Tenorio addresses prisoners being able to "pop locks" - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Tenorio addresses prisoners being able to "pop locks"

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While it was recently revealed that prisoners at the Department of Corrections are able to "pop the locks" and get out of their cells, where does that put the safety of the community? "First thing, the community needs to know that they are safe," proclaimed Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio. He wants to assure the public that in light of information revealed by the DepCor, the safety of the community will remain intact.

"These prisoners are not going to jimmy the lock and walk out the front door, that's not how this works," he added.

During Thursday's oversight hearing, director Jose San Agustin told lawmakers that prisoners are able to "pop the locks" and can easily get out of their cells. Tenorio says there are many different circles of security an inmate would have to go through, noting, "Even if they were to in an ideal world which is not the situation at DOC, even if they do get out of the cell, they can't get out of the wing, they can't get out of the Housing Unit and that only gives them access to the yard, so even if they get into the yard, they have full perimeter security as well as security within the facility inside the perimeter. And that also doesn't give them access to the ingress or egress, which is the main housing unit unless they are able to jump over the fence and again they have security all over the place."

And although security is in place, it was just last month when two detainees in the Maximum Security Unit were able to get out of their cells and attack another detainee who was outside for fresh air. Tenorio says many professionals are on top of addressing the issues at DOC, saying, "I'm not concerned about the safety of the community. I know that the professionals at DOC along with all the other people who are there to support them are going to make sure that our community is safe. So really, am I concerned? I'm concerned only to the extent that we need to get it fixed. Am I concerned about people's lives being at jeopardy or being at risk because of the abilities or weaknesses or vulnerabilities at DOC? No, because I know the people in our government work every single day in many hours to make sure our community is safe."

Tenorio says a working group and the Blue Ribbon Commission will work to fix 100% of the cells that have vulnerabilities or trouble with the locking system. And with the goal to finish the District Court order issues by September, Tenorio is waiting to put $2 million aside in an account to issue out the RFP to get the locking mechanisms in place. 
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