Inmate who walked away from L.A. County halfway house is found


An inmate who walked away from the Los Angeles County Male Community Re-entry Program facility, or halfway house, in South Los Angeles was located and taken back into custody, authorities announced Monday.

Sarkis Akopyan, 33, left the re-entry facility at South Grand Avenue and removed his GPS tracking device around 10 p.m. Friday. He was apprehended at 8:05 p.m. on Saturday in Glendale by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Special Service Unit and transported to the California Institution for Men in Chino without incident.

The re-entry facility allows eligible offenders to participate in rehabilitative programs during the last 180 days of their sentence. Some inmates come and go from the facility to attend school or look for jobs, depending on what phase of the program they are in, said Krissi Khokhobashvili of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.


“Some people refer to them colloquially as halfway houses — it’s not a prison, not a jail. It’s a reentry facility, designed with reentry in mind,” Khokhobashvili said.

There are no security guards, but all participants wear GPS devices. On Friday, authorities received a notification that Akopyan’s GPS device had been damaged. They soon determined that he was missing from the premises and sought the public’s help to find him.

Akopyan had been serving a two year sentence for auto theft and was transferred on Tuesday from prison to the re-entry facility. He had recently arrived at the facility and did not have permission to leave.

Akopyan was scheduled to be released on probation in November, but according to Khokhobashvili, there is a possibility that he could be charged with felony escape and face additional prison time. For now, the incident is still under investigation.

Khokhobashvili said that authorities are usually able to locate escaped prisoners.

According to the CDCR, 99% of all offenders that have escaped from an an adult institution, camp, or community-based program since 1977, have been apprehended.


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