Division of Correction Establishes Toll-Free Line For Escape Alert Sign-Ups
MCI-H Escape Investigation Continues

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Towson, MD (August 3, 2010)---The Maryland Division of Correction (DOC) today established a toll-free number for citizens who do not have internet access to sign-up for available automatic escape alert notifications. The number, 877-828-3802, goes directly to DOC headquarters; citizens will be connected to someone who can help them sign-up for telephone or email notifications in the event of an escape.

DOC initiated and announced the City Watch notification system last fall. Since that time, only approximately 500 residents have signed-up for escape alerts in the Hagerstown region. The system can be used by anyone, and covers the entire State of Maryland.

In the meantime, The DPSCS Internal Investigative Unit, the Division of Correction, and MCI-H continue their investigations into the escape of inmate Dominic Webster on Friday. At this point, investigators are focusing on protocols and procedures in two areas: notification in the event of an unplanned individual inmate movement, and access to restricted areas.

There is no evidence that any employee or inmate deliberately aided in the escape. However, at this time, the actions of several employees are under review to determine whether they properly followed established protocol and procedures. No employees have been formally disciplined as of now, but appropriate disciplinary action will be taken if warranted as the investigation progresses.

Inmate Webster had complained of illness Friday morning and asked to leave his prison job to return to his housing unit. When he did not return to his cell, and both the job site and tier officer noted his absence, the prison was locked down. By this time, Webster had apparently made his escape. The investigations are focused primarily on notification about Webster’s alleged illness and his unplanned movement back to the cell; and the inmate’s ability to access what should have been an off-limits area.