Let Our Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyers Help You Determine If a Work Release Program Is a Good Option 

If you’re convicted of a criminal offense and incarcerated, being placed in a work release program can be a possibility to help you keep your job while you serve your sentence. However, acceptance into a work release program is challenging. At The Wilson Law Firm, our team of criminal defense attorneys has extensive knowledge about what’s necessary for you to meet the eligibility requirements for a work release program and can help in your quest to be accepted into it.  

Understanding Work Release Programs work-release-program-employee-warehouse

A work release program is a structured initiative that allows individuals serving jail sentences to leave confinement during the day for approved employment activities.

If you’re sentenced to serve jail time, work release is an attractive alternative sentencing option. Potential benefits to you include: 

  • Maintaining employment and supporting your family. 
  • Demonstrating aspects of good character and behavior. 
  • Developing educational and professional skills that may prove beneficial upon release.
  • Having the means to pay victim restitution while completing your sentence. 

Typically, participants must follow certain rules, such as returning to their designated facility in the evenings and on weekends. 

Courts have the authority to assign eligible individuals to a work release program under Virginia Code §53.1-131

Eligibility Requirements for a Virginia Work Release Program 

If you’re convicted of a criminal offense, the defense team at The Wilson Law Firm will help you determine if you have an opportunity to be accepted into a work release program. Just know upfront that gaining acceptance into these programs isn’t easy.  

Each county has its own eligibility requirements. As an example, we’re highlighting those in Prince William County to give you a sense of whether you may be accepted in this type of program:

  • Classified as minimum custody. This designation is usually reserved for inmates who have a low risk of escape, display good behavior, and have a shorter sentence or are close to completing it. 
  • Established ties to the community. You would need to demonstrate a strong connection to your family, employment, or a religious organization.
  • Good jail adjustment. You must show that you’ve exhibited positive behavior and compliance with rules and regulations. 
  • Honesty and cooperation. You have to be truthful and forthcoming during the screening and interview process.
  • Legal work status. You must be eligible to work in the United States and provide current proof of this requirement, such as a green card or work permit.

Each county also has stipulations regarding who’s not eligible to participate in a work release program. Once again, using Prince William County as an example, you wouldn’t be eligible for this initiative if any of the following applies to your situation: 

  • You were convicted of a violent felony in the last five years.
  • You’re currently sentenced or charged with a violent felony.
  • You have a current or past mental health or psychological illness that presents a threat to the community.
  • You have a history of sexual or violent crimes.
  • You’re determined to be a threat to the work release program or the community.
Our team at The Wilson Law Firm takes great pride in, as one client stated, finding solutions to help you make better choices and turn your life around. If a work release program is an option, trust that we’ll do all we can to make it happen for you.
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