Police searching for two escaped inmates - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Police searching for two escaped inmates

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By: Kayla Bremer

The two inmates have been missing since last month and now police believe they may be involved in a recent crime.

Police are looking for 32–year–old Joshua Peterson and 39–year–old Jan Hoxie.

Lincoln Police say they could be connected to a car jacking that happened Sunday afternoon near 24th and R Street.  They say a man was sleeping in his SUV when he was pulled out by a man and woman he knew, then was beat up before they took off in his car.

"The victim sustained just a minor cut to his head and refused medical treatment," Officer Katie Flood said.  "At this time, police are looking for that 1997 green Chevy Blazer, no plates."

The Department of Corrections says Peterson and Hoxie walked away from an approved release in August and never came back.

This, along with several other incidents in the past six months, including a fatal accident involving an inmate behind the wheel of a state van, has raised some questions about the inmate work release program and if changes need to be made.

"We're currently looking at the length of time people go out on passes and closely scrutinizing do they need to be gone that long...maybe what traditionally would be an eight-hour pass could be accomplished in two to four hours," Deputy Director Larry Wayne said.

Wayne says they're also working with law enforcement to improve communication to find escapees more quickly.

Currently in Lincoln, around 180 inmates are on work release.

He says most work in the food service industry as cooks or dishwashers.  Some work their way up into management.

The program is aimed to help inmates transition back into the community as they near the end of their sentence.

"Even if they're in for a violent crime, if they've shown stable behavior and positive program involvement, they will be often times considered for work release," Wayne added.

Once again, police are looking for a 1997 green Chevy Blazer with no license plates.

If you have any information, please call Crimestoppers at 402-475-3600. 

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