Central Indiana County Seeks to Develop Work Release Program

KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) – A central Indiana county is working to develop a community work release program to try to avoid jail overcrowding and to avoid the cost of expanding or replacing the jail.

Officials in Howard County, about 50 miles north of Indianapolis, say a work release facility also would give judges another alternative in sentencing low-level offenders. Howard County Community Corrections Director Ray Tetrault told the Kokomo Tribune (http://bit.ly/1c7nUEA ) the future of the effort depends on funding.

Sheriff Steve Rogers said a community work release program is vital because average inmate counts have been increasing. Last year's annual jail report said the average daily population was 342. The jail has a capacity of 364 inmates.

Sentencing reform means those sentenced to less than a year will serve their time in the community.

  Information from: Kokomo Tribune, http://www.ktonline.com