Stung by multiple security failures that led to the Nov. 30 escape of rapist Arcade Comeaux Jr., the Texas prison system has launched a wide-ranging crackdown requiring pat searches of all people entering maximum security prisons, reports the Houston Chronicle. Prison officials created special search teams to target high-contraband prisons and raising hiring standards for correctional officers, according to a report.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice Executive Director Brad Livingston detailed the security upgrades in a report to Gov. Rick Perry. Livingston said the Estelle Unit, where Comeaux, 49, had been held in a maximum security wing, now is under the control of a new management team. Nine employees, including Warden Alfonso Castillo and Assistant Warden Thomas Hunt, were fired or retired after the escape. Comeaux, who escaped from a prison van after firing a hidden pistol and forcing the guard and driver to handcuff themselves together, was at large for eight days. He surrendered Dec. 7. The report does not answer the critical question of how he got a pistol.