Chester County Prison plans major security upgrades following Cavalcante’s escape

Officials at Chester County Prison have begun making security enhancements to the facility following the daring August 31 escape of convicted killer Danelo Cavalante. The prison will reportedly make a series of upgrades over the next 6-12 months in an effort prevent any further security breaches like the one that sent authorities on a 13-day manhunt and kept residents on edge while Cavalcante was at large. 

Chester County Prison acting warden Howard Holland told residents at a community town hall Monday night that the facility is planning various improvements, according to multiple news reports. Cameras and recording devices were not permitted in the meeting, but Holland did speak with reporters afterward. 

“We are going to take this facility and make it state of the art,” Holland told 6 ABC after the meeting. Planned security upgrades to the prison include added personnel, security camera upgrades, additional razor wire and the use of drones and other technology to detect prisoner movements.

The area from which Cavalcante escaped has already been fortified with more razor wire and military-grade mesh designed to prevent prisoners from being able to slip through as Cavalcante so easily did after he strategically “crab-walked” up a wall in the prison’s exercise yard on August 31.  

Prison authorities are also reportedly considering the use of K9 units and ankle bracelets for more high-risk inmates at the facility. 

Cavalcante was not the first prisoner to expose the lax security at Chester County Prison. An inmate named Igor Bolte attempted to escape the facility earlier this year using the same escape route that Cavalcante used. Unlike Cavalcante, Bolte was quickly apprehended. 

The planned security enhancements were shared with residents during a town hall meeting held in Popcopson Township to address residents’ concerns after Cavalcante’s escape and the subsequent manhunt left them living on edge for 13 days. Cavalcante was captured and brought back into custody last week after being spotted by police with a thermal imaging camera. The convicted killer, who was sentenced to life for killing his ex-girlfriend in 2021, was then charged with additional offenses for escaping the prison. 

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