There was a bit of an uproar from Illinois residents when they heard to former Governor George Ryan’s request to be allowed to be with his wife as she died and also to attend her funeral. I heard a lot of people who thought that this man cause so many problem in the state and to the residents of the state that he should receive the full consequences of his actions and feel hurt himself.
Others were upset because they believed that he was allowed temporary release to attend the funeral of his wife just because he was a former governor, and many were upset just because they don’t think that under any circumstances should a prisoner be allowed temporary release. I think that there is a bit of overreaction here because a lot of people don’t know that on many occasions prisoners are released to attend the funerals of loved ones and not just prisoners who big names in the system.
Under special and limited circumstances inmates who meet strict requirements may be allowed temporary releases from the institution through furloughs and staff-escorted trips. A furlough allows inmates to be in the community without a staff escort (www.bop.gov). When a prisoner is allowed to leave to visit a critically ill family member or to attend a funeral they are escorted by a staff member of the prison.
I can understand where people might be upset about the release of any prisoner for temporary circumstances. If a prisoner who has committed the crime of rape, murder, or manslaughter should those people be allowed to temp release? This is what the application process is for, not every prisoner is allowed release. Depending on the crime committed and other circumstances, the bureau will make the call one whether or not they are eligible. A person who is a danger to the community is much less likely to receive permission to leave compared to an offender with a minor charge.
The offender does not get this service for free nor is this a quick and easy process. The process sometimes varies from state to state but mostly follows the following course of actions. The condition of the sick or dying must have been new and not been present at the time of conviction. First the attorney is contacted with a request for leave. This sometimes must be made as far as a month in advanced depending on the situation. If they are confirmed the offender or his family must pay for the service they receive. There is a charge for the officers that escort him/or her. Usually 25 to 30 dollars an hour for each officer and they are also charged for the gas of the trip. The money must be paid before the prisoner is released.
Very few of these applications are granted each year regardless of the inmate situation. It is understandable how many think that under no circumstances should an inmate be release for special privileges especially the victim of the crimes. But what about prisoners in jail for victimless crimes? Should they have more leeway? Should they always be allowed temp leave? I think that under your first minor offense that you should be allowed to leave for a funeral or ill relative. However if you have been convicted more than once or your crime relates to murder, rape, etc. then I believe under no circumstance should they be allowed release. What do you think?