The Sheriff's Office said moving Archie to a state prison eliminated the risk of him escaping again from the Walker County Jail and the possibility he would be mistreated by the jailers he assaulted.
Security is a round-the-clock priority at the jail, which is a busy place in the wee hours of the morning when the rest of Huntsville is asleep, the sheriff said.
"When people ordinarily drive by, the jail is normally out of sight, out of mind," McRae said. "They probably assume it an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. operation. That's not the case. We have trusties who get up at 3 a.m. to prepare food for the inmates.
"All of this stuff is in motion inside of the jail. A lot of these inmates sleep during the day and stay up at night. Their lives are just the opposite of mine and yours."
The Sheriff's Office is continuing its internal investigation of the escape. McRae said it was too early to say whether policies or procedures would be changed in response to the findings of the investigation.
Most procedures for such activities such as visitation, recreation and medical attention, require the staff to move inmates from their cells. Some features of the outmoded jail, which are not in compliance with state jail standards, make routine inmate moves difficult and risky.
"An escape of that nature would not have taken place in an updated facility," McRae said. "This is a prime example of something we have been concerned about for five years now."
McClatchy-Tribune News Service