Detainers Delay Inmate Releases

By J Kevin Foster | Prison Life

Oct 16

Sunday, July 8th, 2012 |

Many inmates have been in and out of jail over the course of their lives.  Some still have outstanding charges against them.  Detainers are requests from other jurisdictions to have the inmate sent to the requesting jurisdiction when the inmate is released.  Often, inmates don’t know they have detainers filed against them.  The case manager determines if there are outstanding detainers when they are processing the inmate’s file for release.

The case manager looks for unresolved cases and warrants in the federal criminal database.  A lot of this information is wrong or outdated.  Some inmates have been down so long that the other jurisdictions may have no information on the inmates.  Jurisdictions update their systems periodically.  Old information may not get carried over into their current system.

In other words, the case manager is looking at possible outstanding charges and warrants that the jurisdiction cannot confirm are valid or not.  The case manager will inform the inmate that they will have to prove the negative – that there are no outstanding detainers if there is any doubt in the case manager’s mind.  This is a virtual impossibility from the confines of prison!

Examples of Detainers Delaying Releases

One of my friends was scheduled for release next week but he was informed of a pending charge that he knew nothing about. How devastating for him! I don’t know if he can get it worked out in the next week or so.  They will hold him until he serves his full sentence, or until he can prove that the charge is bogus.  If the charge is real, then he will be transferred to the other jurisdiction.

I saw another guy that had his release delayed because of an outstanding charge from 1968!

This happened to another friend.  The case manager said he had a pending charge from Flint which was delaying his release. It took his sister two months to get the evidence from the city that there was no pending charge. The guy knew it was the same charge that he had already been convicted of by the Feds.


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