State Corrections officials say the trouble they had finding two inmates suspected of killing a third at the aging Jefferson City prison points to how obsolete that prison is. The Missouri State Penitentiary is the oldest continuously operating prison west of the Mississippi River, not exactly a point of pride among Corrections officials. State Director of Adult Institutions George Lombardi points out the prisons built in the last 15-to-20 years, such as Potosi, Cameron, Licking and Charleston reflect much of what has been learned over the years, and are dramatically different from the State Penitentiary, built in 1836. Searchers had to cover 47 acres, looking through 25 buildings and numerous tunnels. There are plenty of places to hide. Eventually, Shannon Phillips and Chris Sims were found near where they are suspected of killing fellow inmate Toby Viles in the prison ice house. Lombardi says he’s anxious to move to the new Jefferson City prison, expected to be completed next Summer.
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