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How Successful is the Work Release Program?

There's a point in the transitional period that most inmates go through before they get back into the outside world.

Sioux City, IA (ABC9 News) - There's a point in the transitional period that most inmates go through before they get back into the outside world. And this is how it works.

Before inmates in Woodbury County get released back into public, they begin a work release program at the Department of Corrections Facility.

"About 68-70% of the individuals will successfully complete the program. You have to understand that this program takes the highest risk individuals coming from the prison system. They are at a higher risk because they do not have an appropriate parole plan so the parole board wants to see them in this setting before they eventually hit parole and move out onto the streets." says Steve Scholl, District Director of the Department of Corrections.

So why even try the program in the first place?
"If an individual discharges from prison, statistically, they have a greater chance of returning to prison. So the board wants to see them with some community support before they leave prison." adds Scholl.

For many Work Release participants, they say trouble is hard to stay away from. Which is why some inmates end up failing the program.

"Anywhere you go, there is always going to be strange activity. No matter if you are on the streets or incarcerated, or in here, but I just pretty much keep to myself. Go to work, come back and draw, stuff like that." says Carlos Gomez, a Work Release participant.

Even though many either drop out or try to escape, some participants say you can make it if you at least try.
"It's an easy program to get through you know, as long as you are doing what you are told and stuff like that. But like, sometimes it can be a little stressful here because sometimes like the staff and stuff like that. But besides that, it isn't that bad of a place. I mean I'd rather be a home but I mean, as long as you do what you are told, you'll be alright." says Gomez.

Steve also says when it comes to the success rate of the program, it's all based on the person. They wont be successful unless they want to be.

And authorities say 29 year old Justin Miller failed to return to the facility Tuesday evening after he got off work. His disappearance marks the second time Miller failed to return to the facility.

He was originally sentenced to 15 years behind bars after brutally beating another person at the bus stop.

These pictures of Brian Hill show just how serious his injuries were. Enough to be hospitalized after the October 2007 incident.

Scholl say Miller will have to deal with the consequences of his action sooner or later.

"He also may pick up some local charges either absence of custody or escape, that's depending upon what the county attorney's office, would want to do. Those charges, if they are filled against him, he'll have to face those before he goes back to prison."

Here's a brief description of what Miller looks like:

He is of Native American descent with brown hair and brown eyes. He is 6 feet tall and weighs about 227 pounds.
He has tattoos on both arms and hands.

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