An inmate from a halfway house, who was mere days away from being released, failed to return from a day pass and is now wanted for felony escape.

Vanessa Rodriguez, 33, had been serving a three-year term for false impersonation, and had been in an Alternative Custody Program at the Healthright 360 transitional reentry facility in El Monte.

Department of Corrections officials said Rodriguez was on an approved pass, but did not return to the facility Friday evening as required. The department has now notified local law enforcement and the California Highway Patrol that she is wanted and faces serious charges.

Rodriguez is a described as an Hispanic female, 5 feet-2 inches tall, weighing 134 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

The Alternative Custody Program is a voluntary program developed for eligible offenders that allows them to serve up to the last 12 months of their sentence in the community in lieu of confinement in state prison. Eligible participants may be housed in a private residence, a transitional care facility or a residential drug or other treatment program.

Since 1977, 99 percent of all offenders who have left an adult institution, camp or community-based program without permission have been apprehended, the state said.

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