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From Today's San Diego Newspaper

  1. May 22, 2005 #1
    COPLEY NEWS SERVICE
    May 22, 2005
    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.
    Already in San Diego County this year, the Marshals Service has launched manhunts for two prisoners who failed to turn themselves in after being put aboard buses bound for halfway houses here. Since 1996, when the bus transfer program began, eight San Diego-bound prisoners have escaped.
    "It is starting to be more common, and we're not surprised," said Jimmell Griffin, a deputy U.S. Marshal in Los Angeles. "The opportunity to escape is just too great for them."
    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."

    Find this article at:
    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/state/20050522-9999-1n22buscon.html
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 22, 2005 #2
    thanks to the stupid drug law in states we gonna have more and more problems with jailing people who were smoking joint or having small amount of drugs.
     
  4. May 22, 2005 #3
    I'm just shocked, they don't give them some casino chips along with the bus pass?
     
  5. May 22, 2005 #4

    Danger

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    Gold Member

    Don't forget the beer and hookers.
     
  6. May 22, 2005 #5
    There are many things here that don't seem to make sense. These people honestly expect convicted criminals to check themselves into prisons? With this logic, we can argue that they should have arrested themselves and put themselves into jail. The police need to do their job. If this escaped convict is "armed and dangerous" then why was he being "transferred" to a low-security prison? And if already seven before this one have escaped, it seems to me that more money is being spent on trying to hunt these people down after they escaped than just transporting them securely! Whoever thought of this program should be jailed for being so stupid.
     
  7. May 22, 2005 #6

    Evo

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    Staff: Mentor

    z-component, you're being logical. These are federal prison officials, they are not required to think. You're expectations are obviously set way too high.
     
  8. May 22, 2005 #7
    No No No, its a government conspiracy don't you see!? The police are doing TOO GOOD of a job and there are so few criminals left they intentionally let some escape so they can hunt them down again in order to save their jobs!
     
  9. May 22, 2005 #8
    It does seem remarkably stupid except when you consider that the majority of prisoners who are sent alone like this are actually going and checking in where they're supposed to at the end of the trip. Which is kind of remarkable.

    The trouble is that anyone who decides they will risk escape has nothing whatever to stop him. So, every once in a while someone bolts.

    The whole thing is very strange.
     
  10. May 22, 2005 #9
    I guess it's not all that remarkable. It sounded like he was on his way to a halfway house in LA. He had probably done a few years in the 'joint' and this was his next step to release. My understanding of halfway houses is that you sleep there and have a curfew, but during the day you go to a job and work just like anybody else. There's nothing stopping them from walking off the job once they're at the halfway house. Taking that into consideration, there's no reason to transfer the guy in a prison bus with armed guards just to have him walk away the next day.
     
  11. May 22, 2005 #10
    It's a bit more complicated than that. The main complaint about "the shadow" seems to be that he was being sent to a low security facility at all. Another guy who escaped by bus had already previously escaped. They're making mistakes about who can be trusted to cooperate and who can't. (I'm still kind of amazed that most of them do.)
     
  12. May 22, 2005 #11
    OK, that's fair. I guess the philosophy (for the 2nd guy) was 'well, surely he won't try and escape a 2nd time!" :yuck: Yeah, you would have to be pretty selective about who you let participate in the program.

    BTW, I think Danger and Hypatia may be on to something here. Who the #$%^ would think it was a good idea to put them on a bus going through Las Vegas? It's like making the attendees of a Weight Watchers meeting walk through a Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream shop on their way to a meeting. Just too much temptation.
     
  13. May 23, 2005 #12
    I suppose. I just thought they'd have a better sense of security. They shouldn't be taking chances with dangerous criminals. :rolleyes:
     
  14. May 23, 2005 #13

    matthyaouw

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    This reminds me of a story I read in my local paper the other day. A drug dealer was taken to a low security prison. One day, he walked out (no daring escape- just walked out). Afer 18 months, the police were informed, with no previous effort to track the man down. He was found in his home, where he had been comfortably living since his escape, and was in posession of illegal firearms and drugs at the time.
     
  15. May 23, 2005 #14
    None of this surprises me. The prisons are so overcrowded they have no place to put these criminals.
    http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/prisons.htm
    And the cost per inmate is increasing along with the total number of inmates.
    http://www.usdoj.gov/jmd/budgetsummary/btd/1975_2002/2002/html/page117-119.htm
    We are becoming a prison nation.
     
  16. May 23, 2005 #15

    Danger

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    If they'd stop locking people up for such horrendous crimes against humanity as loving a same-sex partner, or sparking up a gagger, or teaching evolution...
     
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