North Carolina Division of Prisons
Program Services

Last Updated February 14, 1997

 Prison Program Description: Work Release

PurposeThe Work Release Program provides selected inmates the opportunity for employment in the community during imprisonment. The Work Release Program addresses the transitional needs of soon-to-be-released inmates. The program provides an opportunity for inmates to support their families and to reduce the economic costs of their imprisonment.
Criteria for ParticipationWork Release participation is based on factors such as the sentence received, the statute under which sentenced and the inmates record of behavior. Participating inmates must be in the final stage of imprisonment and are carefully screened for participation by prison managers.
Program OperationThe Work Release Program is available at the majority of minimum security prisons. Inmates are allowed to leave the prison each day to work and are required to return to the prison when their work is finished. Inmates must earn at least minimum wage. The job plan and job site must be reviewed and approved by prison managers. Inmates must work in a supervised setting and cannot work for family members or operate their own businesses. The work release employer must receive an orientation from Division of Prison staff and agree to the rules of the program. The employer must have Worker's Compensation insurance. Earnings from work release wages are used to pay restitution and fines, to pay family support, to pay prison housing and work release transportation costs and to set aside money for the inmate upon release.

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