Work-Release Programs: Several Things You Should Know If You Are Facing Time For A Crime

If you are facing a trial for a crime you committed and will be offering a guilty plea, your lawyer may be able to fight for you to serve your time in a work-release program instead of prison. Work-release programs still require you to be locked up, but they offer so many advantages over prison time. If this is an option your lawyer talks to you about, there are several things you should understand about this.

When It Is An Option

Every state has different rules about work-release programs; however, most states will not approve these programs for people who are repeat offenders or that have committed extremely serious crimes. It is commonly offered for crimes such as DUIs or theft crimes, but it may not be offered to those who have been convicted of murder or rape. It all depends on these factors, and it can be used for an entire sentence, or it may be used after a prison sentence to help a person transition to normal life.

There Are Rules And Requirements

A work-release program is designed to allow a person to work while serving a sentence for a crime. The person will have to stay at a work-release facility all the time, but will be able to leave to go to work. Because of this, you will need to have a job. If you do not have a job and are approved for a work-release program, you may end up being placed in prison or jail if you do not have a job by the time you must report to the work-release center.

During your time there, you will most likely have to complete daily chores or activities at the facility. You may also be subject to random drug testing, and you may have to complete certain court-ordered requirements, such as attending counseling or some other type of program.

You should also realize that staying at the work-release facility is not typically free. You will probably have to pay a daily or weekly rate. In one county, this rate is $14 per day, and it must be paid in advance.

There Are Several Key Advantages

Serving your time in a work-release program is almost always better than going to jail or prison. Not only will you be allowed to leave for work each day, but you may also be able to leave to go to certain events, such as appointments, funerals, and meetings. In addition, you might be allowed to leave each Sunday to attend church.

The one thing you should realize is that the work-release center must know where you are at all times, and you must typically provide documentation that proves where you were. For example, if you are allowed to leave for church, you might be asked to get the minister's signature on a document each Sunday to verify your attendance.

These programs teach inmates a variety of good skills, and that is why they are offered. For one, they teach them responsibility. If you need to keep a job in order to stay there, you are more likely to continue working. In addition, you will learn how to manage your money by having to pay bills. In addition, these programs can be very helpful for reducing recidivism, which is the probability that an offender will end up back in prison after being released.

If you break any of the rules, there might not be any warnings given. In other words, you might instantly lose the privileges of staying at the work-release center, and you will then be transferred to jail to serve your remaining sentence.

Work-release programs offer benefits for those that must serve time for a crime. If you are interested in learning more about this option, contact a criminal law attorney today from a firm like O'Brien & Dekker.