Alert guards foil an escape attempt at House of Correction Annex in Jessup


Correctional officers foiled an attempted escape at the Maryland House of Correction Annex in Jessup yesterday morning when a guard noticed inmates behaving suspiciously near a recreation-yard fence.

Four inmates were sent to the Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center in Baltimore -- known as Supermax -- for their roles in the attempt, said David B. Towers, a spokesman for the Division of Correction.

Towers said another inmate, who has a history of escape attempts, will be sent to another state through the Interstate Corrections Compact.

The five inmates, whose identities were not disclosed, are facing administrative sanctions and criminal charges of attempted escape, Towers said.

Commissioner William B. Sondervan praised the guards for their diligence and quick reactions.

Towers said that about 9: 20 a.m., an officer, who was not identified, noticed two inmates near a recreation yard fence staring at her. He said the officer notified other guards of a possible escape and more than two dozen inmates were cleared from the yard.

By that time, two inmates had crawled through the recreation yard fence, Towers said, but they scurried back when officers arrived.

Officers discovered that two of the inmates had cut a 2-by-3-foot hole in the fence near a housing unit, Towers said.

Three other inmates were discovered wearing at least five layers of clothing and carrying what he termed escape paraphernalia -- grappling hooks and rope.

Officials said a pair of toenail clippers used to cut through the fence was found on the ground nearby.

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