The convicts on the bus go, “Bye, bye, bye.”

Traveling by plane can be scary. Just ask Tony Kornheiser, whose fear of flying caused him to quit as a Monday Night Football announcer. But traveling by bus can be even scarier, especially if you happen to Prisoner be seated next to some guy named "Slash."

Since April 2006, the Bureau of Prisons has allowed 89,794 federal inmates to be transferred without escorts, traveling mainly by bus. The rationale behind the unescorted transfers, according to bureau spokeswoman Traci Billingsley, is purely economic: Having prison officials, or U.S. marshals, in charge of moving inmates who have been prescreened and deemed low-risk would be incredibly expensive, she said. Exactly how much it would cost, the Bureau of Prisons doesn't know. [Link]

Yikes! I had no clue this was going on. I actually thought those guys wearing orange on the bus were Denver Broncos fans.

Bus companies, as you can imagine, aren't thrilled about dominating the prisoner transportation market.

Greyhound executives learned of the transfer program in 2005 and complained. Prison officials tried to appease them, writing a letter noting that of the 77 inmates who escaped during unescorted transfers from October 2003 to September 2005, all but 19 were recaptured or returned to custody.
Greyhound executives learned of the transfer program in 2005 and complained. Prison officials tried to appease them, writing a letter noting that of the 77 inmates who escaped during unescorted transfers from October 2003 to September 2005, all but 19 were recaptured or returned to custody. [Link]

I wonder what it feels like for those 19. They must be thrilled that they escaped, but they don't exactly have a great escape story.

Boy: "Grandpa, how did you get out of prison? Did you dig a tunnel or hide yourself in the laundry?"

Grandpa: "No, they put me on a bus to St. Louis and I got off in Kansas City with some guy who kept telling me that the Broncos suck.'"

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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