Relating to Bibb County; to provide for a rehabilitation board to supervise and administer the rehabilitation processes; to provide for a Bibb County Work Release program; to provide penalties for violations; and to ratify and confirm prior actions relating to the operation of the work release program.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA:
Section 1. This act shall only apply to Bibb County.
Section 2. As used in this act, the term "board" shall mean the Bibb County Work Release Board, and shall be composed of the following members: The Judge of Probate of the county, the District Attorney of the 4th Judicial Circuit, and the County Sheriff.
Section 3. The employer of an inmate involved in work release shall pay the wages of the inmate directly to the board. The board may adopt regulations concerning the disbursement of any earnings of the inmates involved in the work release program. The board shall withhold from the inmate's earnings up to 40 percent of his or her gross earnings to pay each cost incident to the inmate's confinement as the board shall deem appropriate. The board may adopt policies to allow the monies to be spent exclusively for the betterment of law enforcement in the public's interest as the sheriff sees fit in addition to operation of the jail. The sheriff shall establish and maintain a Work Release Fund in a bank selected by the sheriff located in Bibb County. All proceeds collected under this act shall be deposited by the sheriff into the Work Release Fund. After deduction from the inmate's gross pay, the remainder of the inmate's earnings shall be credited to his or her account in a local bank and upon his or her release from confinement shall be turned over to the inmate. The board may turn the remainder of the inmate's earnings over to his or her family to be used by them in their support while the inmate is confined, provided the inmate gives written consent to this procedure prior to the inmate's release into the work release program.
Section 4. The willful failure of an inmate to remain within the extended limits of his or her confinement or to return within the time prescribed by the sheriff to the county jail shall be deemed as an escape from the custody of the sheriff and shall be punishable as provided by law for escaped prisoners.
Section 5. Employees of the board or persons designated by the board may make investigations and recommendations pertaining to the validity of requests for job opportunities for inmates and to otherwise assist the sheriff in the implementation of the program herein authorized.
Section 6. The board or members of the board shall endeavor to secure employment for eligible inmates under this act subject to the following:
(1) The employment shall be at a wage at least as high as the prevailing wage for similar work in the area or community where the work is performed in accordance with the prevailing working conditions in the area.
(2) The employment shall not result in displacement of employed workers.
(3) Inmates eligible for work release shall not be employed as strike-breakers or in impairing any existing contracts.
(4) Exploitation of eligible inmates in any form is prohibited.
Section 7. An inmate granted privileges under this act shall not be deemed to be an agent, employee, or involuntary servant of the board, state, county, or municipality while involved in the free community or while going to and from employment, or other specified areas or while on furlough.
Section 8. The sheriff shall keep an account of all Work Release Fund transactions for audit by the Department of Examiners of Public Accounts. The Work Release Fund shall be audited at the same time other accounts of the sheriff are audited. The Department of Examiners of Public Accounts shall submit a copy of the audit to the sheriff within 30 days of its completion.
Section 9. Any actions relating to the operation of the work release program prior to the effective date of this act are ratified and confirmed. Any existing proceeds derived from the operation of the work release program prior to the effective date of this act shall be deposited into the Work Release Fund created by this act.
Section 10. This act shall become effective immediately following its passage and approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law.