News Releases

San Diego Prison Inmate Escapee Apprehended

Joshua Drinnon back in custody after escaping while out of state

SACRAMENTO – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) special agents apprehended maximum-security inmate Joshua Drinnon and took him into custody today. Drinnon had escaped approximately 40 days ago while being transported back to prison in San Diego following a court appearance in Tennessee.

“We can credit the diligence of our agents and our partnership with the US Marshals Service for locating a dangerous offender and taking him off the streets,” CDCR Office of Correctional Safety Chief Derrick Marion said.
On Wednesday, Sept. 2, Drinnon, 36, was being transported back to Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility by a private inmate transportation service contracted through the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department in Tennessee. At a rest stop on Interstate 80 about five miles outside Princeton, Illinois, Drinnon was able to get out of his restraints and elude the transporting officers, scaling a fence and running into a cornfield.
Local authorities in Illinois conducted a search for the inmate, but with no new leads suspended the search after a couple of days. The CDCR Office of Correctional Safety (OCS) and the US Marshals Service (USMS) formed a task force to track down Drinnon. The investigation led CDCR and USMS personnel to Oregon. On Oct. 12, 2015, OCS and USMS personnel located and arrested Drinnon in the city of Ashland, in Jackson County.
Drinnon was found at a local resource center for the homeless and people in need in Ashland. He was arrested without incident. The Ashland Police Department was notified and has provided transportation to a local detention facility pending extradition.
Drinnon was committed to CDCR on Dec. 12, 2012, from San Luis Obispo County with a 17-year sentence for robbery, his second strike. He was scheduled to be released to parole in May 2025. After that, he would have been transported to Tennessee to serve the six-year sentence for aggravated robbery he received while out to court.
Of all escapes from adult institutions, conservation camps and in-state contract bed facilities, 98.5 percent have been apprehended.
Contact: Terry Thornton, (916) 445-4950