State Inmate Escapee Considered Armed and Dangerous

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Houston and Henry County authorities need help in finding a convicted criminal who escaped from Houston County's work release program. He should be considered armed and dangerous.

A state inmate, Darryl Kirkland, has been a part of the Community Corrections program for a little more than a year.

The program allows non-violent offenders to stay out of jail by holding a job during the day and returning to the community corrections office to spend the night.

On March 16 Darryl Kirkland didn't check in with Houston County’s Community Corrections after he got off from work as a carpenter. He was caught with a cell phone earlier, which is against the rules, but would not send him back to prison.

The Director of Houston County's Community Corrections program Gary Knight says, "He is out there and probably feels he doesn't have much to loose” .

Officials say when Kirkland escaped, he stole high-tech equipment from a friend's house in Kinsey, and then hightailed to Henry County where sheriff's investigators say he stole a .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle from a trailer.

"This individual was, like I said, seen in the area where the burglary took place and he is a suspect in taking this gun from this residence," says Henry County Sheriff Lawton Ed Armstrong.

Kirkland has a long list of priors but is serving a 15-year sentence as a state inmate for marijuana charges.

Out of 115 inmates in community corrections, sources tell News 4 that many try to escape all the time; however, they get caught.

Even though the work release program is reserved for non-violent offenders, officials say they don't know Kirkland's next move

"I think I would like to have Daryl realize there are other ways of doing problems instead of running from them” said Knight

It's believed Kirkland is still in the Houston or Henry county area, and may be on a drug binge. He now faces escape charges, burglary charges, and an additional 60 years in jail.

Kirkland is described as 5'8'' and 140 pounds. He was last seen driving a 1993 blue Dodge pick-up truck. That tag number is A725693.

If anyone has information on Kirkland's whereabouts please call the Houston County Sheriff's Department at (334) 677-4882.

Also, Henry County is offering a Crime Stoppers reward of up to $1,000 for any tips leading to Kirkland’s arrest. The Crimestoppers number is (334) 585-5200. A callers name will remain anonymous.