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Reparative Work, Phase II - A Feasibility Study of An Alternative Punishment

NCJ Number
Date Published
182 pages
Phase II of the Reparative Work Project examined the feasibility of having selected volunteer inmates to leave the prison daily (except for weekends) to perform unpaid work for government agencies and units in a nearby municipality, with a 60-day advancement in parole date upon successful completion of the service contract.
To qualify for the project, inmates were required to have a presumptive parole date within study time limits, no emotional or mental disorders, no organized crime affiliation or notorious offenses, no history of sexual offenses or child abuse, qualification for a halfway house upon release, and acceptance by the Bureau of Prisons and the U.S. Parole Commission. Over a 6-month period, 32 inmates were accepted and completed 12,800 hours of service without a violation of the law or prison security. The work performed was conservatively valued at $55,040, and 1,920 person days of prison bed space were saved due to early releases occasioned by the program. The program was well accepted by both the inmates and prison staff, and the agencies in which the inmates worked were enthusiastic about the program. The study was jointly sponsored by the National Institute of Justice, the U.S. Parole Commission, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, and the National Office of Social Responsibility. Data on inmate participant characteristics cover age, sex, race, education, salient factor score, time served, offense, employment, marital status, and participation results. 10 charts.