Miami-Dade County

With just a month left, inmate makes (brief) escape from Miami-Dade boot camp

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson posted this photo about a documentary on Miami-Dade’s boot camp.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson posted this photo about a documentary on Miami-Dade’s boot camp. Facebook

HBO and movie star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson are filming a documentary about Miami-Dade’s widely lauded jail boot camp.

There’s going to be an unexpected plot twist — one of the subjects of the documentary happens to be one of two inmates who ditched a work detail in South Miami-Dade this week, briefly eluding police before capture.

James Dukes, 20, is now jailed on an escape charge. Documentary cameras were rolling in February when a judge sentenced him to probation and sent him to a boot camp run by the Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department.

He had been arrested in conection with four separate burglary cases from 2013 and 2014. His lawyer could not be reached on Friday.

On Thursday morning, Dukes was picking up trash near Southwest 134th Avenue and 255th Street when he slipped away on foot. About four hours later, officers found him hiding in a utility closet inside an apartment about four miles away, according to an arrest report.

Dukes had been scheduled to graduate from the program in just over a month — on June 24.

“Boot camp is a great program. It is just unfortunate this young man didn’t recognize and take advantage of the opportunity he was being given,” said Jude Faccidomo, a lawyer who represented one Cutler Bay homeowner whose house was burglarized in 2013.

Another boot camp inmate, Manuel Guzman, 20, also walked away from the detail and was later arrested.

HBO’s upcoming documentary Rock and Hard Place has been widely publicized by Johnson, the former University of Miami football player and pro wrestler turned action movie star.

Back in February, Johnson posted on his Instagram account: “From armed robbery to attempted murder, we’re taking you inside one of the most unique and successful boot camp prisons in the world. They break these young offenders down in a hard core way, only to build them back up to make them better men and women once they’re released.”

On social media, Johnson has also posted photos of him in one jail dormitory and another of him talking to recruits who are wearing in shorts and T-shirts. According to the production company, 44 Blue, no air date has been selected.

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