Canyon County jail officials warn escapes will continue to happen until a new facility is built

Posted at 10:29 PM, Sep 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-15 00:32:41-04

The Canyon County Jail has seen its first escape of the year. This after a number of escapes over the past two years led to new security measures. 

"They have 24-hours a day to sit in there and figure out how to defeat this," said Captain Daren Ward, Jail Commander for the Canyon County Sheriff's Office. 

On Wednesday morning, police say Eric Garcia escaped from the Canyon County Minimum-Security Tent Jail. Investigators say he cut through the siding in the shower area and then climbed over a 10-foot fence with razor wire to escape.

"It is a tent, it's a tent that every time we fix something there are other areas that someone is going to try to figure out where they can comprise at that point," said Captain Ward.  

Police say Garcia was arrested almost immediately but not before he broke into a nearby house to change clothes. The 10-foot fence with razor wire that Garcia climbed over is just one of the new security measures county leaders finished installing just weeks ago. Police say this recent escape shows no matter how much they improve it, inmates will find a way to escape.

"Every time we figure out another way to harden another portion of the tent there will be a time they will find another place they can exploit and get out," said Captain Ward. "This is an on going problem in Canyon County that's not going to be solved until there is a new facility built."

Planning for a new jail has already begun, not only to keep inmates in but to hold more so the county doesn't have to let them go, or ship them out to other counties. 

"There are nearly 600 people on pretrial release and a lot of those people should be in a facility somewhere," said Captain Ward. "I've got people in multiple other counties that the county tax payers are paying $70 a day to house them out of the county because there is no room in our own jail.

At this time it's unknown how much a new jail would cost or how it would be paid for, or even if it would ever be approved. Until they get a new jail the Canyon County Sheriff's Office says they will continue to make improvements to the facilities they have now.