Released for one-day assessment April 3, inmate has yet to report back to Wildwood

Case of missing prisoner baffles officials

Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2001

Promise to be somewhere at a certain time and you better be there. Don't show up and people get concerned. And if that "somewhere" is jail, even more people get involved.

Such is the case of Dale Daniel Allison.

On the morning of April 3, an order for temporary release signed by Kenai Magistrate David Landry opened the door for 30-year-old Allison to walk out of Alaska Department of Correction's Wildwood Pretrial Facility in the custody of his father, Dale Allison Sr.

According to assistant district attorney Scot Leaders, the younger Allison was to return to Wildwood later that day.

"Mr. Allison was in custody on a DWI (driving while intoxicated) charge, and he was released to go for an assessment to determine what level treatment would be appropriate," said Leaders. "He was released for a four-hour time frame to get the assessment and then be returned to the custody of Wildwood."

But Allison never returned to Wildwood. In fact, he never reported for his scheduled assessment, according to a spokesperson at the Cook Inlet Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

"The dad called at approximately 1:12 p.m., indicating that his son had walked out of the residence looking for the dog about noon and did not return," Leaders said.

A warrant was subsequently issued for Allison's arrest for evading custody. Two more warrants were issued after Allison failed to appear in court on May 29 on the charges that put him in Wildwood.

Bruce Richards, media contact for the Department of Corrections, said it is rare that inmates fail to return as ordered. Not just at Wildwood, but at Corrections' facilities around the state.

To help minimize the occurrence, alcohol and drug screening is available on site.

"Our most intense prison treatment program in the state is at Wildwood," Richards said. "The results have been very impressive. It's not like the resources aren't available there. We can work with them while they're there."

However, the court dictates Corrections' involvement with inmates.

"Everything is based on court orders," Richards said. "When somebody gets arrested and brought in, they're held on some sort of bail or bond. After court, they have a sentence and that's what we go by."

In Allison's case, Richards said, "We were given a court order by the magistrate to release him for substance abuse assessment. During that time, he decided he didn't want to come back. As far as we're concerned, the last entry is the conditional release. When he's released on a court order, that's our last contact with him. He's not listed as an escape from the Department of Corrections."

In terms of responsibility for Allison's disappearance, Leader said, "Well, there may be contempt if the court finds (the father) violated the third-party custodianship responsibilities," Leader said. "But he did report it, so that will be an issue to be determined."

Abigail Sheldon, of the Public Defender's Office, said third-party custodians aren't uncommon and are used "sometimes when a person can't make bail or as a condition of bail."

She said although there are no specific requirements for being a custodian, the individual has to be someone the court can trust.

"They have to be able to impress the court that they would be willing to report," said Sheldon, adding, "That usually eliminates people too close to the case, such as witnesses. And usually the court doesn't allow someone's child to be the third party."

But what about a parent being the custodian for a son or daughter, as in the case of Allison?

"I have seen the court do that, but they still have to impress the court that they're someone willing to call the police," Sheldon said.

Currently, 33,038 outstanding warrants are listed in the Alaska Public Safety Information Network, a statewide computer system, according to Greg Wilkinson, information officer for the Alaska State Troopers.

"That includes every type, from failure to appear in court on traffic tickets to felonies," Wilkinson said. Allison's warrants is included in the system.

"That information is kept in the system so that if he is stopped for any type of driving infraction or is approached for whatever reason, it puts a warning up that there's a warrant outstanding," Wilkinson said.

Trooper First Sgt. Nils Monsen said whenever a trooper stops a vehicle and radios in, "10-27, 10-29," a license and warrant check are being requested. Another resource is helping search for Allison.

"His picture is in most patrol vehicles," Monsen said. "I know it's in mine."

Kenai Police Chief Dan Morris said the ability to track warrants depends on the number of sworn officers available.

"Being able to have someone specifically enforce warrants is kind of a luxury at this point," Morris said. "It comes down to bodies with badges and time to do it."

Sgt. Tod McGillivray of the Soldotna Police Department agreed.

"A lot of departments have a warrant division where that's all they do is actively pick up warrants. None of our agencies (on the Kenai Peninsula) have the manpower to do that."

In the meantime, the Corrections folks wait for Allison to return.

"He's not under our custody because he was released under a court order," Richards said. "It's a law enforcement issue now. They need to go out and try to find this guy."

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