Federal convicts regularly transfer themselves between prisons unescorted, riding public transportation without a guard in sight, WFAA-TV reports. Some 5,300 have switched prisons on their own since April 2006; 54,000 have headed to halfway houses. And in 2003-05, 77 escaped while en route. “It’s an inherent safety and security risk for the industry as a whole,” says a Greyhound spokeswoman.
The Bureau of Prisons notes that such transfers are for minimum-security cases. “Inmates assigned to either camps or halfway houses do not present a significant risk to the community,” said a rep, noting “substantial” savings. Adds one senator, “We don’t want our bus system to turn into Con Air, but you would think there would be some safety measures that could be put into place here.”