Work release participants monitored closely - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Work release participants monitored closely, escapes still happen weekly

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -- 38-year old Cecil Raymond Smith was placed on escape status Friday night after he failed to return to a work release center from a job-seeking furlough.

Smith is just one of about 150 men and women who check in and out of the Work Release Center in Waterloo. 

"We get individuals that come from the jail for example so they are half way out. They come from the prisons. We have individuals that come from the streets and maybe it's their introduction into the correctional system," said Alan Hoff, Work Release Center Manager.

Hoff says offenders who are put on work release status are looked over by a board of parole.

"They look at their risks. Look at whether they have been in the program before. Looks at their offense. So there are a number of things they look at to determine if they are appropriate for work release," Hoff said.

The offenders are monitored around the clock. Workers at the center call employers to make sure the men and women are where they are supposed to be. When an offender does not show up for work or back at the facility, that's when officials are contacted.

"If we feel they are a flight risk then we will certainly put them on escape status right away. If we feel that they might not be a flight risk, we do give them anywhere from an hour to two to ensure they are actually on escape status," Hoff said.

Offenders in the work release program work at a variety of places in the community. But the program stresses that all participants are reviewed and monitored closely.

Hoff says work release escapes usually happen once or twice a week.

Online Reporter: Nikki Newbrough

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