TALLAHASSEE, Florida: Tuesday, authorities admitted that at least six known inmates of Florida prison have used forged paperwork to attempt escaping from prison. This time two killers did in fact successfully escape and walked out the front doors by being freed through the use of forged documents.
There are several suspects police are looking at in an investigation of this escape. Charles Walker and Joseph Jenkins are the two convicted killers that walked free from the prison. Gerald Bailey, Florida’s Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner, said the two captured inmates are not cooperating with the investigation.
Regarding Charles Walker and Joseph Jenkins, Bailey declared; “In law enforcement terms, they have lawyered up,” adding, “should they choose to cooperate, we will have the answers we need, the answers we demand sooner than later.”
The event took place on Sept. 27. and on Oct. 8 they used false paperwork to have their life sentences reduced to just fifteen years. Bailey said Jenkins has tried to use false documentation to escape with before this event.
Saturday Oct. 19, Jenkins and Walker were apprehended at a motel where they met after they had split up during the escape. An iPad and a cell phone was discovered by authorities in the room and are being used to find evidence against the two and those involved in the escape.
Gerald Bailey also said that though no evidence was discovered from the computers or printers seized from the prison after the escape, they are still looking at the possibility the escape was helped by one or more insiders. Concerning this Bailey said, “There is no hard evidence that has happened. If there were, there would be an arrest.”
The Corrections Department is changing its policy for the early release of its prisoners. All this is due to this event of the forged documents allowing for Jenkins and Walker’s release. Though the forged paperwork was filled in Orange County Clerk of Courts office, no one caught the fake documents. This is something, many say, that those working with the real documents should have caught right away. This is most likely why Bailey believes it is an inside job-because the documents are just that good.
Chief Circuit Judge Perry signed an order Monday that will prohibit judicial orders from being taken in from drop-off boxes themselves. According to the new guidelines, judicial assistants must also keep a log for all orders that change an inmate’s prison status. This would add better checks and balances and help plug holes in the system.
The incident has caused some to question from where the inmates got their ideas. The history of real-life prison breaks often mimic fiction, including plots from movies, stories, think tanks or other sources.
These ideas have been around as long as there have been judicial systems. Where there is a will, there is a way. These Tallahassee Florida inmates got free on forged paperwork, leading some to ask why the system has so many holes that it could allow something like this to happen.
By: Ron Harvey