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Series of Errors Blamed for Prison Break

Findings from first of the investigations of the prison break in Ionia last month is released

A breakdown in prison protocol and a bit of luck for Michael Elliot is being blamed for allowing the convicted killer to walk away from the Ionia Correctional Facility.

That’s the finding of a state Department of Corrections report on what led to the prison escape the night of Super Bowl Sunday. is reporting that a formal report–one of three on the high profile prison break-found error on the part of prison guards and equipment allowed for the breach.  Microwave alarm systems that would have detected vibration on the grounds had not been properly reset after being triggered.  That allowed Elliot to go unnoticed as he made his way through the snow to the first of two fences to make his escape.

A third sensor was apparently misaligned allowing Elliot to crawl under it to get away.

The man, convicted of the murders of four people back in the 1990’s, was last on videotape around 6 pm February 2nd just as, prison officials say, he was preparing to make his escape.

Despite all the human errors that allowed for the convicted murdered to make his way out of the prison, Elliot was apparently just lucky.  The report also indicates that he would have had no way of knowing of any of the security breaches on the day he decided to escape.

Corrections department officials say many of those problems have already been addressed and corrected and more security is being considered to keep events like this from happening again.

Attorney General Bill Schuette is conducting his own investigation of the break after being asked to do so by Governor Snyder.  Others want an investigation into whether cuts in prison funding could have left the Ionia facility vulnerable.

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