Work Release Program

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Work Release is a privilege, not a right that can be lost through non-compliance.

Work Release Compliance Officer:  (505) 566-4556

Program History

The Work Release Program was created in the 1970’s by District Court Judge James Musgrove and the Adult Detention Center Administration.  Under the watchful eyes of the courts and Detention Center, the program continues to expand and successfully reach its goals.  Work Release is a privilege, not a right and can be lost through non-compliance.

The concept evolved from the early chain gangs dating back to the early 1900’s.  The laws of New Mexico require the sheriff or jail administrator to “compel prisoners who are sentenced to imprisonment to work on public projects without pay or remuneration”. 

Work release inmates are carefully screened and are expected to comply with all rules.  The individual’s record and past history are major considerations.  Work release is a “one shot deal” with no second chances and participants understand that rule violations have consequences.

These programs are successful because we have the support of area judges, the District Attorney and the citizens of San Juan County.  The Adult Detention Center maintains full authority to manage the program under strict and proven guidelines.

Who qualifies?

Some minimum risk employed inmates may qualify to work at their regular wage paying job while incarcerated.  This program allows for some already employed inmates to continue working in order to maintain financial support for their family and pay restitution to victims.

Other minimum risk offenders may qualify for non paying assignment as “trustees” in the facility kitchen or other tasks related to Detention Center functions.  Local agencies utilize trustees for labor on public projects.  Some examples of labor performed include laying sod in soccer fields, filling sand bags for flooding, cleaning fairgrounds, graffiti removal, county-wide trash clean up and McGee Park events such as the National High School Rodeo Finals.

What is the process for Work Release?

  1. Inmate must be approved by the court.
  2. Application process:
    An application must be submitted by a bona-fide, licensed employer who meet specific guidelines.  These guidelines are in place to protect the integrity of the program, control schedules, job sites and types of employment.  Failure to comply with all rules by either the inmate or the employer, will result in revocation of work release privileges.
  3. Review and approval by Work Release Compliance Officer.
  4. Regulations are strictly enforced. Time sheets and pay records may be audited and on-site checks of inmates on the job will be conducted.
  5. Final determination will be made by the Facility Administrator.