Florida prisons trying to avoid being fooled again

Published On: Nov 05 2013 05:12:35 AM EST
Updated On: Nov 05 2013 06:23:04 AM EST
Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

We're learning new information about the investigation into Florida's prison system and how two inmates were wrongfully released last month.

A Senate panel said it's pleased with progress law enforcement and court officials have made to ensure this never happens again.

Authorities are already implementing new technology called 'A Secure E-System' that'll help detect a problem.

The state expects to begin using the new technology in February of 2014. It allows authorities to check an order with a judge if it changes the sentences or looks odd for any reason. This e-system was already funded and was already being implemented when Charles Walker and Joseph Jenkins escaped.

There are still lots of questions for Florida lawmakers dealing with the wrongful release of Walker and Jenkins. Both men were serving life sentences at Franklin Correctional Institution.

During a briefing Monday, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement commissioner said they've gotten leads on who helped the inmates and that arrests will be made soon.

"We have citizens that think they know something and in some cases they do," said FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey.

During the briefing, presenters showed examples of forged documents such as those from the two inmates that escaped and then they talked about what plans they have in place to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Karen Rushing, the legislative chair for Florida Clerks laid out the new policies.

"We're trying to make sure that the document that comes to the clerks office particularly, if it's a release order with the judges signature, actually came from the judge," said Rushing.

The Department of Corrections had also assigned 40 staff members to check almost 10,000 release dates that have been changed for inmates.

"It's our responsibility as the criminal justice system to make sure that we look and turn over every rock we can, explore every opportunity there is," said Florida Corrections Department Secretary, Michael Crews.

Authorities know of five other attempted escapes using the same method of fake documents. one of the prior attempts was by Jenkins.

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