Kansas officials are rethinking a decision to house prison inmates in a county jail and have moved all of them back to a state facility after four escaped, including a convicted murderer, reports the Associated Press. The remaining 18 prison inmates who were held in the Ottawa County Jail have been returned to the state prison in Ellsworth. Overcrowding at Ellsworth had led the department to transfer inmates in January to the county jail.
The escape Wednesday morning from the jail in Minneapolis, a small town about 120 miles west of Topeka, also spurred debate among state legislators about prison overcrowding and keeping inmates in county lockups. Two inmates remained at large: Santos Carrera-Morales and Eric James, both 22. Carrera-Morales was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder for a double-slaying in 2007, while James was serving time for 2008 convictions of aggravated robbery, burglary, kidnapping and criminal damage. A state prisons spokesman said the department was “reassessing our jail placement in Ottawa County right now.”