The Daily Tar Heel

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Saturday April 1st

Escaped Orange County inmate surrenders

Kenneth Lussier , 40, was doing maintenance work for the town of Hillsborough when he escaped at around 6:30 p.m. Monday.

Lussier turned himself in at 11:30 p.m . later that night.

“As of now, he’s just facing escape charges,” said Pam Walker , a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.

“He could potentially have a year or more added on to his sentence.”

The low-security correctional facility has six inmates who regularly do maintenance work for the town of Hillsborough, said prison superintendent Armstead Hodges .

For those inmates given jobs outside, Hodges said they typically work on repairing water lines under the supervision of someone from the town of Hillsborough’s maintenance department.

Before the additional escape charges were filed against him, Lussier was serving between 12 and 15 years in prison for larceny, habitual felony and felony breaking and entering, according to offender information from the Department of Public Safety.

Lussier would have been released as early as 2015 after being committed in 2003 . During a previous incarceration in 2000, he also escaped.

Hodges said those inmates that are allowed to have outside assignments are screened to ensure that they wouldn’t pose a threat to the public.

Since his time in prison, Lussier has had eight infractions , including disobeying orders, fighting, the sale or misuse of medication and the unauthorized tobacco use.

These infractions can sometimes carry punishments of extra duty, disciplinary segregation or the loss of privileges .

“We have inmates that are minimum capacity, we have inmates that work outside and out in the community,” Hodges said.

“The possibility (of escape) is always there, but most inmates have earned the opportunity to be given the opportunity to work these jobs. And it’s beneficial to the town because it’s assisting with their maintenance needs.”

Hodges said he couldn’t remember the last time an inmate had escaped from the facility.

“(An inmate escaping is) not really much of a risk, inmates are screened,” Hodges said.

“We try to put inmates out there that are trustworthy and do a great job. Most inmates enjoy getting out in the general public and performing the service.”


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