Lawrence developer Thomas Fritzel transferred to reentry program after serving four months of one-year sentence

photo by: Nick Krug

Thomas S. Fritzel leaves the Frank Carlson Federal Courthouse in Topeka, Kan. on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018.

After serving four months of his one-year sentence in a federal prison, Lawrence developer and four-time felon Thomas Fritzel has been transferred to a reentry program that is designed to help him transition back to the community upon his upcoming release.

Fritzel began serving his sentence at the minimum-security federal prison camp in Yankton, S.D., on Aug. 25, and the Bureau of Prisons database reflected that he had been moved to the Residential Reentry Management program in Kansas City, Kan., sometime in the past week. As part of such programs, the BOP contracts with residential reentry centers, also known halfway houses, to help inmates nearing release transition back to the community, according to the BOP website.

Residential Reentry Manager Kendall James confirmed to the Journal-World that Fritzel is participating in a residential reentry program. In general, he said the program affords offenders an opportunity to reintegrate into the community through participation in various programs, which ensures their success in the community. He said components of the program may include, but are not limited to, substance abuse treatment, job readiness programs, and employment opportunities.

Fritzel previously requested that he be allowed to serve his sentence at his home in Lawrence due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that request was not granted, at least initially. It is not clear whether Fritzel is participating in the reentry program from a halfway house or from his home in Lawrence, as the BOP database does not provide that level of detail and James told the Journal-World that information is not public and therefore cannot be provided to the newspaper. Either placement appears to be a possibility, as about 8,000 of the 14,600 inmates participating in all the reentry programs run by the BOP are listed as being in home-confinement, according to the BOP website. About 5,800 are listed as being at residential reentry centers.

Though Fritzel was sentenced to a year in prison, prison officials previously told the Journal-World that his time served could be shorter. The BOP database continues to show Fritzel’s release date as July 1, 2021, or after about 10 months. Bureau of Prisons spokesperson Justin Long previously told the Journal-World that the release date is less because it assumes credit for good conduct that Fritzel may earn.

Fritzel was convicted of felonies in two federal cases. Fritzel was found guilty of three felony counts related to the illegal disposal of asbestos at one of his construction projects, and, in a separate case, pleaded guilty to a felony count of criminal conspiracy related to the collection of fraudulent tax refunds from his development of The Oread hotel.


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