Diesel therapy

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I was angry about being subjected to "diesel therapy"—the time-honored prosecutorial tradition of hauling defendants around the country and placing them in different jails along the way. In mid-April 1998, I was transported from MDC in Los Angeles to the Oklahoma City transfer center, and then to the Pulaski County Jail in Little Rock, Arkansas, to go before the grand jury again.

Susan McDougal[1]

Diesel therapy is a form of punishment in which prisoners are shackled and then transported for days or weeks.[2] It has been described as "the cruelest aspect of being a federal inmate."[3] It has been alleged that some inmates are deliberately sent to incorrect destinations as an exercise of diesel therapy.[4] Voluntary surrender at the prison where the inmate will serve his time is recommended as a way of avoiding diesel therapy.[5] The case of former U.S. Representative George V. Hansen involved accusations of diesel therapy, as did the case of Susan McDougal, one of the few people who served prison time as a result of the Whitewater controversy. Diesel therapy is sometimes used on disruptive inmates, including gang members.[6] Other alleged recipients include Rudy Stanko,[7] who was also the defendant in the speeding case that ended Montana's "free speed" period.[8][9]

The term "diesel therapy," or "dumping,"[10] is also used to refer to a method by law-enforcement personnel of getting rid of troublesome individuals by placing them on a bus to another jurisdiction.[11] This is also known as bus therapy and is akin to Greyhound therapy in health care.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Woman Who Wouldn't Talk: Why I Refused to Testify Against the Clintons, Susan McDougal, p. 307–308
  2. ^ While some see it as deliberate puishment, it is usually just the result of a transport network run for the convenience of law enforcement and not the prisoners. One van may make a journey from Washington D.C. to Atlanta and take 10 days to arrive, but that is because over the journey many different passengers are picked up and dropped off along the way in destinations that are not along the direct route.Roots, Roger (2002), Of Prisoners and Plaintiffs' Lawyers: A Tale of Two Litigation Reform Efforts, 38, Willamette L. Rev., p. 210
  3. ^ Floyd Perry (2009). Mark Whitacre: Against All Odds: How the Informant and His Family Turned. ISBN 978-1-4415-4133-8.
  4. ^ Howard Marks. Mr Nice: an autobiography.
  5. ^ Ellis, Alan; Shummon, Samuel A.; Han, Sharon (2000–2001), Federal Prison Designation and Placement: An Update, 15, Crim. Just., p. 46
  6. ^ R Ruddell; SH Decker; A Egley Jr (2006), Gang interventions in jails: A national analysis, Criminal Justice Review
  7. ^ http://library.law.virginia.edu/gorsuchproject/stanko-v-davis/
  8. ^ http://billingsgazette.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/rudy-stanko-returned-to-prison/article_5b0d9f18-5d2e-56e6-9961-d4b41f8a81fb.html
  9. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/1998/12/25/us/montana-s-speed-limit-of-mph-is-overturned-as-too-vague.html
  10. ^ WR King; TM Dunn (2004), Dumping: police-initiated transjurisdictional transport of troublesome persons, Police Quarterly
  11. ^ W Wells; JA Schafer, Officer perceptions of police responses to persons with a mental illness, Policing: An International Journal