DISCLAIMER: Okay, let’s just preface this article by saying that this is not an invitation to, or a guide for, escaping prison. 

Do not try this at home… or in prison. You get the point.



Any who. Is it just me, or are you getting some serious "Shawshank Redemption" vibes too?

Upon researching this article, I couldn’t help but picture the 1994 classic:

I imagined prisoners spending years master-minding a foolproof plan, physically and painstakingly digging a hole through the prison walls, and finally wading through miles of sewage to burst into newfound freedom.


Credit: Castle Rock Entertainment
Credit: Castle Rock Entertainment

Alas, this story may not be nearly as cool, but a lot more people escape from prison every year than I could have ever imagined.


How many people are we talking here?

According to Statista, 2,231 inmates escaped from Federal prisons in the United States in just 2019 alone. 

While these numbers have gradually decreased over the years, this is still an alarming number.


AP News reported just last year that 29 inmates had escaped from high security federal prisons since 2020, and nearly half of them still hadn’t been caught.

Breakouts in high security facilities are especially rare, due to their reinforced fences, high number of staff and guard dogs. 

But obviously, this is not an uncommon occurrence.


How does this happen?

High security:

According to AP News, “at some of the institutions, doors are left unlocked, security cameras are broken and officials sometimes don’t notice an inmate is missing for hours.”

Prisons are also severely overcrowded, with the inmates far outnumbering the staff.


Minimum security:

However, most escapes occur at minimum security facilities. 

In fact, out of everyone behind bars, roughly 3% of inmates escape at some point and 89% of these occur at minimum security facilities.



A large number of escapes are also by prisoners who simply walked away from unsecured facilities.

Whether it’s at a halfway house, farm or job site, prisoners wandered off unnoticed.

It’s like “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” but without the incredible music numbers and George Clooney’s rugged good looks.

Credit: Blind Bard Pictures
Credit: Blind Bard Pictures


Does this happen in Idaho?

In December 2021, two inmates simply walked away from a job site in Fruitland.

The same thing happened just a few months before that, when two other prisoners walked away from a worksite in Marsing.


In fact, if you simply Google “Idaho escaped prisoners,” you’ll find a number of articles within the last year of inmates who have escaped throughout the state.

The common theme within these incidents seems to be that prisoners are simply walking away from job sites – perhaps there’s some extra measures we can take to make sure this doesn’t continue happening?


Well, that’s a relief. 

On the plus side, it appears that the majority of escaped prisoners are eventually recaptured and placed back in prison... 

However, on the other hand, it is nearly impossible to determine how many are still at large, and that is certainly not a comforting thought. 


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