Over about 15 years, thousands of Missouri inmates and parolees who left the state’s custody without authority also left behind $1 million in prison system bank accounts. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the state corrections department is using the money to upgrade computers for staff members who run the inmate canteen, or store. State auditor Susan Montee says the department has no legal right to the funds.
Montee said that after child support and other court-ordered obligations for the inmates were paid, the remaining funds should go to the state’s unclaimed property division. That means the money could end up in the escapees’ hands – if they returned to claim it. Most of the money likely came from parolees who disappeared from community release centers, not inmates breaking out of prison.