Breakout: The Odds of A Jailbreak in Your State

Just what are your chances of busting out of jail in the US? Find out which regions see the highest number of prisoner escapes, and see how your state compares for the odds of a break out. We also take a look at some of the most infamous prisons in the world, as well as notorious prisoners who attempted escapes.

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Free States: Where Are Prison Breaks Happening?

Choose a state

Alabama
Escapees 10,705
Odds of escaping +7300
Alaska
Escapees 438
Odds of escaping +27900
Arizona
Escapees 2,634
Odds of escaping +33000
Arkansas
Escapees 396
Odds of escaping +93400
California
Escapees 16,619
Odds of escaping +26500
Colorado
Escapees 12,512
Odds of escaping +3800
Connecticut
Escapees 6,671
Odds of escaping +7500
Delaware
Escapees 1,704
Odds of escaping +10300
District
of
Columbia
Escapees 15,051
Odds of escaping +4000
Florida
Escapees 14,346
Odds of escaping +15000
Georgia
Escapees 4,107
Odds of escaping +28200
Hawaii
Escapees 471
Odds of escaping +30000
Idaho
Escapees 496
Odds of escaping +61600
Illinois
Escapees 10,471
Odds of escaping +11600
Indiana
Escapees 2,790
Odds of escaping +22200
Iowa
Escapees 2,621
Odds of escaping +8800
Kansas
Escapees 942
Odds of escaping +31400
Kentucky
Escapees 4,362
Odds of escaping +12500
Louisiana
Escapees 3,184
Odds of escaping +24000
Maine
Escapees 263
Odds of escaping +19900
Maryland
Escapees 5,669
Odds of escaping +12500
Massachusetts
Escapees 3,103
Odds of escaping +10700
Michigan
Escapees 31,468
Odds of escaping +4400
Minnesota
Escapees 473
Odds of escaping +46300
Mississippi
Escapees 1,384
Odds of escaping +35600
Missouri
Escapees 14,575
Odds of escaping +5400
Montana
Escapees 1,078
Odds of escaping +7900
Nebraska
Escapees 818
Odds of escaping +15000
Nevada
Escapees 817
Odds of escaping +37400
New
Hampshire
Escapees 406
Odds of escaping +17000
New
Jersey
Escapees 2,885
Odds of escaping +26200
New
Mexico
Escapees 1,061
Odds of escaping +15600
New
York
Escapees 29,471
Odds of escaping +6800
North
Carolina
Escapees 8,729
Odds of escaping +11700
North
Dakota
Escapees 205
Odds of escaping +16700
Ohio
Escapees 461
Odds of escaping +311000
Oklahoma
Escapees 8,175
Odds of escaping +7600
Oregon
Escapees 9,434
Odds of escaping +3600
Pennsylvania
Escapees 3,865
Odds of escaping +30700
Rhode
Island
Escapees 607
Odds of escaping +16000
South
Carolina
Escapees 4,112
Odds of escaping +16200
South
Dakota
Escapees 345
Odds of escaping +23800
Tennessee
Escapees 5,382
Odds of escaping +12000
Texas
Escapees 1,329
Odds of escaping +310200
Utah
Escapees 1,105
Odds of escaping +14300
Vermont
Escapees 678
Odds of escaping +7400
Virginia
Escapees 858
Odds of escaping +107100
Washington
Escapees 6,666
Odds of escaping +6900
West
Virginia
Escapees 794
Odds of escaping +16800
Wisconsin
Escapees 296
Odds of escaping +179900
Wyoming
Escapees 413
Odds of escaping +13100

Evil Ex-Cons: The Worst Criminals to Escape Jail

Over the years, some of the most heinous individuals in history have managed to escape their shackles. After a lot of research, we've compiled the worst of the worst to profile the six most notorious prison escapees to ever break free.

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  • Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman aka “El Chapo”

    “El Chapo” is a Mexican drug lord who became one of the most wanted men in the world when he was listed as Mexico's top drug kingpin in 2003, as head of the Sinaloa Cartel. Forbes magazine ranked him as one of the most powerful people in the world between 2009 and 2011. The publication also labelled him as the “biggest drug lord of all time”.

    The notorious drug baron was first arrested in Guatemala back in 1993 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison in Mexico for drug trafficking and murder. In 2001, Guzman busted out of a federal maximum-security prison after bribing guards. The US offered a $5 million reward for information, and he was arrested a second time by Mexican authorities in Sinaloa back in 2014.

  • Pascal Payet

    French criminal Payet has established a reputation for his daring escapes from prison where he used hijacked helicopters. In fact, Payet holds the world record for the greatest number of planned escapes from jail using a helicopter. This escape method was used on three separate occasions in 2001, 2003, and 2007, according to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

    He was initially jailed for carrying out a planned attack on an armoured vehicle belonging to Banque de France in the French commune of Salon-de-Provence, where one guard was killed. His current location remains a secret kept by French authorities.

  • Frederick Mors

    Born on 2nd October, 1889 in Vienna, Austria, Mors was the personification of hell on earth. During his time employed as a porter at the German Old Fellows' Home in Unionport, New York, the psychopathic individual used morphine, opium, and arsenic to murder eight elderly patients between 1914 and 1915.

