Morgan Co. sheriff's office reviewing trustee program

The Morgan Co. Warden wants to make sure that inmates are not escaping from their work release

Posted: Aug 21, 2018 5:26 PM
Updated: Aug 21, 2018 6:42 PM

Two Morgan County inmates are still on the loose after escaping while on work release.

Christopher Walker escaped on Friday night while at his assigned work detail at the Fraternal Orders of Eagles.

Christian Lewis escaped from the Celebration Arena in Priceville back in July.

The Mogan County sheriff's office is reviewing procedures that allow inmates to work on at local businesses.

125 inmates are in the trustee program at the jail. This allows inmates to work full-time while in jail. Half of them work outside of the jail, meaning there's no deputy supervision.

"It's got good and it's got the bad to it too. The good is they get to be out and talk to people, go to work, make money and pay what they got to pay," said James Peden.

James Peden doesn't like when inmates take advantage of the trustee program.

"Then you got the ones who want to run out here. And try to escape," said Peden.

Morgan County Warden Aaron Dawson said they use work history, background and behavior to determine which inmates are chosen for the trustee program.

"We look at, they have a foundation so when they do get released, they have a job and they've already been working," said Aaron Dawson.

This year, 4 Morgan County trustees escaped from work release. Dawson said they're reaching out to the employers to reiterate the rules.

"The inmates they are using, they need to consider them as someone to help, not someone as an employee to fill a task. You need to make sure they're assigned to somebody to help them with a task. Not giving them a task. There's somebody right there with them," Dawson said.

The Morgan County sheriff's office also said that despite inmates walking away from their work release, they're still going to continue the program because it allows inmates to provide for their family and pay court fees while still in jail.

An escape charge could carry up to 20 years in prison.

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