PHILADELPHIA – Yesterday the Philadelphia Department of Prisons (PDP) announced that inmates Ameen Hurst and Nasir Grant were able to escape the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center (PICC) through a deliberately cut hole in the facility’s fencing on Sunday, May 7 at approximately 8:30 p.m. The inmates remained undetected as missing by facility staff until the afternoon of Monday, May 8. Philadelphia Police were notified immediately upon this discovery shortly after 3 p.m. Within hours of learning of the inmates’ escape, PDP held a press conference at 7:30 PM to provide the media with the facts they had available at that time and were able to share.
PDP’s Office of Professional Compliance is actively investigating this matter. The investigative team is reviewing all security tapes and staff assignments leading up to, during, and after the escape until the time that inmates were discovered absent by facility staff. This thorough review of the tapes requires days to complete.
Additionally, phone calls made by Hurst and Grant prior to their escape are under review, and staff and other inmates at the facility are being interviewed for information and eyewitness accounts related to the incident. To preserve the integrity of the investigation, additional details cannot be made public at this time.
Findings from the investigation, including all phone logs, tablet logs, and official visitor information, will be provided to the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) to assist in locating and apprehending Hurst and Grant.
Facilities are on lockdown through Friday in order to facilitate a thorough review of the perimeter and security points. Inmates continue to have out-of-cell time for showers and visits are permitted if they pertain to inmates’ court appointments and cases. Outings for medical care are also permitted.
In addition, the Mayor’s Office is working with Governor Shapiro to bring in the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections to conduct a vulnerability assessment.
PDP is aware of a document shared with media resembling an internal report, containing information that is inaccurate. Media are advised this document is forged and not an official report by the PDP. The report states, “both incarcerated people were able to leave the grounds undetected because of a post being closed due to temporary staff shortage per the order of the executive office.” The executive staff of the PDP categorically denies this claim.
“We are confident that our Office of Professional Compliance will conduct a thorough investigation into what took place at the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center before, during, and after the escape of Ameen Hurst and Nasir Grant from the facility, and collaborate with the Philadelphia Police Department in their efforts to locate the individuals and bring them back into custody,” said Prisons Commissioner Blanche Carney. “The Department of Prisons is committed to identifying any procedural failures that may have allowed the inmates to escape undetected and will update its protocol accordingly to ensure the security of the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center and all other facilities under its management.”
The Philadelphia Police Department’s Northeast Detective Division (NEDD) has secured arrest warrants for both Hurst and Grant. NEDD is working closely in conjunction with the United States Marshals Service in order to apprehend these individuals and is seeking the public’s assistance in providing any information on their whereabouts.
The City has set a reward for $20,000 for information that leads to an arrest of either escaped inmate. The Philadelphia Police Department is conducting thorough investigations and urges the public to come forward and report any tips that can help find these individuals. We urge people with information to report it through the anonymous tipline; call or text at 215-686-TIPS (8477), or submit a report online at phillypolice.com/forms/submit-a-tip. In addition, The U.S. Marshal’s Service is offering a $5,000 reward for each fugitive for information leading to the arrest of each individual.
The City will continue to share updates as more information becomes available.