A former prison warden gives his take on two escapees from the Florence prison.

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Law enforcement is now going door-to-door as officers try to track down two inmates who escaped from a Florence prison. On Monday, the Department of Public Safety provided an update with an official from the Arizona Department of Corrections.

DPS Director Col. Heston Silbert said officials continue to focus on the immediate area up to miles away from the prison. Silbert said it's possible the pair is holed up somewhere.

Search intensifies for 2 escaped inmates from Florence prison, $70K reward offered

"We do have some concerns that they are, in fact, still in the area," said Silbert. "If you, as a resident in the area of the prison, have noticed a neighbor hasn't been around or you've noticed a coworker hasn't come to work for a period of time and it's something that's out of the norm, we'd ask that you please call."

John Charpiot is a convicted child molester. David Harmon was serving time for kidnapping and burglary. Harmon's prison record shows he's escaped before. DPS believes he has ties to Mexico. Officials say Charpiot and Harmon broke into a room, grabbed some tools, and then used them to escape.

Florence prison

ATAC works with lawmakers to advocate for more transparency about what goes on behind prison walls.

"We're talking about being able to avoid human assets, the staff that work there, cameras," said John Fabricius, executive director of Arizonans for Transparency and Accountability in Corrections (ATAC). "It indicates a massive systemic failure in the Arizona Department of Corrections."

ATAC works with lawmakers to advocate for more transparency about what goes on behind prison walls.

Fabricius raises concerns about inadequate staffing and technology troubles. He questions how the inmates slipped away undetected.

"It would be remarkable if they didn't have some sort of help, at least outside the fence," said Fabricius.

There is bipartisan support for more oversight of ADC. Rep. Walter Blackman has introduced HB 2167 to establish an oversight committee with subpoena power. Rep. Diego Rodriguez says he has been working closely with Blackman and is in the process of finalizing similar legislation.

Rep. Diego Rodriguez

Rep. Diego Rodriguez says he has been working on a bill to establish an oversight committee with subpoena power. 

"The committee is intended to help assure the public that our tax dollars are being used responsibly and they're being used in a manner that is transparent," said Rodriguez.

On Monday, the deputy director of ADC promised a thorough investigation.

"We are looking at every aspect of where they were, how they got out, and what led to that," said Deputy Director Frank Strada.

There is a $70,000 reward for information leading to the capture of both fugitives.


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