A Mistake In Gooding County Leads To Inmates Escape


By Ben Lyda

Gooding, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) A number of jails in the state of Idaho have had prisoners escape in the recent months.

One of these inmates, Benjamin Joseph Ratto escaped from the Gooding County Jail on August 9th, by simply walking out an unlocked door
I spoke to many residence and most had no idea the escape took place, but are worried it could happen again.

"I'm concerned that we weren't aware of it to begin with, I think we should know these things as soon as it happens, not several days later. From what I understand is that nobody knew until you've brought it to our attention", said Annette Casanas a resident of Gooding

As the public becomes aware of the incident the question has become, how did this happen and what's being done to prevent another escape.

"In our position in these small jails it's hard to keep trained employees, we're all the time training new people and we have an old facility where every door has to use a key, unlike the new facilities everything is electronic, and what happened is a maintenance door that gets used several times a day got left unlocked and that's how he walked out", said Sheriff Shaun Gough of Gooding County

A high turnaround has caused problems for these small jails.

"Very few people like to work in the jail so as they get their foot in the door in the jail pretty quick they move up to patrol, so we're always trying to replace them", said Sheriff Gough

All county jails in Idaho are inspected on a regular basis, and when it comes to Gooding County they have failed in only one area.

"We have passed all of our inspection on everything but square footage, because it's an old facility the square footage in the cells isn't big enough for the occupancy", said Sheriff Gough

The Gooding County Sheriff’s office knows a mistake was made and is working to prevent a repeat of the incident earlier this month.

"I would hope that since it's already happened that the authorities have corrected the situation and that it won't happen again", said Casanas

"You put the human factor into it and you're going to have a mistake", said Sheriff Gough

A simple mistake with large consequences.

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