Deputies at the Central Men’s Jail in Santa Ana had long complained of flawed inmate monitoring procedures that allowed three men to escape from the facility last year, but nothing was done to correct the problem, according to a report released by the Orange County Grand Jury this week.
The scathing study listed failures by officials that contributed to the escape, which made national headlines and became a major embarrassment for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
The grand jury cited a flawed inmate counting procedure, the failure of deputies to remove jerry-built tents around the escapees’ bunks that may have concealed their activities and inadequate monitoring of the jail’s plumbing system, which the inmates used to gain access to the roof, as major factors in the escape.
A lack of surveillance cameras and lighting in the plumbing tunnels and on the roof, which the inmates rappelled down from before, were also cited as problematic in the report.
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