4.18.1072 Harboring or Concealing an Escaped Prisoner, 18 U.S.C. § 1072 See Statute

[Defendant] is accused of harboring or concealing an escaped prisoner, [prisoner]. It is against federal law to harbor or conceal an escaped prisoner. For you to find [defendant] guilty of this crime, you must be convinced that the government has proven each of these things beyond a reasonable doubt:

First, that [prisoner] escaped from [the custody of the Attorney General; federal penal or correctional institution];

Second, that [defendant] did some physical act to help to allow [prisoner] to avoid detection or apprehension;

Third, that [defendant] acted knowingly and willfully.

To act “knowingly and willfully” means to act with the knowledge that [prisoner] has escaped from custody and with the purpose and intent to help or allow him to avoid detection or apprehension.


(1) If the Attorney General has designated a nonfederal facility as the place of incarceration, escape from that facility is an escape from “the custody of the Attorney General” under this section. United States v. Eaglin, 571 F.2d 1069, 1073 (9th Cir. 1977).

(2) Several circuits have held that “[t]he words ‘harbor’ and ‘conceal’ refer to any physical act of providing assistance, including food, shelter, and other assistance to aid the prisoner in avoiding detection and apprehension.” United States v. Kutas, 542 F.2d 527, 528 (9th Cir. 1976); see also Laaman v. United States, 973 F.2d 107, 114 (2d Cir. 1992) (construing same terms as in section 1071, which proscribes concealing fugitives from arrest rather than escaped prisoners); United States v. Yarbrough, 852 F.2d 1522, 1543 (9th Cir. 1988) (same); United States v. Silva, 745 F.2d 840, 849 (4th Cir. 1984) (same); United States v. Foy, 416 F.2d 940, 941 (7th Cir. 1969) (same).

(3) Section 1072 requires proof that the defendant “willfully” harbored or concealed the escaped prisoner. This element has been read to require that the defendant had knowledge that the person whom he aided had escaped from custody. Eaglin, 571 F.2d at 1074; United States v. Deaton, 468 F.2d 541, 543 (5th Cir. 1972). It is not necessary that the government prove that the defendant was aware of the federal status of the escaped prisoner. Eaglin, 571 F.2d at 1074 n.4; cf. United States v. Aragon, 983 F.2d 1306, 1310 (4th Cir. 1993) (knowledge of federal status not an element of assisting escape under 18 U.S.C. § 752); United States v. Feola, 420 U.S. 671, 684-85 (1975) (knowledge of federal status not an element of assaulting a federal officer under 18 U.S.C. § 111).