Posted: Jan 7, 2012 12:42 PM by AP
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - One employee of a juvenile prison near Baton Rouge has been fired and three others were put on administrative leave after an escape by three teenagers.
Officials with the state Office of Juvenile Justice say the three escaped Dec. 27 from a dormitory that was left unwatched for eight hours at the Jetson Center for Youth. The fired employee and one of those suspended were supposed to be watching the dormitory, while the other two workers were supposed to be watching the grounds of the lockup.
Authorities said the three escapees bunched up their bed sheets to make it look like they were sleeping, pried loose ceiling tiles, went through the ceiling and fled through an unlocked door.
The trio then scaled an interior fence and cut through another fence topped with barbed wire. They were recaptured the next day about eight miles from Jetson.
The three teens were being held on theft, burglary and rape convictions, authorities said.
Mary Livers, deputy secretary of the Office of Juvenile Justice, said Friday that the escape went undetected for about eight hours. She said those workers placed on leave could be fired.
Investigators are still trying to determine what tool the teens used to cut the exterior fence of the detention center, Livers said. Based on an inventory of tools at the center, the tool did not come from Jetson.
"It might have been brought onto campus by someone doing maintenance at the facility," she said. "We just don't know yet."
The Jetson staff is receiving additional training and a review of the detention center's policies and procedures, which include dormitory checks every 15 minutes and head counts every hour during the staff's night shift, Livers said.
It was the first escape from Jetson since November 2007, officials said.