Inmate apprehended after skipping work release job


An inmate sentenced in July to 2.5 years in the Dukes County House of Corrections, walked out of that facility apparently heading for work, as part of a jail sponsored work-release program early Sunday. But Quincy A. Young, 29, decided to take the day off and visit a friend and girlfriend instead.

His absence spurred an alert to Island police departments and the mobilization of the Island tactical police squad. Mr. Young was recaptured later the same day in West Tisbury.

Mr. Young has permanently lost his work-release privileges, Dukes County Sheriff Mike McCormack said in a telephone conversation late yesterday. Mr. McCormack said that although Mr. Young never actually tried to escape incarceration, the law treats his absence as if he had attempted to escape. He will face arraignment on an escape charge.

Mr. Young pled guilty on July 27 to cocaine distribution, as part of a plea agreement in Dukes County Superior Court. Associate Justice C.J. Moriarty sentenced Mr. Young, who is originally from New Bedford, to 2.5 years in the Dukes County House of Corrections.

Mr. Young also pled guilty to defacing the serial number on a firearm. He was sentenced to three years probation on that charge, beginning after his house of corrections sentence is complete.

The court sentenced him to 2.5 years on each of two other charges, receiving stolen property and committing a felony with the firearm that had the serial number defaced. Judge Moriarty ordered those sentences served concurrently.

The weapons charges arose from a break-in at an Edgartown home last winter

Inmates at the Dukes County House of Corrections who are eligible for work-release leave the facility during working hours. They are supposed to go to work and then return to custody immediately after the workday ends.

Sunday, police received information that Mr. Young might be inside a house at 22 Vineyard Meadow Farms Road in West Tisbury. Edgartown and West Tisbury police assisted sheriff’s department officers, who surrounded the house. At that point, Mr. Young walked out of the building. The sheriff’s department officers took him into custody without incident.

One police officer, who asked not to be identified because the case is still under investigation, criticized the decision to allow a prisoner with Mr. Young’s background to leave the house of corrections on work-release so early in his sentence.

Yesterday, Mr. McCormack offered details on Mr. Young’s day off and the work release program.

Mr. McCormack said Mr. Young was released at 8:30 am from the jail on Upper Main Street in Edgartown but missed the scheduled bus that was supposed to take him to the workplace.

“The next bus that came along was going to West Tisbury. He jumped on it and thought it would be okay for him to go visit somebody he thought was going to be able to house him upon his release.” That house was two doors away from his girlfriend’s house, and he next went to that house.

“He made some bad decisions there, obviously,” Mr. McCormack said. “He didn’t have permission to do that. He should have been at the work site, he wasn’t, and when somebody leaves or doesn’t show up at the worksite, that’s an escape under the work-release statute.”

Mr. McCormack credited Mike Snowden of the Edgartown Police Department with determining what bus Mr. Young boarded and where he went.

Mr. McCormack said Mr. Young’s friends and girlfriend urged him to leave, and the sheriff said Mr. Young knew he should get to the work site before he was missed.

“He wasn’t escaping from custody,” Mr. McCormack said. “He was in an unauthorized place. But, when you’re on work-release, the work release statute does say that that is an escape, when you walk away from the work release site, that is an escape from custody. But he had no intention of not returning to the jail. That wasn’t the type of escape it was.”

Asked why Mr. Young was on work-release so soon into his sentence, Mr. McCormack said the work release program eligibility is 60 days prior to a person’s parole eligibility date. The goal is to make sure that prisoners will have some resources when they do get paroled.

He explained that if an inmate receives a two-year sentence, then their parole eligibility opportunity is one year, so at that point they’re eligible after only 10 months, he said. “The reason behind it is so they do have some resources when they leave,” he said. “Provided, of course, your first four months were event-free at the jail, which his were. He didn’t get himself in any trouble, and he participated in the programming that was available, to make him eligible for the work release program.”