BERKS COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) – The nine juvenile inmates who escaped the Abraxas Academy on Sunday evening are now in custody, according to police.
Pennsylvania State Police said the youth escaped from the Abraxas Academy, a “secure youth treatment” facility in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, located less than 10 miles from the Lancaster County border at around 8 p.m. on Sunday night.
As of about 4:30 a.m. Monday, the Robeson Police Department confirmed that at least three of the escapees had been spotted in the area of Estate Road and Weaver Road in the township. The involved inmates allegedly broke into at least two cars, according to police.
According to the Abraxas Academy website, the facility provides “Secure Residential Treatment and Secure Detention Services” for delinquent male juveniles ages 14-18 in ninth grade or above.
The incident comes amid a recent rash of escapes at Pennsylvania jails and youth treatment facilities. In May, inmates Ameen Hurst and Nasir Grant escaped the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center with a 19-hour head start until officials realized they were gone.
In July, Michael Burham was arrested after police say he escaped from the Warren County Jail. He was captured after a manhunt that lasted over a week.
On Aug. 31 Danelo Cavalcante escaped the Chester County Prison by crabwalking up a wall and pushing through razor wire. The convicted murderer was arrested after a nearly two week manhunt during which State Police say he stole a firearm.
On Sept. 3 a violent juvenile was captured after escaping from Loysville Youth Development Center in Perry County.
Former Pennsylvania Corrections Secretary John Wetzel said he sees a trend and the culprit is not enough correctional officers and that those who are working are underpaid.
“If you’re someone who traditionally corrections systems would target to work as a correctional officer and you can make the same or more money working at Sheetz versus working a block, right? So the market has changed and corrections hasn’t caught up,” Wetzel said.