FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The Allen County Sheriff’s Department’s Work Release program is expected to end two weeks earlier than expected.
The county’s work-release program, which allows low-risk inmates to hold jobs in the community while spending off-hours in confinement or on time-limited periods at their home, was set to end Aug. 1. The program is run out of the former Byron Health Center campus at Lima and Carroll roads.
Inmates in the work-release program have told WANE 15 that Sheriff David Gladieux announced the program would be ending Friday, two weeks early. For those currently in work release, inmates say that means they will have to go back to jail to await their court appearance to transfer into the county’s new work release program. However, if they are required to go back to jail, inmates would be unable to report to their jobs and fear they would not only lose their jobs but not be admitted into the new work release program.
Current work-release employees told WANE 15 that those who received jobs at the new Community Corrections Work Release Program will start at their new job after August 17. Employees who did not get hired at the new program will report to work at the Byron Health Center until August 1 even though inmates and officers will be gone.
WANE 15 reached out to Gladieux’s department several times and have not received a response at the time of publication. WANE 15 also reached out to the Allen County court judges and have not heard back at the time of publication.
Back in June, Gladieux announced the work release program was ending Aug. 1. The decision came one month after the Allen County Council voted to start a new Title 35 work release program different from the current program run by the sheriff’s department. The Title 35 program will be run by Allen County Community Corrections and has plans to start its program in August at a new building along Venture Lane, off Cook Road. That building was originally bought and renovated for Gladieux’s work-release program.
That program has been funded, but the current Title 11 program is also funded through 2020, so officials can determine which work release program makes the most sense for the county. The programs have varying requirements.