[r54] Rep. Saunders Urges Residents to Sign Up for Prison Alerts (1/31/2008)

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Start Date: 1/31/2008 All Day
End Date: 1/31/2008

Residents who live in communities near prisons are encouraged to sign up for the Department of Correction's new ALERT Notification Service. In the event of an escape, all registrants will receive detailed information about the inmate, including a physical description and the time of the escape. The automated calls will also relay specific information on other emergencies that could affect nearby homes.

"Since our area has an unfortunate history with incidents at nearby correctional facilities, I encourage residents to consider signing up for this new notification service," said Rep. Tom Saunders (R-Lewisville). "By registering for the service we can all have the peace of mind that our communities will be notified if any further incidents occur."

In February 2007, an inmate at the New Castle Correctional Facility forged a release order purporting to be from the Marion Superior Court Judge and was accidentally released. A full-scale prison riot in April 2007 at the same facility prompted many residents to ask to be notified as situations arose in nearby correctional facilities. Last week, the New Castle Correctional Facility went under lockdown, as a fight broke out between prison guards and inmates.

"I believe the input and concerns given to the Department of Corrections by our neighborhoods in community meetings helped to at least play a small role in bringing this notification service to fruition. I commend our community for taking a stand for the safety of our area," said Rep. Saunders.

To register for the ALERT Notification Service, call toll-free 866-949-2537 and provide your phone number - cell numbers are acceptable - and the facility's ZIP code.