The Cass County Sheriff's Work Release Program has been in operation since 1977. Work Release has been one of the longest operating programs of the Jail. It is the goal of the Work Release Program to assist inmates who have been sentenced by the court system to serve their allotted sentence and still remain employed at their current work environment. The Work Release Program allows inmates the opportunity to support their families, pay their fines, and serve their court ordered sentence.
The inmate must meet five qualifications in order to be eligible for the Work Release Program. These conditions are as follows:
- Must be classified as a minimum security inmate (lowest risk to the community) and sentenced to a minimum of five working days.
- Must have no escape convictions.
- Must have no holds from other jurisdictions.
- Must have a clean drug test before entering the program.
- Prefer a current, full time and verifiable job.
It is preferred that a Work Release applicant complete the necessary paperwork once the booking process is completed at the Cass County Jail. Prior approval for Work Release will not be granted.
Work Release inmates may be allowed out of the facility for a period of time not to exceed 55 hours in a six day period, excluding travel time. The inmates eligible for the Work Release Program reside in a housing unit inside of the jail reserved for Work Release participants. This is a 48 bed unit and designed in a dormitory format. The inmates are expected to keep the interior housing and exterior grounds clean.
The inmates on Work Release are restricted to travel to their employment and to return without any unauthorized detours or stops. The Work Release participants can expect to be checked on through on site work visits and phone contacts throughout their work day.
The North Dakota Century code allows for the collection of fees for an inmate placed in the Work Release Program. Each participant will be financially responsible to keep current on those fees.
Work Release participants are also given the opportunity to attend court ordered treatment as well as outside programs such as church and chemical dependency classes. Inmates enrolled in college courses may be allowed to continue their education through the Work Release Program.
Alternative Placements such as Day Reporting, Electronic Home Monitoring and Treatment facilities are available under certain circumstances and will be considered on a case by case situation. These programs are offered outside of the Cass County Jail and operated privately.
Throughout the spring and summer months there are opportunities for those inmates who are not employed to participate in a community service work detail. Participants for this detail must meet the same requirements as Work Release and in lieu of payment will receive good time, thus reducing the original sentence inmates have been ordered to serve.