KINGMAN, Ariz. — An Arizona prison has vastly improved its security in the
four years since a 2010 inmate escape that resulted in the murder of an Oklahoma
couple, officials said Sunday.
MTC, the private company operating Arizona State Prison-Kingman, has invested
$1 million in improvements, the Kingman Daily Miner reported.
The changes include having more barriers and training prison personnel and
Mohave County Sheriff’s deputies together on how to respond to prison breaks.
The training applies to high-ranking corrections officers as well as the
The extra barriers include alarms installed at every door and blocking gates on
shared-use roads. Razor wire fencing now surrounds key locations in the prison
complex. There is even a second 10-foot high perimeter fence around a
“We’ve made a significant amount of improvements both physically and
culturally,” said Issa Arnita, an MTC spokesman. “And we will continue to
Mohave County Sheriff Tom Sheahan said security at the medium-security facility
today compared to 2010 is “night and day.”
A team of Arizona Department of Corrections investigators looking into the
prison break shortly after it happened issued a scathing report of the prison.
The complaints included inadequate command of inmates, incompetent management
and a flawed alarm system.
Employees were instructed to stop writing reports every time a false alarm went
off, according to the report. Meanwhile, nobody looked into having it fixed.
Investigators found that three inmates used that to their advantage to plan
Today, every alarm sounding is investigated.
“The big thing is, they call us now even if they’re not sure someone is
missing or not,” Sheahan said. “They’ve learned it’s better to be safe than
Prison officials said John McCluskey, Tracy Province and Daniel Renwick cut a
hole in a perimeter fence and escaped through it on July 30, 2010. Investigators
found that 80 minutes passed before the facility told law enforcement about the
breakout. Within that time the three inmates and McCluskey’s cousin and
girlfriend, Casslyn Welch, made it to Interstate 40.
“They never would have made it to Interstate 40 if the prison didn’t wait an
hour and 20 minutes to call us,” Sheahan said. “They had a pretty good amount
of time to get away.”
Renwick was quickly captured after a shootout with authorities in Colorado. But
McCluskey, who was serving 15 years for attempted second-degree murder,
aggravated assault and discharge of a firearm, and the others went on to New
Authorities said the three carjacked Gary and Linda Haas, of Tecumseh,
Oklahoma, on I-40 and killed them for their truck and travel trailer. The
couple’s bodies were found incinerated in their burned-out trailer in eastern
A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced 49-year-old John McCluskey to life in
prison without parole for the slayings. Province and Welch were previously
Information from: Kingman Daily Miner, http://www.kingmandailyminer.com