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Community Corrections Work Release Program

By: Martha Spencer Email
By: Martha Spencer Email

The Houston County Community Corrections Facility in downtown Dothan has approximately 150 inmates enrolled in the work release program. The program started with just six inmates.

Its success is saving the county money, and providing jobs for inmates when they are released.

It costs the state $8000 dollars to house one inmate each year.

Thanks to the Houston County Community Corrections Work Release Program, 150 inmates are paying off their fines, and saving the county over a million dollars a year.

"That's not counting the money they generate in the program that goes back into the community to pay child support, to pay taxes, and also we've collected approximately $350,000 dollars in fines, costs & restitution," according to Houston County Community Corrections Director Gary Knight.

Typical work runs six days a week and when they've served their sentence, there's a job to leave to.

"We have some who have actually worked at Fort Rucker on airplane maintenance and so forth, so anywhere their job skills lead, we try to get em’ a job," says Knight

And, officials say the program is so efficient, it doesn't cost the taxpayers a dime.

"We try to give them something that will be there when they leave. We have a lot of industry, tri-state plant food, Dothan Tarp, Perdue," says H.C.C.C. Operations Supervisor Tony Weber.

The inmates are making money and learning job skills.

"Just goin' to work, I've learned how to keep a job," said Inmate Mark Robeth.

"Being out there I get to make money, I get to send my mom money, and basically, we get to pay our fines off, ya know, instead of going back out there and having fines to pay," said Inmate David Prokochuk.

It’s a program that benefits everyone.

"It gives them something to do when they get out, they don't go right back to crime," said Weber.

"Being in here, it lets you know what you done wrong, it's definitely gonna’ help on the outside," said Robeth.

The program does not accept inmates convicted of violent crimes.


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