Northern Territory Police have stepped up their search for three men who escaped from the Barkly Work Camp in Tennant Creek on Saturday night at around 11:30 p.m.
According to an NT Police media release, the trio, Ezra Austral (23 years), Richard Henwood (37), and Maximus Cutta (20), fled the facility after removing their electronic monitoring devices.
They are believed to be heading towards Darwin in either a silver 1996 Nissan Navara two-door tray back ute, NT registration CD95HC, or a white 2005 Holden Rodeo dual-cab utility with WA plates.
All three men were wearing prison-issued clothing at the time of their escape, two dressed in yellow shirts, one in a green shirt, and all wearing blue shorts.
Territory Duty Superintendent Mark Malogorski said that the Territory Response Group, Crime Command, and general duties officers are all involved in the search for the escapees, with roadblocks having been set up north and south of Tennant Creek and in the Katherine region.
“We ask the community to be on the lookout for the three men and the vehicles they are believed to be travelling in. Any sightings or other information should be reported immediately on 131 444. The men should not be approached.”
The Epoch Times contacted NT Police on Monday morning and were informed that the men are still at large, with no further updates on their potential whereabouts.
The Barkly Work Camp is a low-security correctional facility two kilometres from Tenant Creek town centre, which aims to educate and rehabilitate prisoners through training, education, employment, and work programs.
It holds open-security prisoners, so no sex offenders or prisoners of public interest are placed at the camp.
Prisoners must follow a strict regime that involves giving back to the community through working on community enhancements, maintenance and beautification projects.
The news of the breakout comes after the Northern Territory government closed one of its youth detention centres after four inmates at an Alice Springs prison were diagnosed with COVID-19.
Territory Families, Housing and Communities, said the four, who are are being held on remand or have been sentenced to custody, are asymptomatic and are being kept medically isolated to avoid spreading the virus to other prisoners.
“A doctor attends the (facility) morning (and) afternoon each day to assess and monitor the health of the young people,” a spokeswoman said in a statement provided to AAP on Friday.
The NT has also suspended the intake of detainees to the correctional facility.
“In line with COVID management plans, young people are being transferred to Don Dale Youth Detention Centre (near Darwin),” the spokeswoman said.