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A Grant County Detention Center inmate was back in custody April 3, less than 24 hours after he leapt off the roof of the facility.
Steven W. Price, 25, of Harrison County, was last seen around 12:50 a.m. at the jail.
Price is a Class D state inmate who was serving a 10-year-sentence for burglary charges out of Harrison County.
Class D inmates have minimum security in jail and clean and do other labor daily throughout the county.
Kentucky State Police were notified at 2:52 a.m. and investigated the case.
Price was located and arrested on an escape charge around 10 p.m. at a residence in Cynthiana.
Grant County Jailer Terry Peeples, who was out of town during the incident, classified the incident as a walk-off and not an escape.
“When an inmate escapes you’re saying somebody got out of a secure part of the facility,” he said. “When your dealing with Class D inmates, it’s a walk-off.”
“This is our third walk-off in four years,” Peeples said. “That is extremely low. There is a walk-off that occurs somewhere in the state of Kentucky almost everyday. Boone County had one walk-off the very next day.”
Peeples said Price left his cell area after a deputy jailer finished a walkthrough and headcount.
The inmate then went out a door to the outside recreational area.
Peeples said exterior doors to the recreational area in the Class D area are left unlocked as mandated by the Department of Corrections because of fire codes.
“Those doors are supposed to be alarmed so when they’re open the alarm sounds,” he said. “The door this gentlemen went out has been disabled. It’s not working.”
Peeples said he assumes the door being disabled was foul play, but the door is being fixed and deputy jailers will now check that they are working properly every shift.
“There’s a good chance they could still get away,” he said. “We would just know it a little quicker and try to apprehend them before they get off the property. It’s not 100-percent foolproof. Because we know that’s a possibility, we’re very particular who we put in Class D. Department of Corrections has guidelines, but we make it stricter.”
Peeples said he does not allow violent offenders, including inmates charged with domestic violence, wanton endangerment or escape in the program.
In the Class D work program, no inmate from Grant County is allowed to do work outside of the facility.
“If they live here, it’s more of a temptation to leave,” Peeples said.
Once outside, Peeples said Price stayed close to the walls to avoid security cameras before darting to the corner of a fence.
Price allegedly used the fence and the wall to get onto the roof, which he jumped approximately 15 feet off of to get out of the facility.
Peeples said barb wire will be added to the fence in the recreational area and parts of the roof area to help prevent further incidents.
When the jail officials realized Price was not in the building, Peeples said the procedure was followed correctly.
“They locked it down,” he said. “They did an emergency headcount. They notified law enforcement. They started notifying the hospital, the school resource officer and the county that the inmate’s charges were out of. They followed procedure by the book.”
Price is now lodged in the maximum security area of the jail.
Peeples said he will be treated as a high-escape risk for the remainder of his sentence.
Price was previously eligible for parole in January 2016, but the new charge could add five years to his sentence.
Despite the walk-off, Peeples said the Class D program is crucial and essential to Grant county.
Three crews go out daily into the county to provide labor with a fourth about to be added.
There are 70 inmates in the program.
“It provides a million hours of free labor to this community a year,” Peeples said. “ It’s a great benefit, but what we have to understand is that by accepting the Class D program and by accepting that free labor, it’s a trade off. There is a risk that Class Ds will walk off from time to time. The benefit they provide outweighs the risk.”