Gregg County Jail staff disciplined after inmate found missing three days later

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GREGG COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – After a Gregg County Jail inmate was noticed missing three days after he dug his way out of his cell, 25 staff members are being disciplined for their lack of attentiveness.

Jace Laws escaped from the jail on December 23 but wasn’t discovered missing by staff until December 26 when reports were made to the media and public.

Authorities say Laws carved out portions of the brick gaining access to the building infrastructure and making his way to the exterior of the Gregg County Courthouse.

He was then found off US 271 on the morning of December 27.

According to Sheriff Maxey Cerliano, due to the incident, nine staff members have resigned, one voluntarily retired, eight were given a three-day suspension, and seven were given a written reprimand.

In light of the incident, the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office conducted a thorough investigation with the jail commission to look for any weak points they they did not see prior to the escape. Further investigation revealed a gap connected with the HVAC system and the roof. Since then, they have closed the gap and are going to be installing a motion detector and alarm system to increase security measures.

Along with infrastructure improvements, the county plans to improve the training of its employees including integrity training.

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