Gregg County Sheriff Maxey Cerliano disciplined all but four of the 29 employees at the county's South Jail in the wake of a recent escape from the facility. (Les Hassell/Longview News-Journal)

LONGVIEW — All but four of 29 employees at Gregg County's South Jail were disciplined after a "systematic failure" to follow supervision procedures allowed an inmate to escape undetected the week of Christmas.

As a result, Gregg County Sheriff Maxey Cerliano said additional safeguards have been added to ensure jail staff follow required procedures. Extra security is being added to the jail as well to help prevent future escapes.

In an interview Friday, Cerliano said the disciplinary action for each person was determined based on the responsibilities the employees had at the time Jace Martin Laws, 34, of Gladewater, escaped Dec. 23, what the staff member actually was doing, and whether it followed jail policy.

He said Laws, who in October had been sentenced to prison for assaulting two Longview police officers, was gone from the jail for 57 hours before his escape was discovered.

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