaped. It was unknown what charges they faced in court.

Police rearrested two other prisoners who had also escaped”


About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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