Oakland County Work Release Program

Work release is a sentencing alternative in Oakland County that allows a person sentenced to a jail sentence to serve that sentence from the comfort of his or her own home but monitored through a tether ankle device.  This program is allowed pursuant to Michigan Compiled Law 28.1747, and is often referred to a day parole.  This program is not allowed for every Oakland County jail inmate sentenced to jail for a felony or misdemeanor conviction, but only for the select few that qualify and are allowed to participate:

1.  The Court must order participation in the program.  The Judge is the gatekeeper – if the Court denies or does not order work release, the Defendant will not be allowed to participate.

2.  The Defendant must have verifiable employment.

3.  The Defendant must have transportation to and from work.

4.  The Defendant must have the processing fee in hand, or paid on his or her behalf, prior to being allowed to participate.  The Defendant is required to pay a $140 processing fee which is applied to the first 10 days with a daily fee of $14 thereafter.  However, if a sober link device (alcohol tether) is  also required the processing fee is $175 which is applied to the first 10 days with a daily fee of $17.50 thereafter.  A Defendant who does not continue to pay this fee will be immediately brought back to Court and placed in jail.

5.  The Defendant must qualify for the program.  To qualify for the program the Defendant must NOT:

A)  Have a felony detainer;

B) Have warrants or holds from other jurisdictions;

C) Have a current conviction or sentence for any sex offense (any degree of Criminal Sexual Conduct; Assault with intent to penetrate; possession, distribution, or manufacture of child sexually abusive material (child pornography) , failure to register as a sex offender, stalking, or escape/attempt to escape.

At the time of sentencing, the Defendant needs to have the following:

1)  The aforementioned processing fee;

2)  A letter from his or her employer on the employer’s letterhead indicating the days and hours of work (for example: Monday 9 am to 5 pm, Tuesday 8 am to 4 pm, etc.).

The Defendant is processed into this program through the jail.  The Defendant is not allowed to simply report to a location after sentencing to have the device installed.   It is not unheard of for it to take hours or days for a Defendant to be processed into the program even though the Defendant has the money in hand and the employment letter.  An outside agency is summoned by the jail to come and install the tether device on the Defendant’s ankle and delays sometimes occur due to manpower issues.

A violation of the program rules or requirements will lead to the Defendant serving the jail time that was suspended for participation in the program.  Furthermore, if the Defendant was also given a term of probation with his or her sentence, a violation of the program rules or requirements may lead to probation violation proceedings.

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