Safeguards in place while portion of prison fence offline

The Department of Corrections said extra patrols and other layers of protection were in place while a small portion a prison's fence was not electrified.

Posted: Jul. 12, 2018 2:57 PM
Updated: Jul. 12, 2018 2:58 PM

(CAMERON, Mo.) The Department of Corrections said extra patrols and other layers of protection were in place while a small portion a prison's fence was not electrified.

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KQ2 reported about the fence issues on Wednesday. Earlier that day, the DOC spokesperson, Karen Pojmann, said in a phone interview that she would need to check about the information to clarify whether and if it was true.

After the interview Pojmann emailed KQ2 with more information about the fence and safety concerns.

"A small section of the lethal fence at Crossroads malfunctioned and was not properly electrified (temporarily not lethal) for a time earlier this year as we awaited replacement parts," Pojmann said in email.

Former and current DOC employees delivered KQ2 internal department documents. Those documents show that as early as May 11 and as late as July, zone 2 of the electric fence at Crossroads prison was offline.

In the email, Pojmann said yes the fence was not properly working in one area, however extra patrols, and other safeguards were in place.

"During that time, extra vehicle patrols were deployed to keep a closer eye on that area," she said in email. "Around Crossroads Correctional Center, there are five layers of fences. All fences are more than 25 feet tall."

Each of those fences is blanketed with razor sharp wire, according to Pojmann. She said one of the five layers of fence is lethal, meaning anyone who touches it will be instantly electrocuted.

In another email Thursday, Pojmann asked KQ2 to clarify earlier reporting about the use of the word "down" in connection to the electric fence. In that email, the DOC spokesperson said all five layers of the fence have been standing up all along.

"One portion of one of the five layers of fencing was temporarily not electrified — in other words, not deadly," Pojmann said. "But it was up. I’m guessing people probably don’t even know we have a layer of lethal fence within our fences, so simply reporting that the fence is “broken” or “down” gives the false impression that it is penetrable. It is not penetrable."

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