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Inmates' escape prompts independent review at Bon Air Correctional Facility

Posted at 10:17 PM, Jul 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-26 22:26:24-04

BON AIR, Va. -- The director of Virginia's Department of Juvenile Justice has ordered an independent review of the Bon Air Correctional Facility in Chesterfield after two inmates escaped earlier this month -- allegedly with the help of two corrections department staffers.

"I also have ordered a complete security analysis of the Bon Air campus in the wake of the escapes," Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice Director Valerie Boykin said. "Our DJJ investigators and Residential Services management team are conducting internal reviews, and I am bringing in an external team to conduct an independent analysis to augment our findings. We are committed to determine if more immediate security enhancements are needed at Bon Air."

The two men who escaped on July 13, 18-year-old Rashad Williams and 20-year-old Jabar Taylor, were "apprehended without incident" Saturday at a hotel in Battle Creek, Michigan, U.S. Marshals Service officials said.

Officials said Williams and Taylor allegedly choked a guard, snatched a set of keys, and made their way through a hole that had been cut in a fence at the Bon Air facility. Officials said a getaway car was waiting outside of the detention center.

Taylor, who was serving a sentence for convictions of two counts of second-degree murder and aggravated malicious assault, and Williams, who was previously convicted of malicious wounding and robbery, are being held at the Calhoun County Jail in Battle Creek.

During the investigation, the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force charged 23-year-old Destiny Harris, a corrections officer, and 42-year-old Darren Briggs, also an employee. Harris is charged with aiding, Briggs with felony providing a cell phone to a prisoner.

Boykin said the facility has not had anyone break out in more than 20 years, but noted the aging campus "highlights the need for a more modern state-of-the-art secure treatment facility."

"All of the dedicated professionals committed to the rehabilitation of the youth in our care at Bon Air join me in hoping that investigators will get to the bottom of this incident so that appropriate action may be taken," Boykin said.

The director also praised Virginia State Police, the U.S. Marshals Service, the FBI, as well as the law enforcement agencies in Michigan that captured the pair.