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April 16, 2014

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Mich. prison head claims responsibility for escape

Updated Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 | 7:56 a.m.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan's top prison official is taking responsibility for the 24-hour escape of a convicted killer who got as far as Indiana before being captured.

Corrections Department Director Dan Heyns (HYNES) told Michigan lawmakers Thursday he's certain of the root cause and circumstances surrounding the Feb. 2 escape. But he declined to share many specifics, citing an ongoing attorney general's investigation.

Heyns is speeding up the upgrade of surveillance cameras and lighting at the Ionia prison. He's also reviewing snow removal policies and the color of inmates' clothing.

Heyns says budget cuts weren't a factor and if monitoring equipment had been properly maintained, Michael Elliot would've been seen before leaving the grounds.

The 40-year-old was arrested in Indiana. A request for Elliot's return to Michigan was sent Wednesday to Indiana's governor.