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The Real MacGyver Facts

After preparing for his escape, it was 3:45 in the morning when Laird makes his escape through the pipe chase and climbs over the fence without a guard seeing him escape. Back in his cell, prison guard Ross Berry notices that Laird has escaped. The hunt is on for the inmate.

After preparing for his escape, it was 3:45 in the morning when Laird makes his escape through the pipe chase and climbs over the fence without a guard seeing him escape. Back in his cell, prison guard Ross Berry notices that Laird has escaped. The hunt is on for the inmate. (View larger version)

Photograph by BK3 Productions/Diego Garcia

Published
  • The Mark W. Stiles Unit was established in June 1993.

  • As of September 2011, the prison is capable of holding a capacity of up to 2,897 prisoners.

  • There have been other escapes from the Stiles Unit. In 2011, an inmate used a contraband cell phone to help coordinate his escape, but he was captured a few days later.

  • A 2011 analysis found that the Stiles Unit has one of Texas’s worst track records for prison staff members bringing in cell phones.

  • I-10, which Harold Laird used as his escape route, stretches from the Pacific Coast in California to the Atlantic Coast in Florida.

  • Through a Texas Department of Corrections program, about 6,000 offenders help staff agricultural projects throughout the state, including managing more than 24 types of crops and 10,000 heads of cattle.

  • The average inmate in the Texas prison system has about an eight grade education.

  • The Texas Department of Criminal Justice operates the nation’s second largest prison system.

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