R.I. Prison Chairman Calls James Morales Escape ‘Unacceptable And Inexcusable’

CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (CBS) – The chairman of the Board of Directors for the Wyatt Detention Center in Rhode Island called the escape of inmate James Morales “unacceptable and inexcusable” and said a complete investigation is underway.

Morales escaped from the facility on New Year’s Eve and was on the run until Thursday when he was captured in Somerville following a pair of attempted bank robberies.

Before an emergency meeting Thursday night at the Rhode Island prison, Luke Gallant, the chairman of the Board of Directors for the Wyatt Detention Facility Corporation, said a complete review of how Morales escaped will be completed and a report will be released to the public.

“As chairman of this board, and on behalf of the board members I want to express that this incident is wholly and entirely unacceptable and inexcusable,” said Gallant.

James Morales (Image credit: Mass. State Police)

James Morales (Image credit: Mass. State Police)

Gallant said three correctional officers and one supervisor have been placed on administrative leave after a preliminary investigation.

Watch: Wyatt Officials On Escaped Inmate Investigation

“We want to know what happened, how it happened, and we want to improve the Wyatt so that it never happens again,” said Gallant.

During the investigation into Morales’ escape prison officials will interview correctional officers and detainees from Morales’ cell block.

A recreation yard at Wyatt Correctional Facility, the jail James Morales escaped from on New Year's Eve. (WBZ-TV)

A recreation yard at Wyatt Correctional Facility, the jail James Morales escaped from on New Year’s Eve. (WBZ-TV)

Gallant said that not all elements of the investigation can be released to the public for safety reasons.

“We want to know were the procedures and policies in place on that day followed without exception?” said Gallant. “If they were, what are the holes and where are the holes that allowed this escape? If those policies and procedures were not followed, we want to know by whom and did it play a direct role in allowing Mr. Morales to escape?”

It is not yet known when the report will be released.

“We will develop a corrective action plan to ensure that an incident like this never happens at the Wyatt again,” said Gallant.

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