One of two minimum security inmates who escaped over the weekend has been caught by police, but another is still on the loose. Both inmates slipped away from the Laumaka facility in Kalihi. Jared Denault was caught Monday afternoon and Eric Pixley is still at large.
The escapes raise new questions about the facility. So far this year there have been 20 inmates on Oahu who've walked away from their work furlough program. But they're not breaking out of high security facilities. They're classified as walk-aways. Most of them were close to finishing prison terms and were allowed work release into the community. Despite that statistic the state says without this program the amount of people who relapse back into prison would be a lot higher.
"It's a lot more successful releasing these people sequentially and placing them on work furlough then allowing them to spend time on hard beds and releasing them into the community," says Max Otani, Deputy Director of Corrections.
Laumaka is one of two Work Furlough Centers on Oahu. The other is Module 20 at the Oahu Community Correctional Center. The two combined can house about 210 inmates at any given time.
The program is designed to re-integrate prisoners back into the community. To do that, those inmates who qualify get to go out, get jobs and could be working right along side of you on the job site.
It's the states way of seeing if the inmates can handle life outside the bars. Inmates are able to work five days a week once finding a job. But the state's not allowing just anyone back out into the community.
"All of the inmates that are in the program have shown that they can comply with the rules set in our facilities but now it's actually taking what they learned from the facilities into the community and applying it there," says Otani.
On a monthly average the state says 10 inmates in the program qualify for parole, 16 more qualify for pending parole, and another seven fail the program for various reasons.
The state estimates that between 500 to 600 inmates go through it's work furlough program every year. Starting next month, a small amount of those on work furlough will have to wear GPS monitoring devices. The state says its implementing those not because of the recent walk-aways, but to make its program more efficient.