§ 153A-230.3. Basic requirements for satellite jail/work release units.
(a) Eligibility for Unit. - The following rules shall govern which misdemeanants are housed in a satellite jail/work release unit:
(1) Any convicted misdemeanant who:
a. Receives an active sentence in the county or group of counties operating the unit,
b. Is employed in the area or can otherwise earn his keep by working at the unit on maintenance and other jobs related to upkeep and operation of the unit or by assignment to community service work, and
c. Consents to placement in the unit under these conditions, shall not be sent to the State prison system except by written findings of the sentencing judge that the misdemeanant is violent or otherwise a threat to the public and therefore unsuitable for confinement in the unit.
(2) The County shall offer work release programs to both male and female misdemeanants, through local facilities for both, or through a contractual agreement with another entity for either, provided that such arrangement is in reasonable proximity to the misdemeanant's workplace.
(3) The sentencing judge shall make a finding of fact as to whether the misdemeanant is qualified for occupancy in the unit pursuant to G.S. 15A-1352(a). If the sentencing judge determines that the misdemeanant is qualified for occupancy in the unit and the misdemeanant meets the requirements of subdivision (1), then the custodian of the local confinement facility may transfer the misdemeanant to the unit. If at any time either prior to or after placement of an inmate into the unit the Sheriff determines that there is an indication of violence, unsuitable behavior, or other threat to the public that could make the prisoner unsuitable for the unit, the Sheriff may place the prisoner in the county jail.
(4) The Sheriff may accept work release misdemeanants from other counties provided that those inmates agree to pay for their upkeep, that space is available, and that the Sheriff is willing to accept responsibility for the prisoner after screening.
(5) The Sheriff may accept work release misdemeanants or felons from the Division of Prisons of the Department of Adult Correction provided that those inmates agree to pay for their upkeep, that space is available, and that the Sheriff is willing to accept responsibility for the prisoner after screening.
(a1) Non-eligible for unit. - If the sentencing judge finds that the misdemeanant does not meet the eligibility criteria set forth in G.S. 135A-230.3(a)(1)b, but is otherwise eligible for placement in the unit, then the Sheriff may transfer the misdemeanant from the local confinement facility to the unit if the misdemeanant meets the eligibility criteria at a later date. The Sheriff may also transfer prisoners who were placed in the unit pursuant to G.S. 148-32.1(b) to the local confinement facility when space becomes available.
(b) Operation of Satellite Jail/Work Release Unit. - A county or group of counties operating a satellite jail/work release unit shall comply with the following requirements concerning operation of the unit:
(1) The county shall make every effort to ensure that at least eighty percent (80%) of the unit occupants shall be employed and on work release, and that the remainder shall earn their keep by working at the unit on maintenance and other jobs related to the upkeep and operation of the unit or by assignment to community service work, and that alcohol and drug rehabilitation be available through community resources.
(2) The county shall require the occupants to give their earnings, less standard payroll deduction required by law and premiums for group health insurance coverage, to the Sheriff. The county may charge a per day charge from those occupants who are employed or otherwise able to pay from other resources available to the occupants. The per day charge shall be calculated based on the following formula: The charge shall be either the amount that the Division of Prisons of the Department of Adult Correction deducts from a prisoner's work-release earnings to pay for the cost of the prisoner's keep or fifty percent (50%) of the occupant's net weekly income, whichever is greater, but in no event may the per day charge exceed an amount that is twice the amount that the Division of Prisons of the Department of Adult Correction pays each local confinement facility for the cost of providing food, clothing, personal items, supervision, and necessary ordinary medical expenses. The per day charge may be adjusted on an individual basis where restitution and/or child support has been ordered, or where the occupant's salary or resources are insufficient to pay the charge.
The county also shall accumulate a reasonable sum from the earnings of the occupant to be returned to him when he is released from the unit. The county also shall follow the guidelines established for the Division of Prisons of the Department of Adult Correction in G.S. 148-33.1(f) for determining the amount and order of disbursements from the occupant's earnings.
(3) Any and all proceeds from daily fees shall belong to the county's General Fund to aid in offsetting the operation and maintenance of the satellite unit.
(4) The unit shall be operated on a full-time basis, i.e., seven days/nights a week, but weekend leave may be granted by the Sheriff. In granting weekend leave, the Sheriff shall follow the policies and procedures of the Division of Prisons of the Department of Adult Correction for granting weekend leave for Level 3 minimum custody inmates.
(5) Earned time shall be applied to these county prisoners in the same manner as prescribed in G.S. 15A-1340.20 and G.S. 148-13 for State prisoners.
(6) The Sheriff shall maintain complete and accurate records on each inmate. These records shall contain the same information as required for State prisoners that are housed in county local confinement facilities. (1987, c. 207, s. 1; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1106, ss. 4, 5; 1989, c. 761, ss. 4, 7; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 767, s. 3; 2011-145, s. 19.1(h); 2017-186, s. 2(iiiiiiiii); 2021-180, s. 19C.9(p).)