Work-release saved County $18,000
Scioto County’s work-release program has only been in place since September but it’s already saved the County $18,000 in expenses for housing and feeding inmates at the jail. Only non-violent inmates can participate in the program.
Shawn Davis, Chief Probation Officer for Scioto County Common Pleas Court told me 311 jail beds at a cost of $60 dollars a day have been saved. Add to that the amount of work completed by prisoners and probationers and the county is coming out way ahead.
Getting the program off the ground wasn’t easy. Scioto County Commissioner Bryan Davis (no relation to Shawn Davis) says, “This had been let go for so long for different reasons. Worry about contraband. Issues about inmates being approached by family members outside the jail.” Davis views work release as a deterrent. “It’s time to put some kind of punishment back in crime. Whether you consider it a punishment or not, they should help pay for your incarceration or electronic monitoring or pay off their fines or probation fees.”
Shawn Davis says it’s been a big help controlling jail overcrowding. At one point the inmate population soared to 250, far in excess of the maximum of 190 inmates. As of today, the inmate population stands at 183.
Inmates are most visible picking up trash at the side of the road. Since September, they’ve collected 454 bags of trash.
Commissioner Davis said this success was made possible by the willingness of departments to cooperate with each other. “It’s amazing what you can get accomplished when you don’t care who gets the credit.”