December 20, 2007

Got Out of Jail - What an Embarassment!!!

The Star-Ledger
Thursday December 20, 2007, 4:20 PM
Unseen by corrections officers, inmates Jose Espinosa and Otis Blunt apparently spent days - if not weeks - boring through their cells' cement walls. They broke free, leaping some 30 feet over razor wire sometime last weekend. Their escape was not discovered until Saturday evening, when the men failed to rouse from their bunks for dinner.
The men hid their absence by stuffing their bedding with foam, rigging the material to make it appear that they were asleep in their bunks. They covered the gaping holes that they wriggled through with pin-up posters of half-naked women.

Even after reading the newspaper articles about the Union County Jail Break this past week, the question that still remains is: how was this possible??? Where was everybody? When a cinderblock was removed from an outside wall, didn’t anyone in charge notice even a modicum of fresh air coming from the cell? Since one of the escapees had only a short time prior made a similar attempt wasn’t it conceivable he would try again? Wasn’t anyone watching these guys? Weren’t they incarcerated in a high security area?

If these two weren’t the dangerous type what transpired would have been amusing since it was such a simple escape scenario, when was the last time any of us can remember anyone chiseling their way through cinderblocks with a hunk of wire. The only simpler scenario would have been for the outlaw’s horse to show up with a lasso and participate by pulling the window bars out thus enabling the prisoner to ride off unnoticed. That in of itself is probably what is causing our county prosecutor Theodore Romankow to be so enraged. Here in Union County the powers that be have justified their ever escalating expenditures for the county police and sheriffs depts. by claiming to be on the cutting edge when fighting crime. On television newscasts Romankow appeared as if he wanted to smack someone up side of the head and rightfully so for making UC corrections appear like the keystone cops.

Our county correctional facilities and uniformed services have not enjoyed the best publicity the past couple of years as prisoners have suffered fatal illnesses and law suits have been filed by employees against management and coworkers.

To Prosecutor Romankow’s credit he is demanding answers to these questions and others in short order, let’s just hope that when the answers come those responsible for this breech of security are held accountable and not given a free pass like the officers who set off fireworks and damaged residents personal property while blowing off steam after completing a drug case a few years back.
County residents deserve to feel safe in their homes and their neighborhoods and it would be nice to know that Romankow’s rage is in empathy with the residents and not a product of embarrassment because of someone else’s poor job performance.