JEFFERSON CO., Ill. (WEHT) – The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department (JCSO) says that during the early morning hours on April 10, correctional officers discovered detainee Ray Tate had gotten out of his cell and was attempting to escape the facility.
JCSO says that he was taken into custody without incident or injury, then secured. Law enforcement officials say that the jail was already on night shift lockdown status when Tate was apprehended, so Deputies and officers from the Mt. Vernon Police Department were requested to set up an exterior perimeter of the Justice Center while a head count and security check was conducted.
JCSO says it was determined no other detainees were involved and all were present and accounted for. Law enforcement officials say that the initial investigation into the escape attempt revealed Tate discovered a way to get out of his cell, due to a flaw in the original construction of the Justice Center. JCSO says that during his escape attempt, jail property was damaged at several locations. Law enforcement officials say that none of the damage rendered the jail unsuitable to continue housing detainees and inmates, with the exception of Tate’s cell.
JCSO says repairs to all damaged areas is being coordinated by the Sheriff’s Office Maintenance Supervisor. Law enforcement officials say that further review revealed the aforementioned flaw was limited to only three specialty cells. JCSO says that due to security protocols in the jail, no other information about this escape attempt will be released.
Law enforcement officials say that Sheriff Bullard will be communicating through the Sheriff’s Association the details of the flaw so other jails with similar construction will be able to take corrective steps. JCSO says that upon completion of the criminal investigation, charges for Tate in this escape attempt will be reviewed by the Jefferson County and Wayne County State’s Attorney’s.