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Security Review After Patient Escapes Facility

Todd PittengerJanuary 5, 2022

 The state is working with the Correctional Leaders Association to retain an independent firm to conduct a comprehensive security review at Larned State Hospital.

Kansas Governor Kelly directed KDADS to begin the search for an external security firm to review LSH following the escape of John Colt this past summer  from the Sexual Predator Treatment Program. With Tuesday’s report that Isaac Nathaniel Watts walked away from the LSH crisis stabilization unit, Governor Kelly has directed the agency to accelerate the review.

According to Kelly’s office, the Correctional Leaders Association (CLA) is made up of correctional leaders of all US state corrections agencies, Los Angeles County, the District of Columbia, New York City, Philadelphia, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, United States Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines and any United States territory, possession, and/or commonwealth. CLA is assisting KDADS to quickly identify an external firm with the needed experience in secure settings, civil commitment programs, and the needs of patients with mental health needs.

 Once the proposal is finalized KDADS anticipates the review will begin onsite in February this year, with a written report with recommendations available by the end of March.

Watts, charged with kidnapping and second-degree murder, was being held in the hospital’s crisis stabilization unit (CSU). Watts was seen on video walking out of the CSU at approximately 9 p.m. Monday wearing multiple layers of clothing, including blue jeans and a state-issued jean jacket. He was captured Tuesday at a hotel in Garden City.

Colt, who had been sentenced for aggravated sexual battery, attempted rape, aggravated burglary, and four counts of aggravated battery against law enforcement. escaped from the state mental hospital on June 30th. He was captured  3 moths later in Utah.

Copyright © Meridian Media, 2022. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Meridian Media’s express consent.

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