Photo from inside Denver jail shows bedsheets tied together to make possible rope

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Sheets found tied together at Denver’s Downtown Detention Center (Credit: FOX31 Source)

DENVER (KDVR) — Staff members at Denver’s Downtown Detention Center tell the Problem Solvers some inmates were clearly up to no good based on what was found in a laundry bin last week.

An insider provided FOX31 a photo of multiple bedsheets tied together. Sources within the jail told FOX31 Investigative Reporter Rob Low that it appeared someone was hoping to use the bedsheets as a makeshift rope.

However, some of those same sources admit that, given the layout of the downtown jail and the 2-story height of the recreation yard wall on Delaware Street, it’s hard to envision inmates sneaking a long makeshift rope to an area where the rope could’ve been used successfully to make an escape without drawing the attention of a deputy.

This leads to staffing levels at the jail, which have been an issue for months. The department currently has more than 200 job openings.  The Denver Sheriff’s Department is authorized to have 874 deputies but currently only has 668 deputies on staff with 16 recruits currently going through the academy.

A spokeswoman for the sheriff downplayed the discovery of the tied bedsheets and told FOX31 in a statement, “After the discovery of bedsheets tied together at the Downtown Detention Center, an internal review found no credible evidence of a planned escape.”

But multiple staff members who requested anonymity say the evidence is the bedsheets themselves tied together and found hidden in a laundry bin.

The last escape from the Denver Jail in September of 2020 proved to be short lived.

Damian Lynch was able to attach himself to the undercarriage of a transfer bus moving inmates from the downtown jail to the county jail. When the bus stopped at a red light on Speer Boulevard, Lynch rolled out from underneath the bus and ran into a sewer tunnel along the Cherry Creek Bike Trail. He was captured within minutes.

 But inmate Jerrol Jones remains on the run more than a year since he escaped in July of 2020.

Jones memorized the personal information of a cellmate and pretended to be his cellmate, who was due to be released. Jones was also able to use the COVID pandemic to his advantage.

Deputies never thought to ask him to lower his mask during the release process and the department’s fingerprint machine wasn’t working on the day Jones bluffed his way out of the jail.

The department changed its policy following Jones’ escape and now requires all inmates to lower their face mask to confirm their identity during the release process.

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