The Denver Post
All 50 inmates who escaped from Colorado prisons since 2000 were captured, most within 24 hours of absconding.
Corrections officials credit changed search protocols and more accurate assessments of weak links in prison building security.
"Something different had to be done," said Jay Kirby, chief investigator for the Colorado Department of Corrections. "More and more escapes were taking place."
In the mid-1990s, the DOC developed a command center in the agency's Colorado Springs headquarters. There, investigators calculate where an escaped inmate might seek solace, and they coordinate the hunt with other agencies.
Also, the DOC began conducting vulnerability assessments in 2003 on facilities to discover weaknesses,
The escapees — 47 men and three women — were captured due to the changes.
Despite perception, officials said escapes occur more frequently than people realize. In 2003, 11 inmates escaped, the most in a single year since 2000.
Although most of the 50 inmates escaped from work crews and lower-level facilities, other prisoners were far more bold, Sanguinetti said.
"In 2010, one at Sterling went through a lethal fence that should have killed him," she said.
The inmate escaped by crawling over razor wire and under an electrified fence, she said. He was eventually captured after taking a woman hostage in her home.
That inmate's route out of the prison has since been eliminated.
"That is not going to happen again," Sanguinetti said.
Another inmate ended up literally running around the streets of downtown Denver in 2003 after he escaped from Buena Vista Correctional Complex in the back of a trailer hauling saddles that were made at the prison, Sanguinetti said.
Along with a few others, these inmates did not have a plan in place for what they would do once out, an oversight