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Update: Three juvenile escapees apprehended, back in custody

NATCHEZ — Three juveniles are back in custody after escaping from the Adams County Juvenile Detention Center Saturday evening.

The Natchez Police Department issued a Code Red alert at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, reporting the missing detainees.

Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong said two of the escapees were apprehended at approximately 11:30 p.m. Saturday in the area of Abbott Street.

The third escapee was apprehended Sunday evening in Brookhaven, Armstrong said.

“I am pleased all three juveniles are back in custody without anyone getting hurt or killed,” Armstrong said. “However, I believe it is time that security measures at the youth detention center are revised to make certain this occurrence doesn’t become the norm. As you know, the same thing happened not very long ago.”

Adams County Juvenile Detention Center Director Henry Upshaw said Armstrong’s remarks give the wrong impression about the center.

“The impression is that we have had escapes before,” Upshaw said. “The last time there was an escape in the city the escapees were not in our custody.”

In February, three Pike County juveniles escaped while being transported to the detention center and were not in the custody of the detention center at the time of escape.

The juveniles were apprehended and back in custody the same day they escaped.

Upshaw said Saturday’s incident was different than the February incident.

“This one was on us,” Upshaw said.

After reviewing the incident, Upshaw said the escape was not due to faulty policy but rather was due to “a momentary lapse of concentration and not following procedures for that moment.”

Upshaw said the juveniles were able to access an area they were not supposed to be in and busted a window to escape.

Upshaw said he and his staff will determine what actions to take in response to the incident.

“Disciplinary action will certainly be forthcoming,” Upshaw said. “We are still making a determination as to what that will be; but termination is a strong possibility.”

“The goal is to ensure that this never happens again because public safety is our number one concern,” Upshaw said.