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Inmate Escapes From Aging M'Haha Co. Facility

January 8, 2014, 5:15 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Inmate Escapes From Aging M'Haha Co. Facility
Ryan Quartier


A 42-year-old Sioux Falls man being held on burglary and grand theft charges is now accused of escape.

Authorities say Ryan Quartier broke out of the minimum-security Minnehaha County Corrections Center on Russell Street Tuesday night.

Quartier broke out a large plate-glass window and then jumped out of the building. A corrections officer standing outside at the time spotted him right away and called for help.

"It was fortunate the officer was outside and alert enough to see the inmate and he was wearing the jail stripes and got the report made," Minnehaha County Jail Warden Jeff Gromer said.

Quartier was being held on burglary and grand theft charges out of Lincoln County, now he's facing escape charges and won't be allowed to come back to the unit.

The Russell Street Corrections Center houses low-security non-violent overflow inmates from the county jail downtown, as well as work release inmates. Quartier was being held as an overflow inmate.

Gromer says officials will review procedures following the escape.

"Take into account a little perspective on this, this building has been used as a correctional facility for 20 years from roughly '94 to today. This is the first instance anybody has broken a window to leave," Gromer said.

However, the facility which used to be the old Elks Club is aging and the escape attempt happened at a time when the County is looking at building a new facility.

"The County Commission has appointed a criminal justice advisory committee to look at a needs assessment concerning the age of this facility and what our jail needs are," Gromer said.

While the County continues to research new facilities, officials say they are fortunate they were able to take the inmate into custody so quickly in this case.

The committee studying the needs of correctional facilities in the county started looking into the issue last summer and a consultant presented the group with the county's needs Wednesday. Recommendations for handling the county's growing jail population will likely come in about a month.

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