Maricopa County Jail Work Furlough (Ultimate Guide)

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If you have been sentenced to jail and the judge said that you are eligible to do work furlough, this is information you will need to know before you self-surrender at the jail.

TB Test before you Self-Surrender at the Jail

Be sure to get a TB test before you self-surrender at the jail. Take two copies of the results when you self-surrender. Give one copy of the results to the jail staff and keep the second copy with you when you are processed into the jail. If you do not have the results of a TB test when you self-surrender, the jail staff will require you to be tested when you arrive at the jail and will have to wait for the results. Having to wait for the TB test results will cause a delay before you can be assigned to work furlough. You will spend that time in full custody where you will not be released to work. Having a second copy of the TB test results when you go into the jail means that you will be able to provide the paper to the jail staff in case, they lose the copy you give them when you self-surrender.

What to know before you Self-Surrender at the Jail

When you report to the jail you will be asked questions about your medical condition and whether you feel that you might be at risk in jail. In order to participate in work furlough, you must be a general population eligible inmate. Do not tell the jail staff you feel that you might be harmed in the jail. If you are housed in administrative segregation (protective custody), you will not be permitted to be released for work furlough. If you tell the jail staff that you take any psychotropic (mental health) medications, you probably will not be permitted to participate in work furlough. Do not tell the jail staff that you have any special medical needs because that could also prevent you from being released for work furlough. It is best to present yourself as being completely fit and healthy so that no one will make a determination that you are not suitable to participate in the work furlough program.

Transfer to the Work Furlough Facility

At some point after you self-surrender you will be transferred to the work furlough facility. The sheriff’s office staff determines how quickly you will be transferred. You could be transferred the same day, or it might take a few days.

Orientation Process at Work Furlough Facility

On the first business day after you are transferred to the work furlough facility you will be processed. That morning you will have an orientation where one of the probation officers who is assigned to the work furlough program explains the rules and requirements. That afternoon you will be released for a few hours to get some of your belongings. You must make arrangements to have someone come to the facility to pick you up and transport you that afternoon. The exact number of items you can bring back to the work furlough facility varies and is updated on the Maricopa County Adult Probation website. But generally you can bring a certain number of changes of clothes, shoes, a coat without a hood, an alarm clock, a watch, a wallet and cash. The cash should be in small bills. There is a change machine that accepts one dollar and five-dollar bills so that you can get the quarters you will need for vending machines and the laundry machines. Any bill larger than a five-dollar bill will be of no use to you in the work furlough facility. Also, cell phones are not permitted in the facility and there is no place outside of the facility such as a locker where you can keep a cell phone.

Work Requirements and Job Search Information

You must have a full-time job to participate in the work furlough program. A probation officer at the work furlough facility will give you a blank form called an LOU (Letter of Understanding) that you will have to ask your employer to fill out and sign. The LOU will contain your rate of pay and hours of employment. Your probation officer will us that information to determine the days of the week and times that you will be released. When you return the LOU, you will also be required to give the work furlough staff a money order in the amount of $125.00, even though you have not started working yet. Make arrangements ahead of time so that you will be able to give the work furlough staff the $125.00 money order when you begin work furlough. If you have a job lined up before you self-surrender, you can take the LOU to your employer the day you are released to get your belongings, or the next day. The sooner you turn in the LOU and money order, the sooner you can start working. If you do not have a job, the probation officers will permit you to spend five days searching for a job. But there are a lot of requirements and lots of paperwork that you will have to fill out before they will let you leave to search for a job. And going through the job search process while in work furlough is stressful. So, it is best to try and find a job ahead of time.

Rules and Requirements to Remain in Work Furlough

You will be assigned to a probation officer while you are in work furlough, and that probation officer will have you sign a form that contains the rules that you will have to comply with. An important rule to note is that you will be charged a fee to be in work furlough. The amount you will have to pay is based on your hourly wage, and a daily administrative fee. When you receive your paycheck, you will be required to sign it over to the probation department. They will cash the check, deduct their fees and issue a new check for the remaining balance to you within a couple of days. Failure to pay fees is a reason that people are sometimes sent back to full custody jail. Other major violations include drinking alcohol or taking drugs while you are an inmate in the work furlough program. If you fail a random drug test or breath test, you will be sent back to full custody jail.

Transportation While in Work Furlough

There is a parking lot near the work furlough facility where inmates who drive to and from work can park. But you must receive permission from your probation officer before you can drive. If you want to drive you will have to fill out a form and provide your probation officer with your driver’s license, insurance and registration. Once your probation officer determines that you have a valid license and your vehicle can be driven legally, you will get permission to drive. If you cannot drive, there is a bus stop on 35th Avenue where you can catch buses going north or south. Some inmates have family members drive to the facility to take them to work each day. Others take taxis or ride sharing services.

If you have any questions or need proper legal representation for an inmate, please give us a call at (602) 307-0808 to click here to schedule a free consultation. You can also send us an email by using our confidential form. Our offices are available 24 hours a day via our answering service.

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