RI Prison Escapee Morales Arrested by MA State Police, Prison Officials React in Central Falls

Thursday, January 05, 2017

 

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JAMES WALTER MORALES

Massachusetts State Police have arrested escaped Wyatt Detention Center inmate James Morales in Somerville. 

Morales was arrested by a Massachusetts State Trooper and will be booked at the State Police Barracks in Medford.

See the MA State Police's Tweets Below

He escaped from the Donald Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls on Saturday, December 31. 

Following his escape, a multi-state manhunt was launched and Morales was put on the Massachusetts State Police most wanted list. 

In Rhode Island, prison officlals issued a statement.

The following comments were made by Central Falls Detention Facility Corporation Board Chairman Luke Gallant at an emergency board meeting called to discuss the ongoing investigation into inmate James W. Morales’ escape from the Wyatt Detention Facility on December 31, 2016:

Good evening and thank you to everyone for attending this important emergency meeting of the Central Falls Detention Facility Corporation.
Our number one priority is the safety and security of our community.  That means the safety of residents in our host community of Central Falls and nearby cities and towns, the safety of our correctional officers, the safety of officers from our partner law enforcement agencies, and the safety of our inmates.
Unfortunately, on December 31, 2016 at approximately 7:00 PM an inmate, James Morales, escaped from the Wyatt Detention Facility.

As the Chairman of the Board and as a retired police officer and corrections professional myself, I want to express that this situation is completely unacceptable.  We understand the deep concerns and many questions that community members and the media have raised since the incident.  Indeed, we have many of the exact same questions about what happened, how it happened, and how we can improve the Wyatt so an incident like this never occurs again.

That is why the Board has directed Warden Daniel Martin and his staff to conduct a top to bottom review of every aspect of the December 31st escape.  The Warden and his team are now in the process of interviewing every correctional officer on duty that day, every prisoner in the escaped detainee’s cell block, as well as reviewing all of our operational procedures and security measures.  
As a result of preliminary findings, three correctional officers and one lieutenant have been suspended with pay.

This investigation is ongoing and we are cooperating fully with the U.S. Marshals Office, the Rhode Island State Police, and the Central Falls Police Department.  
I can assure you that once completed, a full report will be made available once it has been shared with, reviewed, and cleared by the U.S. Marshals Office.

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Wyatt Detention Center

I know that many of you are eager for immediate answers, and this is understandable.  However, many of the questions being asked relate to highly sensitive information regarding prison protocols and security measures.  In several cases, we cannot share these specifics because they would put our correctional officers and the public at risk.

We are doing our best to balance these security concerns with our duty to inform community members and the media about the details of what occurred on December 31st.  We therefore ask for your patience as Warden Martin completes his ongoing investigation into the incident.

I want to reiterate that we will make this investigation report public once it has been shared with, reviewed, and cleared by the U.S. Marshals Office.
Regarding Warden Martin, I want to state that the Board of the Central Falls Detention Facility Corporation fully supports his leadership during this difficult time.  The Warden is a consummate corrections professional and we have full faith in the investigation he is now conducting.

Finally, I want to take a moment to publicly thank our partner law enforcement agencies.  The Central Falls Police Department, the Rhode Island State Police, the Massachusetts State Police and the Massachusetts law enforcement community swung into immediate action upon being notified of the escape situation.  We deeply appreciate the resources and mutual aid they offered in responding to the December 31st incident.

As I have stated, many of the details of this incident and ongoing investigation are highly sensitive.  The Board will therefore now go into executive session to discuss these matters.
In closing, the inmate escape incident which occurred on December 31st is totally unacceptable.  We are committed to getting to the bottom of what occurred, sharing our findings with our partners, the public, and the media, and to developing a corrective action plan to ensure an incident like this never again happens at the Donald Wyatt Detention Facility.
Thank you.

 

 

 

Related Slideshow: Prison Rape in RI

Below are figures on the number of reported rapes in Rhode Island’s state prison system over the past three years. Data is broken down by facility and year. Each slide lists the formal facility name when available, the current population, the total number of rape cases that were reported and investigated in that facility, and the breakdown of how many of those cases were substantiated and how many were not confirmed. Facilities are listed in order of year, starting with the oldest. The last slide lists the total number of cases across all years for all facilities. Data were provided by the Rhode Island Department of Corrections in response to a public records request. 

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Women’s Prison in 2012

Population: 154

Rape Cases Investigated: NA*

# Unconfirmed: NA*

# Confirmed: 1

Note: There are three buildings that house female prisoners. Minimum security and work-release inmates are in the Bernadette Building. The new Gloria McDonald facility is for female offenders awaiting trial and for those in medium security. The facilities have a current combined inmate population of 154. Rhode Island Department of Corrections data did not specify in which facility the confirmed rape case occurred. 

*Data on total cases and number unconfirmed was not available for each facility for 2012. 

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Intake Center in 2012

Anthony P. Travisono Intake Service Center

Population: 1,030

Rape Cases Investigated: NA*

# Unconfirmed: NA*

# Confirmed: 1

*Data on total cases and number unconfirmed was not available for each facility for 2012.

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Minimum Security in 2012

Population: 407

Rape Cases Investigated: NA*

# Unonfirmed: NA*

# Confirmed: 1

*Data on total cases and number unconfirmed was not available for each facility for 2012.

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Women's Prison in 2013

Population: 154

Rape Cases Investigated: 1

# Unconfirmed: 1

# Confirmed: 0

Note: There are three buildings that house female prisoners. Minimum security and work-release inmates are in the Bernadette Building. The new Gloria McDonald facility is for female offenders awaiting trial and for those in medium security. The facilities have a current combined inmate population of 154. Rhode Island Department of Corrections data did not specify in which facility the alleged rape case occurred. 

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Intake Center in 2013

Anthony P. Travisono Intake Service Center

Population: 1,030

Rape Cases Investigated: 4

# Unconfirmed: 3

# Confirmed: 1

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Prev Next

Minimum Security in 2013

Population: 407

Rape Cases Investigated: 1

# Unconfirmed: 0

# Confirmed: 1

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Medium Security in 2013

John J. Moran Medium Security Facility

Population: 1,047

Rape Cases Investigated: 2

# Unconfirmed: 1

# Confirmed: 1

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Intake Center in 2014

Anthony P. Travisono Intake Service Center

Population: 1,030

Rape Cases Investigated: 3

# Substantiated: 2

# Unconfirmed: 1

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Medium Security in 2014

John J. Moran Medium Security Facility

Population: 1,047

Rape Cases Investigated: 4

# Unconfirmed: 2

# Confirmed: 2

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Total All Facilities

Years: 2012 to 2014

Total Cases

# Investigated: 28

# Unconfirmed: 20 

# Confirmed: 8

 
 

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