Apr 12, 2013 9:18 PM by Eric Ross
Is the Department of Corrections doing enough to combat criminal activity violence both inside and outside the prison system?
That's the question many are asking following Evan Ebel's early release. He's the prime suspect in the shooting death of DOC Director Tom Clements and a member of the white supremecist gang, the 211's.
Intelligence officers won't talk case specifics with the media but do say they take gang violence very seriously so when news surfaced that Ebel and possibly two other gang members had some connection with Clements' death, they launched their own internal investigation.
Was a plot to kill Clements being formulated inside prison walls? From the information intelligence officers have released thus far, it's a possibility.
"We do not separate by race or by rival security threat groups," intelligence officer Roseanna Jordan said. "We allow offenders to interact."
The DOC will not say what communication white supremacist gang members in jail may have had with Evan Ebel on the outside following his release from prison in January.
A few weeks after Clements' death, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office issued BOLO alerts for James Lohr, 47, and Thomas Goulee, 31.
Both were members of the same group Ebel was associated with prior to his release.
The El Paso County Sheriff's Office believes Lohr and Goulee were in contact with Ebel days before Clements was gunned down inside his Monument home.
The Department of Corrections is not answering any questions regarding the 211 gang or the relationship between Ebel, Goulee and Lohr.
"Please don't even raise the question," spokesperson Alison Morgan said. "We are not going to entertain those (questions) today."
Inside cell walls, the DOC classifies dangerous individuals in a security threat group, or "STG".
We're told not all gangs or gang members are part of this group.
"It is not a crime to be an STG member," intelligence officer Eva Little said. "We however, do have a policy that is driven to prohibit any negative behavior or security risks."
The DOC declined to comment further on their security policies and procedures.
Inmates classified with an "STG" status could be placed in segregation and will not be able to associate with their gang or members of other gangs.
The DOC says this type of segregation effort does happen, but wouldn't elaborate as to how often.
"To be placed on administrative segregation, the behavior is dangerous, violent, and disruptive enough for that separation process to take place," Morgan said.
Everyone else regardless of their gang status will remain in general population.
Stay with News 5 and KOAA.com for any new policy changes within the DOC.
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