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Inmate Walks Away From Prison In Shirley

SHIRLEY (CBS) – State and local police are searching for an escaped prisoner in and around Shirley.

Authorities say 24-year-old Tamik Kirkland of Springfield walked away from a minimum security facility at MCI Shirley just after 7:30 a.m.

WBZ-TV's Diana Perez reports.

He's black, 5-feet-10-inches tall, and weighs 172 pounds. He has brown eyes and black hair.

According to Department of Correction spokesperson Diane Wiffin, Kirkland was serving two-and-a-half to four years for drug and weapon offenses. He was sentenced on November 19, 2009 and was eligible for parole February 15, 2012.  His release date was August 16, 2013.

"When he is apprehended he will be returned to higher custody. The DOC will work with the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office to pursue criminal charges. If Kirkland is convicted of escape his sentence could be extended," Wiffin said in a statement.

Department of Corrections officers drove through the town showing Kirkland's picture and description to business owners and others around town.  Those who hadn't heard about the prison escape said they were upset police didn't do more to reach out to residents.

Students at two local elementary schools were kept niside during recess as a precaution. The schools were not locked down, however.

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