At least 29 out of the 47 inmates that recently escaped from the Voinjama Central Prison in Lofa County have been re-arrested and placed behind bars, he Liberia National Police (LNP) has confirmed.
Eighteen other jail breakers remain at large and the LNP is seeking to re-arrest them, prison officials said yesterday.
According to a local non-governmental organization, Mitigating Local Dispute in Liberia (MLDL), the inmates broke out of jail owing to overcrowding at the prison.
The MLDL quoted a corrections officer as saying that the 47 inmates overpowered the officers on duty, broke the cell doors and destroyed a section of the prison’s main wall before fleeing.
“They began shouting and subsequently broke through their cell doors before coming to the main wall,” the officer explained. “We were few on duty at the time of the incident.”
Those who broke jail were mainly pretrial detainees under various charges including murder, rape, and burglary; drug trafficking, aggravated assault, among others. There were no political detainees.
A police source said that although prison officials are aware of overcrowding at the prison facility, nothing has been done about it.
Presently, the prison’s main walls as well as cell doors are damaged, rendering the prison facility vulnerable, especially with the presence of those who were re-arrested and returned to the facility.
Sam Collins, spokesman for the LNP in Monrovia, confirmed the incident to the Daily Observer and said they would officially address the situation today.