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NCJ Number: 134844 Find in a Library
Title: Sentencing to Service: A Project of the Minnesota Department of Corrections and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Journal: American Jails  Volume:5  Issue:6  Dated:(January-February 1992)  Pages:28-30,32
Author(s): J McLagan
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 4
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Sentencing to Service (STS) is a jail reduction program developed jointly by the Minnesota Department of Corrections and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Abstract: The program is intended to access a labor force for environmental benefit, to increase sentencing alternatives for the court, and to decrease the incarceration of nondangerous offenders. Offenders referred to STS from the court are put on work crews which are as large as 11 in number. Crew leaders are full-time employees trained in managing crews. They are knowledgeable of equipment, safety, first aid, and natural resources management. Only nondangerous offenders are sentenced to the program, and work projects are legitimate work that would not likely be completed without such crews due to lack of funds. Transportation is provided to work sites, along with tools and safety equipment. The hours worked are in lieu of a jail sentence or fine or they are used in combination with either or both. Offenders strongly prefer to be working rather than sitting in jail. They tend to work hard and feel some degree of pride and ownership with the projects. In addition, jail officers report that the jail is easier to manage when offenders are released to work and return to the jail at night. Participants are tired and they go to bed, prisoner attitudes are better, and conflicts are nearly nonexistent. The STS program has some drawbacks; for example, the program runs the risk of becoming an add-on sanction and simply broadening the net. Another program drawback is that it costs money. Nonetheless, the program concept has caught on in the State of Minnesota and is having an impact on crowded jails.
Main Term(s): Community service programs; Work release
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Inmate Programs; Minnesota
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