State News

Prison warden reassigned while escape reviewed

Posted February 13, 2009 5:47 p.m. EST
Updated February 13, 2009 6:15 p.m. EST

— State Department of Correction officials have temporarily reassigned the administrator of a close-custody prison in Scotland County while they investigate a recent escape attempt.

Department spokesman Keith Acree said a prisoner was located Feb. 2 outside a building at Scotland Correctional Institution but within the fenced area of the prison.

Correction Secretary Alvin Keller said a preliminary investigation found internal prisoner-count procedures weren't followed correctly.

"The first job of this department is public safety, and this kind of lapse in protocol is unacceptable and will not be tolerated," Keller said in a statement announcing the temporary reassignment of Scotland Correctional administrator Frederick Hubbard.

"I have alerted all prison managers and other top corrections personnel that I am taking these matters seriously and will demand high expectations and personal accountability," Keller said. "In addition, I have taken steps to assure a strict adherence to internal protocols system-wide to reduce the chance this occurs again."

Other prison workers could be disciplined as a result of the investigation.

Gov. Beverly Perdue said she backed Keller's actions.

“I will not tolerate public safety being put at risk because procedures were not followed by some prison personnel," Perdue said in a statement. "I have directed Secretary Keller to take swift action based on his investigation and to take action system wide to ensure strict adherence to policies that protect the public.”