Work Release for DUI Cases

Work release programs are the direct result of the induction of the Huber Law of 1913 in the State of Wisconsin by then politician Henry A. Huber. Since then, this law has spread to almost every state in the nation to become one of the most progressive reform plans within the incarceration system.

Unlike house arrest or home monitoring, work release is a program that allows for the gradual reintegration of an offender into the community. Under strict release guidelines, offenders are permitted to leave the prison, where they are confined as an inmate, to report to a job site or other location at which paid employment is performed. When the day’s work has been completed, the offender must return directly to the jail.

In some cases, offenders can actually spend the majority of their sentence in the community living in their home, supporting their family, and reporting to an already established source of income. In order to also fulfill the requirements of their sentence, offenders may be required to spend a few nights per week in a confined facility, such as their local jail.

The work release program is not available to all offenders, especially those who have engaged in repeated violations or have violent criminal pasts. In the State of Florida, inmates are not allowed to participate in the work release program if they have:

  • Four or more convictions that have resulted in a prison sentence.
  • Previously escaped from a confined correctional institution.
  • Been convicted of sexual battery.
  • An active detainer that has been filed against them.

The actual stipulations for the program are based on the county’s interpretation of the law and how it has chosen to adapt the laws of the respective state, thus resulting in wide variance from county to county. This variation can sometimes be of benefit to the offender, given that it can provide judges with greater latitude for sentencing options.

The goal of the work release program is to gradually reintroduce the offender to components of a productive lifestyle that they will need to maintain within the community to be successful.

This introduction can, if taken seriously, have lasting effects on future decisions that the offender may choose to make regarding their criminal or other behavior, which has resulted in their current incarceration. As a direct result, most offenders are able to reestablish themselves within the community and thus, do not go on to commit new offenses.