GDC says inmates used a toothbrush to escape from bus in Putnam Co.

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ATLANTA, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Georgia Department of Corrections is doing a little correcting of its own after a thorough investigation of an inmate escape in June. Now we know exactly how those two inmates got out.

“Two of the prisoners got out of the back somehow and got into the drivers compartment,” said one jail official.

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A chilling ‘somehow’ was all we were left with when news broke that inmates Ricky Dubose and Donnie Rowe had escaped…. until now.

“Review the existing processes and procedures across the transportation platform, which included ride along’s and observations.”

After weeks of reviewing the case, The Georgia Department of Corrections found that it all started with a toothbrush, “We are aware they were able to take a pen or toothbrush on the bus that day,” said Commissioner Greg Dozier.



An unlocked door. “The padlock on the security gate was not secured,” Dozier added. And two loose set of cuffs. “The inmates were not double locked which as we know is a security practice that should be done,” he continued.

The investigation panel took a look at their transport procedures and found that many hadn’t been followed that day.

“The inmates were not continuously supervised on the bus. There are two occasions, once on the grounds at Baldwin and once on the grounds at Hancock, that the inmates were left alone”

All it took was the blink of an eye. “Within minutes they were able to get out of their cuffs not just them but others.”

That’s how they used the tooth brush to remove the already unlocked padlock on the door separating the inmates and guards.

“Upon the breach of the compartment on the escape, the offenders were able to take the weapon that was stored on the shelf behind the officers and use that for the murder and the escape.”

The investigation of procedures that day and the escape itself were conducted separately. The GBI, State Patrol, and Department of Natural Resources all participated in the review.