The Mesa County Sheriff's Alternative Sentencing Unit is a combination of the Work Release and Work–enders Programs.
Inmates who are selected for these programs are low risk criminals with minor offenses who would otherwise be thrown in jail but with this program they save the tax payers money while helping clean up around the community.
The Work Release program officially turned one yesterday. Inmates who qualify for the program live at the facility, pay rent, and keep a full time job while completing their community service. Rent for the month is just under $500. An inmates community service can be anything from cleaning graffiti to picking up trash in parks and on highways. Sheriff stan Hilkey says these programs are a great alternative to incarceration.
"Jail beds are the most expensive way to incarcerate anybody and this allows people who are sentenced to serve their time in alternative programs, allows them to work in the community to earn their way."
The Work–Ender Program celebrates its two year anniversary on Monday. The program allows inmates to report to the facility on the weekends where they also work on projects to help clean up the city.