- Spokane has 2 work release programs - one for men, and one for women.
- Work Release is a program which allows prison inmates to serve the last 6 months of their sentence outside the prison and in a community-based, secure halfway house. Here the felons are allowed to secure a job and find a place to live before they are released. These programs are effective in helping offenders rediscover their independence and transition into society.
- Private contractors are contracted to supervise these offenders, working under the watch of The Dept. of Corrections and Community Corrections Officers.
- Inmates work during the day and return to the work-release facility at night. Inmates pay $13.50 a day for their room and board, plus any restitution or legal fees they have been assessed. They also pay into a mandatory savings plan.
- Inmates released without spending time in a work center have a 45% recidivism rate. Inmate problems such as addiction and lack of job skills contribute to a cycle of crime.
- More work release facilities are needed. The
Dept. of Corrections currently operates 15 work-release facilities in
10 counties, with waiting lists for the 678 beds. In June 2007,
Washington’s prison system announced plans to double the state’s
work-release program over the next 10 years, and open 10 new facilities
to accommodate more than 1,200 convicts. It has been suggested that
Spokane and Pierce Counties have more than their share of prison
facilities. (The state currently has Work Release facilities in
Spokane, Yakima, King, Whatcom, Thurston, Cowlitz, Pierce, Kitsap, Clark
and Benton counties.)