Minimum-security criteria reviewed after recent escape at York

East Lyme - The escape of a female prisoner at York Correctional Institution over the weekend has once again prompted the Department of Correction to review who is housed in the minimum-security side of the facility, which is not totally secured by a fence.

Karen Martucci, acting spokeswoman for the DOC, said the department will conduct an audit to see how it could prevent "walk-aways" from recurring.

"We are going to look at how inmates are classified," she said. "We are going to look at our security tools, whether that means fencing, lighting or other things of that nature."

The escape of Lori Beyus, 49, of Torrington early Sunday was the second time such an incident occurred in the last three months. She is serving a 51-month sentence for a Milford robbery in 2012.

Martucci noted that the prisoner's offense is one of many areas that the DOC looks at when assessing whether a person is a security risk, as well as educational and programming needs.

The prison was placed on lockdown about 6:15 a.m. Sunday, and an emergency count of prisoners was ordered when correction officers reported that Beyus was missing during breakfast in the dining hall.

She was found 12 hours later in the area along Interstate 95 near the North Bride Brook Road overpass.

On Jan. 5, two prisoners were walking back from the gymnasium to their housing unit in an unfenced part of the prison when they fled to a location on nearby Roxbury Road, where they were picked up by someone in a vehicle. The two women were apprehended in Hartford about 24 hours later.

After the January incident, inmates with a history of escape were relocated to a higher-security section of the prison.

Martucci added that the walk-aways are low-risk offenders who are typically apprehended quickly.

"After the audit is complete, we will decide whether we have to change something or add something," she said.

i.larraneta@theday.com

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