'They just keep escaping': Philadelphia prisons under scrutiny after recent escapes, inmate killed

Neighbors living near Philadelphia prisons voice concerns about safety after at least 3 escapes, 1 killing

Corey Davis Image
Friday, December 1, 2023
Philadelphia escaped prisoner still on the run after taking off during work duty
Philadelphia police are searching for 34-year-old Gino Hagenkotter after the inmate escaped from a facility on Thursday.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- There have been at least three escapes and one killing in the last six months from the prisons along State Road in Philadelphia, leaving neighbors nervous.

They hear the helicopters after each escape and see police searching their blocks.

Now, families say they are worried about how they're going to keep themselves safe.

"I just got to keep my children safe because that's what I'm worried about -- being as that's where I live in the neighborhood, where the escapees come from and they just keep escaping. They just keep escaping from here," said Theodore Goins, from Northeast Philadelphia.

RELATED: Prisoner still on the run after escaping from Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia's Center City

Philadelphia prisons are facing scruitany amid continued issues, includes the killing of a 44-year-old man who was found dead just before 4 a.m. Thursday inside Curran-Fromhold prison. Action News has learned from investigators that he died after being assaulted and that no weapon was recovered.

However, officials say a 30-year-old man is in custody, but at last check, no one is currently charged.

The latest escape also comes after two inmates escaped in May through a hole in a fence down the street at the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center. Officials said staff knew about the hole days before.

RELATED: New video shows 2 inmates escape Philadelphia prison; not enough guards on duty, DA says

New video shows the moment Ameen Hurst and Nasir Grant escaped the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center back in May.

Ameen Hurst, accused of killing four people, was one of the escapees. Both prisoners were caught within 10 days after multiple agencies tracked them down.

Prison officials say a staffing crisis was among the many failures that led to that escape.

However, with the Gino Hagenkotter escape from Riverside Correctional Thursday, Action News is told he was being monitored by a corrections officer and simply climbed over a fence and ran.

People who live around the area say it should not be that easy to get out.

RELATED: Prison officials had 'concerns about the leadership' year before escape

"There should not be that many loopholes in the prison," Goins said.

The city council has held hearings concerning the escapes and is working on ways to address issues, like technology upgrades and staffing issues.