On the night Milwaukee authorities say Freddie Dudley killed a man miles away, his forged check-in signature got only a cursory glance at the work-release jail where he should have been staying. Dudley asserted that he evaded nightly check-ins at will, says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker has ordered a fast-track probe into whether Dudley’s ability to stay out of custody the night Douglas Mitchell was shot to death was a one-time error or chronic institutional sloppiness at the county’s Community Correctional Center. “We plan to be harsh,” he said.
Dudley, 32, had been sentenced to 150 days at the work-release jail for violating a domestic-abuse restraining order. He told police that instead of going to work Sept. 19, he used drugs, called a guard and lied, saying he’d be working overtime. Then he stayed out into the night while a friend forged “Freddie Dudley” onto the work-release center’s sign-in sheet. The work-release center, housed in a 1930s former hospital, had 629 inmates assigned to it yesterday. Walker said the Dudley case underscores the importance of his proposal to phase out the work-release center and instead track inmates 24 hours a day with global-positioning devices -a more sophisticated version of electronic surveillance. With such a system, an alarm goes off at a monitoring center if an inmate strays from an approved trip.