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Police Continue Search For Escaped Deer Ridge Inmate

Law enforcement officials are continuing the search for an escaped inmate who broke out of a minimum security facility near Madras this weekend.

Prison officials say Clinton Orvill Swearingen escaped by scaling a razor-wire fence at the Deer Ridge Correctional Facility.  He was brought to Deer Ridge in February after being convicted on multiple counts of theft and burglary in Linn County.  

Deer Ridge spokeswoman Marissa Wilson says this is the first time anyone has escaped from the facility in its seven-year history.

“We recognize this is a very serious event and community safety is our number one priority and we will do a complete security review of the situation to find out where the breakdown was,” said Wilson.

Wilson says that review will include a look at the emergency phone-alert system that was supposed to notify community members.  That automated system didn’t work in this case. 

Wilson says it appears the problem may have been created when the prison switched the contractor it uses to provide that service. 

She says the prison is working with the new company to fix the problem.

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