McALESTER, Okla. (AP) — For the second time this week, an inmate has escaped from a minimum-security prison in southeast Oklahoma where one inmate, four workers and a probation officer tested positive for the coronavirus, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections said Thursday.
Jeremiah Hobbs, 40, walked away Thursday from the Jackie Brannon Correctional Center in McAlester where he was serving an eight-year sentence for burglary, according to DOC spokesman Matt Elliott.
It was not immediately clear how Hobbs escaped, Elliott said.
On Sunday, five inmates escaped the unfenced prison where four prison workers, a probation and parole officer and an inmate tested positive for the coronavirus. Four of the escaped inmates have been recaptured while Christopher Coffey, 29, remains at large.
The DOC has implemented security measures similar to a lockdown in which inmates at prisons with cells are kept in their cells in an effort to prevent the spread of virus. At least 1,684 people have been sickened and 80 have died in Oklahoma of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, according to the state health department.
However, minimum security prisons such as Jackie Brannon do not have cells, and inmates are instead kept in areas that Elliott said is similar to a dormitory.