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Residents Concerned about Frequency of Escaped Inmates

An inmate escapes from the Pope County Detention Center but is caught hours later.
POPE COUNTY, AR -- After hours of searching, Pope County sheriff's deputies found their man.

He's an inmate who escaped from the detention center this morning.

Searching for escaped inmates has become a popular drill for Arkansas Sheriff's Departments.

The most recent one happened this morning in Pope County.

While Nicholas Allen was caught just before 7:00 tonight, people are concerned about the frequency of escaped inmates and what's being done to prevent these escapes from happening.

Noah Chagnon, a Scott County resident, said, "It's never good for anyone to escape, especially when it happens all the time."

Ben Freeman, from Hector, said, "It's happening a lot and I would definitely like for it to happen less."

People are a bit baffled about how inmates can escape from what's supposed to be one of the most protected places in the county.

Freeman said, "There's probably something that needs to be addressed, whether it's jailers or security things and other stuff like that."

Brenda Dane, from Pope County, said, "There is a deluding of all parts of our world and I think all of us have concerns, but we must have trust that something is going to be done."

The Pope County sheriff says the inmate -- Nicholas Allen -- turned up missing sometime before the morning headcount.

While he's still investigating what happened, Sheriff Aaron Duvall says part of the problem is overcrowding.

The detention center is maxed out at 172 inmates, but he says there are 186 inmates right now.

Still, tax-payers hope the excuses will be replaced with solutions soon.

Dane said, "I think that we need to have a system that is prepared for anything in the time we're living in."

Chagnon added, "I want to be safe, for my kids to be safe and everybody else to be safe."

Sheriff Duvall says they found Allen in Harrison, nearly two hours from the county detention center in Russellville.

How he got there is under investigation, but detectives believe he had some help so there could be more arrests made in this case.

Allen was behind bars for misdemeanors like public intoxication and disorderly conduct and now he faces a felony escape charge.

The sheriff told FOX16 News he was caught after a news viewer saw his mugshot on TV, recognized him and then called authorities.

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