Eye For an Eye: Missouri Taking Prisoner’s Left Behind Money

So here’s the scam: The state of Missouri arrests and jails people.  Sometimes those people leave for whatever “unauthorized” reason, like prisoners that walk away from half-way homes or just those that just straight up escape…and when that happens, the State just takes the money they left in their prison bank accounts.

Is that right?

The Missouri Department of Corrections says “Yes!” but Auditor Susan Montee says “No!”

Call it the $1 million state bonanza, courtesy of escaped prisoners and halfway house walkaways.

Over about 15 years, thousands of Missouri inmates and parolees who left the state’s custody without authority also left behind money in prison system bank accounts.

Now, the Missouri Department of Corrections is using the money to upgrade computers for staff members who run the inmate canteen, or store.

In an audit released Monday, Montee said that after child support and other court-ordered obligations for the inmates were paid, the remaining funds should go to the state’s unclaimed property division.

That means the money could end up in the escapees’ hands — if they returned to claim it. A spokesman for state Treasurer Clint Zweifel, who runs the unclaimed property division, said the office was reviewing the audit.

So now they are fighting over past court rulings and arguing over who owns what but really, I think the answer here is simple: STOP LETTING PEOPLE ESCAPE SO FREAKING EASILY AND THIS WON’T BE AN ISSUE!

Are people just walking out of prisons?  And why aren’t we notified of this more often?  …and if the prison gets to keep the money, why wouldn’t a crooked warden like on Shawshank Redemption just let a particularly rich criminal walk out?  Seems like a win for both the inmate and the system…still a “lose” for that first girl he runs across that looks like the wife he killed to get in there but whatever.  Thats just one chick.  We are talkin’ guard tower lounge chairs!

P.S.  The one thing that strikes me as odd is that if one of those criminals said “Well yeah I took it, but because that person left it behind!” it wouldn’t stand up in court.  Thoughts?

via STLToday