The fact that former Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, who was convicted of second-degree murder for the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald in 2014, has been released from prison, is unlikely to be the vast majority of individuals in the state or federal detention.
Van Dyke was released from the Taylorville Correctional Center at 12:15 a.m. Thursday, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Corrections said Thursday afternoon, more than 13 hours after his release and after repeated requests to provide information over the course of several days.
In the days leading up to Van Dyke’s release, the IDOC refused to release any details about his status or whereabouts. On Tuesday, IDOC only confirmed that he was in state custody, adding in a statement, “For safety and security purposes, the Department is unable to release any information regarding his current location or pending release from IDOC custody.”
While Van Dyke’s release after more than three years of serving an 81-month sentence matches the day-to-day credit most Illinois offenders give, there’s one way that makes his case stand out: Despite the fact that he remains in IDOC custody, Van Dyke does not appear in the department’s online offender locator, as is required by state regulations for most cases.
In contrast to others, like William Balfour, who was convicted of murdering the family of singer Jennifer Hudson in 2008. He appeared in a prisoner locator, as did other notorious killers in Illinois history. .
Chester Weger, convicted in the infamous 1960 Starved Rock murder, was pardoned in 2020 – but still on IDOC’s inmate locator.
As well as Henry Brisbon, I-57 killer, and Patricia Columbo, convicted of murdering her own parents and younger brother in 1976.
Van Dyke gets a secret never before given to federal inmates like Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, whose location is listed on the Federal Bureau of Prisons website.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who appealed the death sentence for the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, also appeared in the BOP prisoner search.
Even former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, whose sentence was commuted by then-President Donald Trump in 2020, is still in the federal database but listed as made public.
And in a similar case to Van Dyke, Minnesota has publicly tracked down the whereabouts of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, convicted of killing George Floyd in 2020.
Asked about Van Dyke’s seemingly favorable treatment, an IDOC spokesman said late Thursday that his “time in detention and release was consistent with operating procedures.” standards of the IDOC.”
“The agency does not provide information on its website or about any non-IDOC detainees due to the tight interstate situation,” the statement read. “As with Van Dyke, it is normal for an individual who has been incarcerated in another state or in federal custody to return to an IDOC facility briefly before being released, and information about his whereabouts or release is not uncommon. due to that individual is not disclosed by the department.”
IDOC notes that 139 people are not listed on the IDOC website because they are “the subject of a tight interstate grouping or for safety/security reasons.”
Whatever the reason for the state’s decision to hide Van Dyke’s location, it only adds to the outrage some have expressed about his release.
“He gets to go home to his family and see the kids,” said McDonald’s grandmother Tracie Hunter at a news conference on Wednesday. “I couldn’t do all that because my nephew was gone. He took him away from me.”
https://www.nbcchicago.com/investigations/jason-van-dykes-release-from-prison-given-secrecy-not-afforded-most-inmates/2748703/ Jason Van Dyke’s release from prison is guaranteed secrecy isn’t the price of most inmates – NBC Chicago