Security is just an illusion

September 5, 2013 

The term "home confinement" is supposed to give us a warm, comforting feeling about criminals being released back into the community. The implication: Don't worry, the criminal can't get into trouble because he's confined.

But as the first-degree murder case against Donald Joseph "Joe" Friese reminds us, home confinement is a false sense of security. Just like electronic monitoring bracelets, its effectiveness depends on dishonorable people acting honorably. That's always a gamble.

Friese had been out of a federal halfway house just 19 days when, according to St. Clair County prosecutors, he got into a fight over missing marijuana, chased another car at speeds of more than 100 mph then purposely crashed into the other car, killing the 18-year-old passenger.

Why wasn't this guy still locked up in prison? He was sentenced to 10 years after being convicted of federal drug and weapons charges. That was in 2008. Wait, don't tell us, he got out after just five years for "good behavior."

We don't know the exact conditions of Friese's home confinement, but we can safely say that a high-speed car chase and a dead teenager were not part of the plan. Yet here we are.

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