A while back we reported on the case of an ex-prison officer who, while working in Bristol, inadvertently provided an inmate with the materials to finish his wooden escape ladder. A similar story arose in America last week, where three inmates at the medium-security Allen-Oakwood Correctional Institution in Lima, Ohio, escaped using a 13.5 foot ladder they had built themselves. The ladder was used to gain access to the roof of an administration building, from where the three escapees jumped 15 feet and fled across fields. The three escapees, including school-shooter T.J. Lane, were all apprehended and returned to prison within nine hours of the escape, with Lane captured in woodland six hours after escaping, allegedly armed with a pitchfork, and the last man found under a boat across the road. The escape plan is thought to have been in the offing for several months prior to the escape, as a report by a prison officer fifteen months before the incident noted that discarded wooden cabinets, containing torches and batteries, had been found in a maintenance access area. It was this maintenance access area that was the base for the escape plan. The three inmates had gained access to the maintenance area by managing to open a padlock, and from there they gained access to the crawl space where it is thought they stashed the ladder while they built it. Although the investigation into the escape does not state what the ladder was made from, or how the escapees managed to move the ladder from their hiding place to the recreation yard they escaped from, it is a reasonable assumption that the ladder was made from wood, in line with the report that discarded wooden cabinets had been found near the maintenance access area. The fact that the escapees managed to move this ladder into an open recreation area leads one to think that it was made in sections that could be stashed under clothing or within other equipment, and then easily and quickly assembled in situ. The trio had ample time to plan the construction, as they seem to have been planning the escape and the method for several months prior to the actual escape. Lane was not charged with escape, as county prosecutor Juergen Waldick did not want to give him the opportunity to appear in public, and as he is serving a life sentence without parole he would not be released in any case. At his sentencing for the shooting of three students in the cafeteria at Chardon High School, Cleveland, he wore a t-shirt with the word 'killer' scrawled on it. The families of the victims did not want Lane to have any chance of mocking them again. Lindsey Bruce, another lifer who was involved in the escape, was also not charged with escape, although he was stopped by a guard before managing to flee the grounds of the prison. Waldick saw the charging and transport of these two men as a waste of taxpayer's money as well as a further security risk. Clifford Opperud, the other escapee, was charged and sentenced to five more years in prison for his role in the escape.Â All three men have since been moved to a high-security facility. The Allen-Oakwood facility has since had lighting upgrades as well as razor wire installed on the administration buildings, as well as a new alarm system and, no doubt, a tightening of the rules on which inmates are allowed access to tools or materials that could be used to build ladders!