Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Miami jail security breach studied

MIAMI — Miami-Dade County corrections officials say they are investigating a security breach that opened jail cell doors in a maximum security wing.

When the electronically controlled doors opened June 13 at the Miami jail, four inmates attacked a fifth inmate, Kenneth Williams, who leapt from a second-floor tier to escape.

Williams remains hospitalized with injuries to his ankle and back.

The Miami Herald obtained internal corrections department reports about the breach. The agency's assistant director, Marydell Guevara, says 48 cell doors were open for less than five minutes.

Corrections officers subdued the four inmates with pepper spray and confiscated at least two homemade shanks, the newspaper reported. Williams was charged with having a contraband blade.

Officials say a similar breach suddenly opened cell doors May 20, though no incidents involving inmates were reported.

"I still can't believe it actually occurred," said Williams' lawyer, J.C. Dugue. "The negligence is amazing, especially if they knew this was already a problem. My client has lots of enemies in jail, and he is in a safety cell for a reason."

The new computerized sliding door system is part of an ongoing $1.4 million security upgrade that is scheduled for completion next month. Investigators are looking at the control panel that operates the sliding doors.

Officers said the control panel's lighting went out when the system malfunctioned on June 13. They also said no one pressed the button for the door release feature, but a review of the internal computer showed "operator error," Guevara said.

Miami jail security breach studied 07/04/13 [Last modified: Thursday, July 4, 2013 9:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Authorities say cocaine is making comeback in Florida


    FORT LAUDERDALE — Drug enforcement officials say traffickers are bringing more cocaine into South Florida than at any time in the past decade.

    Traffickers are bringing more cocaine into South Florida than at any time in the past decade, officials say.  [Times files]
  2. Amid escalating Russia crisis, Trump considers major staff changes


    President Donald Trump and his advisers, seeking to contain the escalating Russia crisis that threatens to consume his presidency, are considering a retooling of his senior staff and the creation of a "war room" within the White House, according to several aides and outside Trump allies.

    President Donald Trump is reportedly considering a retooling of his senior staff. [Doug Mills/The New York Times]
  3. Karen Lugo, 13, from Tampa, holds up her IPad Mini to take a picture of herself while relaxing in the sand alongside her mother, Karen Castro (on left), at the North Beach area of Fort DeSoto on Memorial Day (05/27/13). Karen comes to the beach with her family for holidays, she said. Also present was her older brother and three cousins.
  4. For starters: Rays at Twins, with Cobb pitching with a purpose


    UPDATE, 11:06: Here is the Rays lineup, with Sucre catching and Martinez at 2b:

  5. To many Americans, Memorial Day has lost its meaning


    ANNVILLE, Pa. — Allison Jaslow heard it more than once as the long holiday weekend approached — a cheerful "Happy Memorial Day!" from oblivious well-wishers.

    Sgt. Heather Lynn Johnsen, of Roseville, Calif., guards the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Friday, March 22, 1996, in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. [Associated Press file]