Facility's security in question after multiple escapes

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

HARRISBURG, AR (KAIT) - There are security concerns at a juvenile correctional facility in Region 8 after two incidents of teens escaping this year alone.

Back in March, three 16-year-old boys escaped from the facility in Harrisburg.

Police say they ran off while switching classes around noon that day.

The incident is similar to the most recent escape this week.

A 17-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy escaped during another transition period around 3:30 p.m. Monday.

They were found about eight hours later near the Poinsett/Craighead county line.

The two boys were taken back to the Harrisburg facility, but police said they will be transferred to a more secure facility in Arkansas.

The Department of Human Services admitted Thursday that they know there is a problem.

"It has been too easy for youth to walk off and leave the facility," Deputy Chief of Communications for DHS Brandi Hinkle said.

She said they are having meetings at every level of the department from leadership in Little Rock to the on-site staff.

"To talk about what opportunities there were to for these youth to leave the property," Hinkle said.

There is no fence around the facility, but Hinkle said it is too early now if that could be a solution.

"We do have a couple of other sites in the state that do not have fences and we don't have any issue about youth walking off the property, so we think there are probably just some things we can do to be a little more vigilant," Hinkle said.

DHS is now reviewing security footage so they can determine what changes need to be made to the Harrisburg facility.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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