(a) The provisions of this section shall apply to Bullock County, however, the implementation of the provisions of this section shall be completely discretionary with the county commission.
(b) Certain terms, as used in this section, shall have the following meaning:
(1) "Board" shall mean County Rehabilitation Board, composed of the probate judge, the district attorney, the sheriff, the circuit judge, the superintendent of education, the head of the ministerial conference, the juvenile probation officer, the probation officer, the chairman of the county commission, the mayors of all towns and cities within Bullock County, president of each public school Parent Teacher Association, president of the county civic association, a representative of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and a representative of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; a social worker and a physician, preferably a psychologist or a psychiatrist, shall be appointed by the legislative delegation; four residents of Bullock County: One adult male, one adult female, one minor male, and one minor female, shall be named by the legislative delegation representing Bullock County. The senator or the representative or representatives of Bullock County shall individually or jointly convene persons named in this section and shall preside over the meetings. The four Bullock County residents' term of office as members of the board shall end when the term of office of the appointing authority ends. Any vacancy in the positions filled by the four residents shall be filled by the appointing authority.
(2) "Inmate" shall mean a prisoner, either male or female, convicted of a crime and sentenced to a term of confinement in the county jail.
(c) The board shall adopt regulations and policies permitting the sheriff to extend the limits of the place of confinement of an inmate, as to whom there is reasonable cause to believe he or she will know his or her trust, by authorizing him or her under prescribed conditions, to leave the confines of the county jail unaccompanied by a custodial agent for a prescribed period of time to work at paid employment, while continuing as an inmate in the county jail in which he or she shall be confined except during the hours of his or her employment or any other absence authorized by the board and traveling thereto and therefrom. Inmates shall participate in paid employment at the discretion of the board.
(d) The employer of an inmate involved in the work release program shall pay the inmate's wages direct to the board. The board may adopt regulations concerning the disbursement of any earnings of the inmates involved in the work release program. The board is authorized to withhold from an inmate's earnings 20 percent of his or her gross earnings to pay such cost incident to the inmate's confinement. After 20 percent has been deducted from the inmate's gross pay, the remainder of the inmate's earnings shall be credited to his or her account in a local bank, and upon his or her release from confinement shall be turned over to the inmate. The board may elect, however, to pay the remaining 80 percent of the inmate's earnings to his or her family to be used by them for their support while the inmate is confined, provided the inmate consents to such payment.
(e) The willful failure of an inmate to remain within the extended limits of his or her confinement or to return to the county jail within the time prescribed by the sheriff shall be deemed as an escape from the custody of the sheriff and shall be punishable as prescribed by law for escaped prisoners.
(f) Employees of the board or persons designated by the board are authorized to make investigations and recommendations pertaining to the validity of request for job opportunities for inmates and to otherwise assist the sheriff in the implementation of the program herein authorized.
(g) The board or members of the board shall endeavor to secure employment for eligible inmates under this section subject to the following:
(1) Such employment must be at a wage at least as high as the prevailing wage for similar work in the area or community where the work is performed in accordance with the prevailing working conditions in such area.
(2) Such employment shall not result in displacement of employed workers.
(3) Inmates eligible for work release shall not be employed as strike-breakers or in impairing any existing contracts.
(4) Exploitation of eligible inmates, in any form, is prohibited either as it might affect the community, the inmates, or the board.
(h) The board, at its discretion, may also allow an inmate to participate in the release program to further the inmate's education. Under this subsection the inmate must follow all the rules and regulations prescribed for other inmates participating in the work release program.
(i) The board may adopt rules and allow the sheriff to grant furloughs or leave time not to exceed three consecutive days or 72 hours to inmates whom the board deems are deserving.
(j) No inmate granted privileges under the provisions of this section shall be deemed to be an agent, employee, or involuntary servant of the board, state, or county, while involved in the free community or while going to and from employment, or other specified areas or while on furlough.
(k) The sheriff or person designated by the board shall prepare an annual report to be filed with the board not later than 60 days from the close of each fiscal year showing the operations and administrations and suggestions as deemed advisable. The board shall designate someone to keep such records as they deem appropriate and shall compensate them from the 20 percent earnings retained from the inmates.
Last modified: May 3, 2021