Question and Answer for Work Release Provisions

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1. What is the effective date of the Title 42 Amendments?
November 24, 2011 (sentences ordered or modified on or after effective date).

2. Which offenders on approved work release qualify for the county reimbursement?
The PA Commission on Sentencing promulgates PA’s Sentencing Guidelines. Offenders are classified into different levels based upon the gravity of the current conviction offense and the number and seriousness of previous adjudications and convictions. Offenders who were identified as Level 4 or 5 offenders in the Basic Sentencing Matrix and are actually participating in a work release program are counted in determining a county’s reimbursement. Sentencing level assignment is included on each Guideline Sentence Form and available through the Commission's JNET-based application (SGS Web).

3.   Must the offender be employed?
Yes. Offenders employed by the jail (trustee) do not qualify for reimbursement.

4. How will the DOC verify that the offender(s) is employed?
The DOC may request copies of the offender’s pay records.

5. How much money will the DOC have available to reimburse the counties?
$2.5 million for FY 2011 – 2012

6. Can the amount of available funds be increased?
Yes, but only if approved by the General Assembly and the Governor

7. What is the DOC’s per-diem cost to be reimbursed to the counties?
$65.00 (2011). Each July (after the Commonwealth’s budget has been passed) the annual per-diem amount appropriated will be published in the PA Bulletin.

8. What happens if the number of approved work release offenders exceeds the appropriated funds?
The appropriated funds will be distributed pro rata. A particular county’s percentage will be determined by the following formula.  The total number of Level 4 and 5 offender days participating in work release statewide divided by the total number of Level 4 and 5 offender days participating in work release equals the county’s appropriated funds.

9. How and when does the county notify the DOC of offenders qualified for county reimbursement?
Counties will report (via a standard PA DOC form) to the DOC’s Office of Population Management by February 28 the offender(s) name, SID#, and days employed for the prior calendar year. Random audits of submissions will be made each year by the DOC.

10. How and when will the DOC reimburse the counties?
The DOC will make payment to the county within 90 days after the submission deadline date.