Jails Working To Prevent Work Release Escapes

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- "It could be one of those day where you're watching your guys and one of these cars stops and they jump in and go."

Jails across the state use work release programs for positive change in the community and with the inmates, but when those workers flee it can cause a panic in area neighborhoods.

In Warren County inmates clean sidewalks and trim bushes as part of a work release system.

Most jails do what they can to cut down on flight risks before inmates even hit the sidewalk. They try to pick people they consider low risk and are serving short sentences.

"They're unarmed men. You cannot pull your weapon out and shoot an unarmed person. That doesn't make me any different from any other criminal in the jail. If I was to draw my weapon and shoot somebody running from me," said Warren County Deputy Jailer, Jerod Borden.

Jail officials said they're priority is to keep other inmates contained while reporting the situation to authorities.

In Butler County a work crew is loads up for yard work. A few weeks ago one of the inmates made a run for it. Other members of the work crew said when that happens it provides an opportunity for them to help and maybe get their own sentence reduced.

"We're going to tackle them. That's what it is. We help them out, they help us out," commented Butler County Jail Inmate, Jeremy Gill.

Officials at every jail will tell you work release not only does good for the community, it helps the inmates themselves see a light at the end of the tunnel.

"It teaches them that one of these days they're going to be out. They know they've got to go out and put up a hard days work then come home. They're not going to be going down the same road and coming back to jail," said Butler County Jailer, Terry Fugate.

Respect and a close eye still won't stop someone from trying to get away. When an inmate makes a break for it, that person faces a minimum of three years added on to their sentence. Something guards try to get across to workers each and every day.

The inmate that ran from a work release in Butler County only made it out for a day. He's currently back behind bars.

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