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FL Work Releasee's Reporting to Work Late Doesn't Amount to Escape

Leon Williams, a prisoner in a state work release center, left the center to walk to work but was 90 minutes late getting there. When he arrived he was arrested and charged with escape under Fla. Stat. sec. 944.40. That section proscribes a prisoner's escape from confinement from a wide variety of penal facilities. But Fla. Stat. sec 951.24(2)(a) says that work release prisoners continue as ... inmate[s] ... except during the period of ... authorized release, such as when the prisoner is at work. Based on sec. 951.24(2)(a), the trial court dismissed the charge because Williams was not confined when he showed up late for work.

On appeal, the Court of Appeal of Florida, 2nd District, categorically agreed with the trial court and affirmed its dismissal of the escape charge. See: State of Florida v. Williams, 923 So.2d 506 (Fla.App. 2 Dist. 2006) (table - unpublished).

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