I-Team: Internal review shows security flaws at Cleveland House of Corrections

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CLEVELAND - The Fox 8 I-Team has obtained an internal document outlining security flaws at a local jail, the Cleveland House of Corrections. And the I-Team found even more security gaps roaming around outside.

The internal report was sparked by an inmate escape. This summer police said Darryl Smith broke out. Investigators pointed out he had a violent past, and he’d been doing time for threatening to kill an ex-lover. U.S. Marshals ultimately tracked Smith down.

While Smith was out, he called the I-Team. Smith said he could escape because a back kitchen door had always been left unlocked, guards didn’t monitor security cameras, and Smith said he was able to put on extra clothes and ditch his jail outfit as he took off.

Now a city internal review recommends punishment for a jail cook. That review also calls for repairs to gates, training for employees, better training records, and updates to policies and procedures.

Wednesday, the I-Team, drove to the jail. At the entrance, we found a rusty gate that didn’t open or close. Just inside we saw a hole in a fence where someone could crawl through. Around the back, we also saw weak spots in the fencing. Plus, in some spots bushes had overgrown the barbed wired on the fences.

No guards from the jail came out. In fact, the I-Team wandered around for about 30 minutes before 3 Highland Hills officers pulled up and asked what we were doing.

Darryl Smith currently is locked up. Records show he plead guilty to the escape, and he has another criminal court matter still pending.

Dan Ball, Cleveland’s Assistant Director of Media Relations said in a statement, “The City will evaluate the deficiencies addressed in the Office of Integrity Control, Compliance and Employee Accountability report and determine a strategy for corrective actions.”