Arizona prison system implements changes after reviewing January escape

Dec 3, 2021, 8:00 PM
John Charpiot, left, and David Harmon. (Facebook Photos/Coolidge Police Department)...
John Charpiot, left, and David Harmon. (Facebook Photos/Coolidge Police Department)
(Facebook Photos/Coolidge Police Department)

PHOENIX – The Arizona prison system announced new safety measures Friday following a review of how two inmates escaped last winter in an incident that sparked an intense five-day manhunt.

David Harmon and John Charpiot escaped from the medium-security South Unit at the Arizona State Prison Complex – Florence on Jan. 23 by breaking into a tool shed and stealing bolt-cutters and other items they then used to cut through an exterior fence.

Harmon and Charpiot were captured Jan. 28 by Coolidge police officers and U.S. Marshals deputies in a farm field less than 15 miles from the prison.

“In order to safeguard against such an event happening in the future, we immediately began a wide-ranging, in-depth review and investigation into the circumstances surrounding the escape and we have implemented several systemwide changes going forward,” David Shinn, Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry director, said in a press release Friday.

The release listed the following changes:

  • Implementation of enhanced physical plant security countermeasures, including additional fence structures, reinforced gates and detection systems.
  • Implementation of enhanced storage system requirements.
  • Ongoing annual inspections by the inspector general that will be conducted at all ADCRR facilities to ensure continued compliance with departmental security policies.

Harmon, who was imprisoned in 2012, was serving a 100-year sentence for kidnapping and second-degree burglary. Charpiot’s 35-year sentence for child molestation and sexual abuse started in 2011.

A year before the escape, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced plans to shut down ASPC-Florence.

According to the ADCCR release, the South Unit will be closed by the end of 2023, completing the Florence complex deactivation.

The Governor’s office said the closure will save $274 million over three years by removing the need for maintenance and repairs at the aging facility.

All jobs were being maintained by transferring staff to the nearby ASPC-Eyman, which is also in Florence.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Hilda McGready...

Silver Alert cancelled for 85-year-old woman who drove off from Arrowhead Mall in Glendale

A Silver Alert was cancelled Sunday for an 85-year-old woman with dementia who drove off from the Arrowhead Mall in Glendale, authorities said.
22 hours ago
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) walks to her office in the basement of the ...

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Jan. 21-23

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema being censured by the state’s Democratic party is among the biggest Arizona stories of the weekend.
22 hours ago
Barry Markson (Twitter photo/BarryMarkson1)...
Mike O'Neil/The Think Tank

Think Tank talks with practicing attorney and KTAR host Barry Markson

Practicing attorney and sometimes KTAR News 92.3 FM host Barry Markson joins this week's Think Tank to discuss his take on Biden’s recent speech and other topics.
22 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Wills Rice

Storm brings rain, strong wind gusts to metro Phoenix Saturday night

A storm rolled through metro Phoenix Saturday night, bringing rain and wind across the Valley.
22 hours ago
A Valley Metro Rail train drives through downtown on March 26, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. Despite fe...

Phoenix receives $920K for 5-mile streetcar route development in Mesa

The city of Mesa on Friday received a $920,000 grant to manage the planning of a 5-mile streetcar route that would connect four activity centers within the municipality.
22 hours ago
(Phoenix Police Department Photo)...

Phoenix police seek public’s help in identifying suspects who shot 2 teens in December

The Phoenix Police Department is seeking the public's assistance in identifying three suspects who shot two 15-year-old teens in December.
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 27: Wide receivers John Brown #12 and Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona C...
Arizona Department of Gaming

The most memorable games in Arizona sports history every fan needs to know

Sports teams in Arizona have seen their fair share of instant classic games, but there's a few that every fan needs to know.
Arizona State University

Gain insights on next year’s trends at 58th Annual Economic Forecast Luncheon

Employment is recovering from the severe contraction induced by the pandemic, but it is still way below levels at the start of 2020. Can it fully recover in the coming year?

What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
Arizona prison system implements changes after reviewing January escape