Two prisoners on the run after escaping from Canberra jail

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Corrections Minister Shane Rattenbury has promised a full internal review as two men remain at large after the first successful escape from Canberra’s jail.

ACT and NSW police are conducting a search for Jacob MacDonald, 21, and Patrick McCurley, 28, who were both being held on remand, after they escaped from the Alexander Maconochie Centre on Friday night, police said.

ACT Policing is seeking the public’s assistance to locate the men who were last seen within the AMC about 11.15pm, with a “whole of ACT” search extending across the NSW border, a spokeswoman said.

It is the first successful escape from the AMC since it began taking prisoners in March 2009. Mr Rattenbury said Corrections was currently reviewing all security controls in place across the facility and an internal review would be conducted into the incident.

“ACT Policing was immediately notified and attended the AMC,” he said.

“ACT Corrective Services is assisting police with their inquiries.”

An ACT Policing spokeswoman said police were alerted to the missing prisoners about 6.30am on Saturday.

MacDonald is in remand for charges relating to property and burglary offences and is described as Caucasian in appearance, solid build, with brown eyes and approximately 185cm tall.

McCurley is in remand for charges relating to motor vehicle offences and is described as Caucasian in appearance, slim build with blue eyes and approximately 180cm tall.

Both were last seen wearing grey pants and a grey jumper.

Police ask the public to not approach the men and call police if they know the whereabouts of either of them.

Anyone who has seen the men, or has information that could assist the search, are urged to contact ACT Policing Operations immediately on 131 444.

The ACT Policing spokeswoman said NSW Police had joined the search by 10am on Saturday. AMC, situated on the Monaro Highway at Hume, is about two kilometres from the NSW border.

Mr Rattenbury did not answer a question on how the escape occurred.

Court listings show a “P McCurley” was due to appear in the ACT Magistrates Court on September 14 and October 4.

Canberra Liberals corrections spokesman Andrew Wall said the escape reinforced the need for a security review.

“Had the Government heeded the calls of the Canberra Liberals to undertake a security review and implement changes, we might not have inmates on the run somewhere in Canberra, as we now do,” he said.”Shane Rattenbury’s job is to keep inmates inside the jail and he’s clearly failed.”

In August 2012, two detainees used an improvised candle to burn through the frame of their medium to maximum jail cell window at AMC, then kicked out the window pane and escaped, allowing them to roam through the centre unchecked.

The pair then used garden tools to cut through three interior fences before their absence was discovered. The men gave themselves up by calling the prison’s control room on an intercom.

The incident led the Justice and Community Safety Directorate to issue guards on night shifts with batons and ensure patrols were done in pairs.

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