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The Real Prison Break Via Dog Crate That Lifetime's 'Jailbreak Lovers' Is Based On

Toby Young was married and managed a volunteer rehabilitative dog program at a Kansas prision when she broke John Manard out after falling for him.

By Gina Tron
Police handout's of Toby Young and John Manard

In Lifetime’s “Jailbreak Lovers,” a woman finds a sense of escape from a lonely marriage with an inmate at the correctional facility where she brings dogs to be rehabilitated.

But that sense of escape soon turned into a real escape when she broke him out of prison and they went on the run together.

And it’s not just a wild story — it’s a wild true story.

Toby Dorr, then Toby Young, was in her late 40s when she fell for John Manard, then 28. He was an inmate at the Lansing Correctional Facility in Leavenworth Kansas, where Dorr administered a volunteer rehabilitative dog program for the Safe Harbor Prison Dog Program. She helped pair rescued canines with inmates and took a liking to Maynard.

Dorr was married at the time and Manard was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder for his role in a fatal 1996 carjacking when he was 17, according to the Kansas City Star.

In February of 2006, she smuggled Manard out of the maximum-security prison in a dog crate in the back of the dog program van, the Associated Press reported in 2006.

The two were found two weeks later in Tennessee in a cabin. 

As the Lifetime movie depicts, she brought $25,000 in cash, hair dye and a razor for the prison break.

Young was sentenced to 21 months of prison for aiding and abetting aggravated escape and introducing contraband into the prison because, as the movie also depicts, she had smuggled her lover a cell phone.

She was released from prison in 2008, KMBC reported.

"He was just someone I could really talk to. We could talk about anything. He was smart," Young told the outlet. "I was very unhappy, and I was so depressed."

Her husband divorced her while she was in prison.

Manard got 10 years added to his sentence as a result of the prison break.

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