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Mississippi prison escape: How common are jailbreaks?

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Hinds County Sheriff's Office via Reuters

(Read caption) (L-R) Jermaine Wilson and Kevin Holmes, along with two other inmates, escaped from Raymond Detention Center near Jackson, Mississippi on Monday. Wilson and Holmes were re-apprehended Monday evening and Tuesday morning, respectively.

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Four inmates escaped from a Mississippi jail on Monday. As of Tuesday afternoon, two have been apprehended and two are still at-large.

The four prisoners escaped from the Raymond Detention Center near Jackson around 12:45am on Monday. On Monday evening, 19-year old Jermaine Wilson was recaptured without incident. On Tuesday, 18-year old Kevin Holmes was also arrested without incident.

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Wilson is charged with capital murder in the 2012 rape and killing of a woman, according to Reuters. Holmes faces three counts of armed robbery.

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The remaining two men are 25-year old Montreal Damon-Anderson, charged with recovered stolen property, and 23-year old John Rollins, charged with auto theft and false pretense. Both Rollins and Holmes are also charged with malicious mischief.

The Hinds County sheriff’s office indicated that “this was a prearranged and preplanned escape.”

“They have had some help from the inside and outside,” Sheriff Tyrone Lewis told the Associated Press, though he gave no other details.

“We won’t stop nor sleep until the other three are recaptured,” Lewis said in a statement before Holmes was recaptured on Tuesday.

This Mississippi jailbreak comes right after two convicted murderers escaped from a maximum-security prison in New York. That ordeal ended last week with one of them shot dead and the other back behind bars.

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Not to mention Sinaola cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera’s escape from a Mexican prison on Sunday.

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But despite the media attention, jailbreaks aren’t as common as one would think. According to the Washington Post, despite 1.5 million inmates imprisoned, only 2,001 people serving sentences of more than one year escaped or went AWOL in 2013. That follows a trend of fewer escapes over the past decade.

Most escapes happen in minimum-security prisons or holding cells, where it’s more likely for an inmate to just “walk away” or not show up for a mandatory check-in, as Slate reported in 2001. Indeed, it's rare for an inmate, especially one at a perimeter-secured institution, to escape, and even rarer for them to stay that way.

“Dramatic, Hollywood-style escapes from maximum security prisons are the ones that draw media attention. Like their maximum security counterparts, the minimum security walk-aways are usually recovered,” Slate writes.