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April 19, 2014

Transitional Work Program

Certain eligible offenders may enter a traditional transitional work program (formerly work release) from one (1) year to three (3) years prior to release from incarceration, depending on the offense of conviction. Offenders who are approved for transitional work programs are required to work at an approved job and, when not working, they must return to the structured environment of the assigned facility. Probation and Parole Officers are assigned monitoring responsibilities for contract transitional work programs. This may include conducting random drug screens and random shakedowns of the facility. Additionally, the Probation and Parole Officer is part of the Auditing Teams that conduct annual audits of the programs. Transitional work programs are successful in assisting an offender with making the transition from prison back into the work force. Approximately 10 to 20 percent of offenders remain with their employer upon release. The transitional work program is also utilized as a valuable alternative for technical parole violators, in lieu of returning them to prison.

Additionally, recent legislation allows for offenders convicted on certain non-violent offenses to qualify for transitional work programs upon sentencing if they are sentenced to seven (7) years or less. This program is known as the Rehabilitation and Workforce Development Program. The primary purpose of this program is to utilize existing transitional work programs to place offenders who have completed technical training in a DOC facility to become skilled craftsmen in such areas as carpentry and welding. Offenders are placed in higher paying jobs that are related to the skill set they acquired while incarcerated. The mission of this program is that offenders retain this employment after transitional work program completion and are able to make wages to maintain self-sufficiency.

Click here for a list of transitional work programs throughout the state.

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