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Reparative Work Programs Benefit Communities and Offenders

NCJ Number
Corrections Today Volume: 49 Issue: 7 Dated: (December 1987) Pages: 84,86,101
B F Baer; J R Klein
Date Published
3 pages
An experimental program involving selected Federal inmates in 400 hours in full-time unpaid community service as a means of having their parole dates advanced by 2 months was well received by the agencies involved and resulted in offers of paid positions to many inmates.
Lack of staff to monitor the project resulted in its termination, but State corrections agencies are urged to adopt the project. The project's first phase began in March 1985. One hundred carefully screened inmates lived in halfway houses in nine municipalities while working in jobs ranging from building maintenance to programming computers. A partially matched comparison group consisted of 140 inmates released from Federal prisons during 1984. The 100 offenders performed more than $168,000 worth of work and saved 5,538 days of bed space. Budget cutbacks forced curtailment of the first phase. A second phase involved 32 inmates who stayed in prison while performing the community work. In most ways, the project was a complete success.