    After being found guilty of murdering his patients, Mors was diagnosed as a megalomaniac and committed to the Hudson River State Hospital before eventually escaping in 1916. Mors was never seen again, but skeletal remains believed to be that of Mors were uncovered in a wooded area in Connecticut.

  • Rodney Halbower

    The Gypsy Hill Killings in the US saw five young females raped and murdered across San Mateo County, California during the early part of 1976. The crime spree remained unsolved before Halbower was charged for two of the murders in 1976.

    Halbower was found guilty of the murders of Paula Baxter and Veronica Cascio on 22nd January, 2015 after DNA evidence was used. Halbower had escaped incarceration on three separate occasions during his time in jail for a number of other offences.

  • Ted Bundy

    The first time US serial killer Bundy escaped was in 1977, during a preliminary hearing at Pitkin County Courthouse in Aspen. Bundy was his own attorney and requested to use the courthouse library to research his case. He then broke free from a second story window.

    Bundy's second escape came later in 1977, when he was in jail in Colorado Springs. On 30th December, Bundy broke into the chief jailer's room and was able to walk to freedom.

    He was later recaptured, and after being found guilty of three murders in Florida, Bundy was electrocuted to death on 24th January, 1989 in Florida State Prison.

  • Shaun Colin Walmsley

    Convicted British killer Walmsley became a notorious individual in May 2014 when he was involved in the violent murder of Anthony Duffy. The crime was the result of a dispute over drugs in the city of Liverpool.

    On 21st February, 2017, Walmsley pulled off an audacious escape from HMP Liverpool during a visit to Aintree University Hospital. As Walmsley and two prison guards were getting into the transport vehicle, two men confronted the guards with a knife and gun before setting Walmsley free and escaping in a gold Volvo. To date, Walmsley remains on the run.

Prisons From Hell: The Worst Jails in History

It is hardly surprising that prisoners put so much time and effort into plotting to escape the walls that surround them. Incarceration tests every physical and mental attribute, even in the most hospitable of institutions. Here, we cover the prisons that are remembered as the worst of the worst.

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  • Pitesti Prison

    Romania

    • Pitesti Prison was built in the 1930s under the reign of King Carol II.
    • It earned a brutal reputation due to the “re-education” process of the “Pitesti Experiment”.
    • Famous ex-prisoners include priest Gheorghe Calciu-Dumitreasa and bishop Alexandru Todea.
  • The Mamertine

    Italy

    • Saint Peter and Saint Paul were both incarcerated within the Mamertine by Emperor Nero.
    • Its location underground meant the prison could keep harshly treated prisoners out of sight.
    • The prison was converted into a place of cult-like worship for Saint Peter in the 7th century.
  • Prison at Urga

    Mongolia

    • The prison was located in what is now the Mongolian capital city of Ulaanbaatar.
    • Prisoners were held in 3ft x 4ft wooden coffins as they awaited the death penalty.
    • The coffins were kept in dungeons surrounded by walls of 15-foot-high sharpened timber poles.
  • Devil's Island

    French Guiana

    • Devil's Island was officially opened in 1852. It held prisoners of the French Empire.
    • The memoirs inspired the 1973 movie Papillon, starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman.
    • It was shut in 1953, after recording a death rate of 75% amongst its 80,000 inmates.
  • Carandiru Penitentiary

    Brazil

    • Situated in Sao Paulo, Carandiru Penitentiary was constructed in 1920 by Samuel Das Neves.
    • It inspired the Penitenciaria Federal de Sona in US TV Show Prison Break.
    • In 1992, the Carandiru massacre saw 111 prisoners killed in just 30 minutes.
  • Hoa Lo Prison

    Vietnam

    • The name Hoa Lo translates to “fiery furnace” or “Hell's hole”.
    • Famous former prisoners include Republican Senator John McCain and Medal of Honor recipient Lance Sijan.
    • By 1954, it held over 2,000 prisoners forced to live in depraved conditions.

The Real Prison Break: America's Stats

USA Prison Escapees Graph USA Prison Escapees Graph

Did you know?

Swipe to choose a fact

340%

Over the past 30 years, the number of prisoners incarcerated in prisons within the US has increased by 340%, meaning that for every 11.2 prisoners there are now just 2 guards.

3%

Just 3% of all inmates escape at some point during their time behind bars. 89% of these attempts are committed at minimum security facilities.

66%

Two-thirds of successful escape attempts from prisons are single-person jobs. 20% of escapes involve just two people. Only 4% of successful escapes involve 3 or more people.

  • 340%

    Over the past 30 years, the number of prisoners incarcerated in prisons within the US has increased by 340%, meaning that for every 11.2 prisoners there are now just 2 guards.

  • 3%

    Just 3% of all inmates escape at some point during their time behind bars. 89% of these attempts are committed at minimum security facilities.

  • 66%

    Two-thirds of successful escape attempts from prisons are single-person jobs. 20% of escapes involve just two people. Only 4% of successful escapes involve 3 or more people.