In many states, even the punishment for a first-time DUI conviction includes a short stint in jail. For these people, the jail stay usually only lasts 24 hours, but repeat offenders can expect much harsher sentences. There are many ways that a person can mitigate his or her time in jail.
Under most circumstance, a work release program, or work furlough, is available in many states. A work release program makes it possible for sufficiently trusted prisoners to leave the prison facilities during the day, under supervision, in order to continue to work their current job or to work for certain government programs. At the end of their workday, the prisoner returns to prison until the next working day.
Work furlough programs are not applicable to all prisoners. There are some prisoners who are denied acceptance to the program, but most cases are approved. Prisoners convicted of serious felonies, or who are awaiting sentencing on other serious charges, are often denied. Any violation of the program rules, such as showing up late, results in removal from the work release program.
These programs usually have a minimum and maximum number of days that a prisoner can participate. Usually, they are only for offenders who are sentenced to 90 days in jail or less.
In order to be considered for a work release program at a government agency, the offender must be able to do physical labor. They must also be available eight hours a day and at least two days a week.
Participants are usually required to have their own transportation to and from the work site. In the case of a license revocation, the individual should be able to find alternative transportation.
Workers are required to wear proper clothing. This means work clothes that are durable, safe, and comfortable.
Participants in work release programs are often assigned to handle and replace trash bags from city receptacles. Sometimes, they are required to clean city parks or streets. Another task includes retrieving grocery carts.