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Diesel therapy is a form of punishment in which prisoners are shackled and then transported for days or weeks.[1] It has been described as "the cruelest aspect of being a federal inmate."[2] It has been alleged that some inmates are deliberately sent to incorrect destinations as an exercise of diesel therapy.[3] Voluntary surrender at the prison where the inmate will serve his time is recommended as a way of avoiding diesel therapy.[4] The case of George V. Hansen involved accusations of diesel therapy, as did the case of Susan McDougal. Diesel therapy is sometimes used on disruptive inmates, including gang members.[5]

The term "diesel therapy," or "dumping,"[6] 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.[7]


  1. Roots, Roger (2002), Of Prisoners and Plaintiffs' Lawyers: A Tale of Two Litigation Reform Efforts, 38, Willamette L. Rev., pp. 210,
  2. Floyd Perry (2009). Mark Whitacre: Against All Odds: How the Informant and His Family Turned. ISBN 978-1-4415-4133-8.
  3. Howard Marks. Mr Nice: an autobiography.
  4. Ellis, Alan; Shummon, Samuel A.; Han, Sharon (2000-2001), Federal Prison Designation and Placement: An Update, 15, Crim. Just., pp. 46
  5. R Ruddell, SH Decker, A Egley Jr (2006), Gang interventions in jails: A national analysis, Criminal Justice Review,
  6. WR King, TM Dunn (2004), Dumping: police-initiated transjurisdictional transport of troublesome persons, Police Quarterly,
  7. W Wells, JA Schafer, Officer perceptions of police responses to persons with a mental illness, Policing: An International Journal,
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