Monday, May 23, 2005

What The Hell Were They Thinking? - Part 2

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports on a Federal Bureau of Prisons money-saving measure, with the headline "Prisoner transfer program plagued by escapes." Link.
When federal prison officials decided to transfer drug dealer Dwayne Fitzen from one prison to another, they bought him a one-way bus ticket from Minnesota to California.

They trusted that the convict known as "Shadow" would check himself into Lompoc Federal Correctional Institution at the end of the two-day trip last fall. What happened next may come as no surprise. Fitzen got off the bus in Las Vegas and vanished. The U.S. Marshals Service considers him "armed and dangerous" and has added him to its growing list of convicts who escaped while traveling alone by bus. [...]

The little-known furlough program, also known as "voluntary surrenders," was started by the Federal Bureau of Prisons to save money and relieve prison crowding. The program is usually reserved for prisoners being transferred to low security facilities, which typically house nonviolent inmates.

Bureau officials would not discuss the program or provide information about the number of prisoners who travel alone by bus or the number who have escaped. The bureau's Web site states that prisoners usually can't take a bus unless they have less than two years remaining on their sentences. But an assistant warden said the limit is 10 years.

I'm sure that it does save money. You no longer have to pay to house and feed these guys. I wonder how many advanced degrees in criminology the guy who thought this one up has. Probably he is an outside consultant who received a high-six-figure fee to tax his brain and come up with the plan. They should just have asked the prisoners how they would like to be transferred. They would have gotten the same answer for no money at all.


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