BEND, OR -- Two Deschutes County inmates that allegedly tried to escape from a work crew this week, now face additional criminal charges, and the incident has prompted the Sheriff's Office to review policies surrounding the inmate work program.
Shawn McCallister and Christopher Turre reportedly drank hand sanitizer from the jail transport van prior to taking a quad from the Sheriff’s Rescue Ranch, Wednesday. Hand sanitizer typically is 60% alcohol. The two allegedly took the ATV, forced their way out of the ranch's gate and were seen by witnesses doing cookies near Arnold Market Road, before they were re-captured. "Unfortunately, these two individuals made a bad decision, and they're going to have to pay for it again," says Captain Michael Shults, "The whole goal is that we stop having them make bad decisions, and we don't want to ruin this program for a number of people that have been going through it for many years, that have earned benefits from it."
The work crew program is available to inmates sentenced to less than a year in jail. Participants work around the community, painting over graffiti, cleaning out homeless camps, and nursing rescued animals back to health. Shults says the goal is to teach the inmates skills that may keep them from committing further crimes, "[To] Give them some tools, get them back into the community, help them do some projects, and hopefully those types of things transfer to the person wanting to make changes when they get out of our custody. We want them to have successes and the work crew allows them to have success." Shults says dangerous felons aren't allowed in programs that require leaving the jail, "Anybody that comes in, we look at them to see what their charges are. We take the lowest means of crime, such as non person-to-person crime. Sex offenders, we don't allow on work crew." In this week's incident, he says both inmates were apprehended within a short time, with little risk to the community.
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While he doesn't want to see the program scrapped, Capt. Shults believes there's always room for improvement, "I think, any time you have something like this that occurs, you want to look at your policies. We want to make sure that the right individuals are on the crew, so we're evaluating that." McCallister and Turre face new charges of Escape 2, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Criminal Mischief 1. McCallister is also accused of DUII, Attempt to Elude, Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangering and Driving While Suspended.