AG Prison Report Cites Human, Technology Errors As Prime Cause Of Inmate Escape

Jul 21, 2014

A report by the state Attorney General’s office makes a dozen recommendations to prevent future prison escapes.

That’s after a convicted murderer made his way out of the Ionia Correctional Center last February.         

The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta reports.

The report found half a dozen instances of system failures, human errors, and prison staff not following procedures. One of the mistakes -- leaving a command center under-staffed while officers attended a Super Bowl potluck dinner.

The report says the combination of circumstances allowed Michael Elliot to slip undetected under two fences and out of the prison during a heavy snowstorm. He was captured 24 hours later in Indiana.

The attorney general’s recommendations include system upgrades, more prisoner counts, and re-considering cost-cutting measures such as fewer manned guard towers and ending regular perimeter patrols.