Prisoner escape shows procedures not followed

The Columbia River Correctional Institution in Portland, August 1, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
The Columbia River Correctional Institution in Portland, August 1, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — After a 30-year-old prisoner briefly escaped from the Columbia River Correctional Institution in late May, the Department of Corrections instituted some changes.

Matthew Medlin was captured at a Jack in the Box restaurant at NE Martin Luther King Jr. and Columbia boulevards about nine hours after he climbed a fence at the prison and escaped.

Matthew Joseph Medlin, 30, escaped from to the Columbia River Correctional Institute Wednesday. (DOC)
Matthew Joseph Medlin, 30, escaped from to the Columbia River Correctional Institute Wednesday. (DOC)

DOC officials said Medlin was a kitchen worker at the minimum security prison located in an urban area. Authorities said he was taking out the recycling Wednesday when he made his escape.

In an internal review obtained by KOIN 6 News, the DOC said proper notification procedures about the escape weren’t all followed.

Among them: nearby businesses were not all told immediately about the escape.

The CEO at Dignity Village, right next door, said they didn’t find out for three hours.

“They didn’t let us know nothing. They didn’t sound an alarm. Nothing,” said Nancy Mottaz.

“We have residents that live down the street here, old couple, that could’ve endangered them,” she said. “I have 60 individuals here that live here. We’re right over the fence, and nine times out of 10 they go somehwere close.”

Workers at a city compost facility weren’t notified, either. The report shows the facility’s control center never did call DOC headquarters in Salem.

Medlin was gone 10 minutes before a records manager at the institution called Salem after hearing from one of her staff, the report said.

It also showed Medlin had psychological issues, but “is not considered dangerous” according to his counselor, “mainly just paranoid.”

Physical changes at the facility including placing extra barbed wire, presumably near where Medlin escaped, and extending barbed wire coils to certain areas.

Eight broken video cameras, part of a surveillance system called “antiquated,” were replaced, the report said. But it’s unclear is the old camera system was upgraded or if it will be.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s