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Oregon prison inmate second to escape in less than a week

By Shelby Sebens

PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - Oregon State Police searched on Monday for a prison inmate who slipped away the night before from the Deer Ridge Correctional Institution, marking the second escape from an Oregon detention center in less than a week, prison officials said.

Clinton Orvill Swearingen II, 31, serving time for theft and burglary, was discovered missing from the Deer Ridge facility near the town of Madras in central Oregon, at about 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, corrections officials said.

On Wednesday, convicted sex offender Matthew Joseph Medlin, 30, jumped a fence and escaped from the Columbia River Correctional Institution in Portland just days before he was set to be released.

Police captured Medlin later that evening at a fast-food restaurant off Interstate 5, and he now faces additional charges.

"Of course we are concerned that this is the second inmate escape," said Betty Bernt, Oregon Department of Corrections communications manager. "Both incidents will receive a thorough review by DOC, as well as a state police investigation. All security protocols will be scrutinized."

Both men escaped from minimum-security facilities.

Corrections officials said Swearingen was most likely still wearing his prison garb - blue jeans with the word "inmate" and the DOC logo stenciled on the knee in orange, or red shorts and a blue T-shirt with the word "inmate" and the DOC logo printed in orange on the front and back.

Swearingen began his incarceration on February 4 and his earliest release date was set for December 10, 2017, authorities said.

(Reporting by Shelby Sebens; Editing by Steve Gorman and Mohammad Zargham)