TOLLESON, AZ - The hunt is on for a convicted criminal who escaped from her prison work program Friday.
Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan says Dyan Castorena escaped from her off-site job at an auto auction business in Tolleson.
She reportedly walked off and then stole a car to make her get-away. She and her orange jumpsuit have not been seen since.
Castorena is a convicted thief and was serving her second prison sentence when she fled.
Director Ryan says all prisoners pass a thorough risk assessment before being approved for community work. Castorena had passed and was not considered dangerous.
"They're convicted felons,” Ryan explained. “They're in prison for a reason. We are very confident in our classification system, but we have not mastered the ability to predict human behavior 100-percent of the time."
Officials say Castorena was last seen leaving the auto auction in a 4-door silver or gray Toyota Camry driving west on Van Buren Street near 83rd Avenue.
Castorena has been housed since July 13, 2011 at the Arizona State Prison Complex-Perryville on a 1.5 year sentence out of Maricopa County for theft.
State prison officials say Castorena’s action was spontaneous.
"She only had a matter of months remaining to serve," Ryan said.
That is why Ryan said they did not see the escape coming.
"It is our belief that she is still here in Arizona,” Ryan said. “It appears her only family is in Tempe or the East Valley.”
There are more than 3,000 inmates in Arizona’s out-of-prison work programs. Ryan acknowledges there are some risks with letting out thousands of prison inmates to go work. There have been several escapes in the past few years, but Ryan says the benefits are worth it.
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