Two of the men were recaptured following a manhunt, as armed police continued to search for the other fugitive following the breakout from Yanshou county jail outside the city of Harbin.
The recaptured men were found near a reservoir about a mile from the jail.
One of the men, Gao Yulun, 50, had been sentenced to death. The others, Wang Damin, 35, and Li Haiwei, 29, were charged, respectively, with assault leading to death and murder, although it was not clear whether they had yet faced trial.
It was not clear which man was still on the run.
Chinese prisons are run along strict lines and escapes are rare. The country is believed to execute more criminals each year than the rest of the world combined.