New work release program gains support

Up to 120 people convicted of minor crimes in Santa Rosa County would be housed in a new work release center to be located in a former juvenile detention center in Milton, Sheriff Wendell Hall proposed Monday. The former detention center was called, SATC or Santa Rosa Substance Abuse Treatment Center. The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) closed the treatment facility Aug. 20, 2014  after the facility failed to implement corrective actions for deficiencies found by DJJ.

Initiating the work release program is supported by Santa Rosa County Commissioners pending further financial details to be discussed at their scheduled meeting on Thursday.

At least $300,000 in funding for the new program is available with money left over from Hall’s budget allocation in fiscal 2014-2015.

As proposed, the work release effort would alleviate crowding in the county jail. Participating inmates would pay rent to stay in the 15,000-square-foot dormitory.

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