Inmate Escape and Recapture at Purgatory Correctional Facility

At approximately 3:30pm on Wednesday, August 14th, Joesph Graham, an inmate at the Purgatory Correctional Facility, escaped from custody. His escape was initially detected by Sheriff’s Office personnel at approximately 3:55pm. A law enforcement search for Graham’s whereabouts was quickly organized and initiated. After several hours, and with the assistance of a number of local agencies, Graham was taken back into custody without incident at approximately 9:40pm.


Graham, a 21 year old male from St. George, was incarcerated on a misdemeanor warrant issued by the Washington County Justice Court at the time of his escape. As a result of this incident, he will now likely be charged with a felony escape from custody as well. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office has initiated an internal investigation to determine the circumstances surrounding the escape. The Sheriff’s Office would like to extend our thanks to our many partners who assisted in this operation, including the Hurricane City Police Department, Ivins/Santa Clara Public Safety, the St. George City Police Department and their dispatch center, the U.S. Marshal’s Office and their JCAT team, Utah Adult Probation and Parole, the Utah Highway Patrol’s Aero-wing helicopter, the Washington City Police Department and Washington County Search Rescue Team with their search dog.

Joesph Graham

Joesph Graham

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