Thirteen Washington prison inmates who opted to be deported, instead of serving out their sentences, have been re-arrested back in the United States. All but one returned from Mexico. The inmates were part of an early deportation program begun last year to reduce prison costs.
Ten of the 13 deported inmates were caught by the U.S. Border Patrol, including one who was spotted riding the rails. Three others were nabbed by local law enforcement: one for trespassing, one for driving with a suspended license and the third for drunk driving, although that charge was later dropped.
Four of the captures happened in California, three back here in Washington. The others were in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Kansas.
Dan White is with the Washington Department of Corrections. He says it’s back to prison for these former inmates.
“If they have time left on their sentence they’re going to come back and complete it," Whites say. "And there’s no future eligibility to participate in this program.”
White would not speculate how many other deported inmates have also returned, but not been caught. Since last July, 263 Washington inmates have agreed to fast-track their deportations instead of serve their sentences. The program is only available to non-violent, non-sex offenders.
Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network