Escape Leads to Security Modification At Reformatory

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An employee's failure to follow procedures allowed three juveniles to escape last week, officials at the Northeastern Nevada Juvenile Detention Center said.

Elko County Chief Probation Office Jim Watson said the youths didn't plan the escape last Monday but took advantage of the opportunity when it arose.

"We've added another level to security procedures so it's less likely to happen in the future," Watson told the Elko Daily Free Press.

Watson said one youth told detention officer Leslie Johnston, who was in the control room, that he had an upset stomach. Johnston opened the control room door and then opened the door to the boy's cell area.

According to procedures, no two doors in the facility are to be open or unlocked at the same time.

The youth overpowered the guard and pulled her into his cell's day area. The officer yelled and the shift supervisor, Sharlyn Papin, came to her aid, Watson said.

But one of the other boys pushed Papin into the day area and the three boys closed the door, locking the women inside. The three boys then escaped.

"It was a violation of policy. There's no excuse for it," Watson said. "It's sent a clear message to everyone who works here. It will never happen again on my watch.

"It's one of those serious and unfortunate incidents."

The three boys were caught about two hours later.