SEATTLE — Corrections officials who investigated the April escape of two violent patients from Washington state’s largest psychiatric hospital say they discovered a list of mistakes, blunders and deceptions at what should be a secure facility.
Investigators tasked with assessing security at Western State Hospital determined there were no routine inspections; 25,000 master keys were missing; thousands of tools used to open patient windows had been misplaced; and management was unwilling to recognize that failing to focus on security puts patients and the public at risk, according to a report obtained by The Associated Press in response to a public records request.
The report said that attitude was the main cause of the April 6 escape by Anthony Garver, who was confined amid allegations that he tortured and killed a woman, and Mark Alexander Adams, who has multiple domestic violence convictions. Adams was caught the next day, but Garver made it across the state and was captured several days later.
An inmate allegedly stole a set of jail keys as he was being released from a Sydney prison, in an embarrassing security bungle which led to a number of locks having to be changed.
Police were yesterday investigating the December 22 incident at the privately-run Parklea Correctional Centre.
The inmate is alleged to have taken the keys from a staff area as he was being processed for release before walking past guards with them.
Public Service Association Prison Officers branch chairman Steve McMahon slammed the incident as a “rookie mistake” which could cost the state thousands of dollars in replacement locks.
The Phoenix Fire Department said Monday it can’t account for hundreds of keys for lock boxes that allow firefighters responding to fires or alarms to enter thousands of businesses and apartment complexes when they are closed.
Deputy Chief David Carter blamed poor record keeping over the past 15 years for the missing 850 keys but said there’s no indication they have been used for criminal purposes.
“Our accountability isn’t the best here,” he said.
Some of the missing keys may have been damaged and replaced and others may have been changed hands when firefighters retired, Carter said.
The struggle is real at the College of William and Mary.
According to a Jan. 26 report by the college’s student newspaper, The Flat Hat, the college will have to pay more than $500,000 to replace keys and lock cores in numerous campus buildings after its set of master keys went missing last semester.
The keys gave William and Mary employees access to a number of campus buildings, including Greek houses and all residence halls except one. For security reasons, the Department of Facilities Management has started replacing 3,000 lock cores in affected dorms this semester, The Flat Hat reports