While individuals who attempt to escape from jail or custody probably are not overly concerned with the consequences of such behavior being that they are likely preoccupied with their plan to escape custody, it is still useful to know what constitutes an escape and what the penalties are. Escape from prison or custody is defined as follows under Tennessee law: (a) It is an offense for any lawfully confined person arrested for, charged with, or found guilty of a civil or criminal offense to escape from a penal institution, as defined in § 39-16-601. (b) (1) A person commits the offense of escape who is in the lawful custody of a law enforcement officer and knowingly escapes the officer's custody. (2) As used in subdivision (b)(1), "lawful custody" means a person has been taken, seized or detained by a law enforcement officer either by handcuffing, restraining or any other method by which a reasonable person would believe places the person in custody and that otherwise deprives the person's freedom of action in a significant way.

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