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Work Release Program In Florida's Alachua County Proven Effective

A New analysis By Terence T. Gorski
GORSKI-CENAPS Web Publications
Published On: July 22, 2001          Updated On: August 07, 2001
© Terence T. Gorski, 2001

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Work Release Program In Florida's Alachua County Proven Effective 010722

Alachua County in Florida has a work release program that is helping many non-violent drug offenders recover and return to productive living.  The program allows low-risk offenders to work while serving time in a dormitory-style facility in northwest Gainesville.  It is run by Cyndi Morton, director of the county's Court Services department. 

The program was established for low-risk inmates in an effort to free up more costly space in the county jail for higher-risk inmates.  The program gives employed offenders a way to continue to work while serving their time. It also requires them to pay court fines and fees and restitution to victims.  After those who are unemployed are put in a situation of finding a job or going to jail, they look for a job. They are given two weeks to find one.  About 83 percent find work in the first week of the program, County Court Services records show. The others are said to find jobs in the second week.

One of the primary purposes of the program is to teach structure and responsibility to those who might not have had that in the past.  As a result, the program is highly structured.  Offenders must sign in and out, take drug tests and attend sessions with a counselor, substance abuse group meetings and anger management classes. The facility has 60 beds.

Participants, whose time in the program varies, must pay the county 40 percent of their net income for room and board.  Last year, the county collected more than $257,000.

County officials say the program is one of the best in the state. For the past 10 years, two-thirds of those who entered the program successfully completed it.  One reason for its success is because it operates separately from the County Jail.  "Many people who make mistakes have families they still need to support and single mothers with children they need to care for," County Commissioner Penny Wheat said. "There is a clear difference in philosophy between a law enforcement agency running such a program and the county."

There are 39 formal work release programs in the state of Florida.  Three-fourths are overseen by sheriff's offices that also handle the county jail. The Board of County Commissioners runs both the jail and the work release programs in five counties.  In Escambia County and Alachua County does the sheriff's office oversee the jail while the county oversees the work release program.

Pubdate: Mon, 16 Jul 2001
Source: Gainesville Sun, The (FL)
Copyright: 2001 The Gainesville Sun
Author: Janine Young Sikes

About the Author

Terence T. Gorski is internationally recognized for his contributions to Relapse Prevention Therapy. The scope of his work, however, extends far beyond this. A skilled cognitive behavioral therapist with extensive training in experiential therapies, Gorski has broad-based experience and expertise in the chemical dependency, behavioral health, and criminal justice fields.

To make his ideas and methods more available, Gorski opened The CENAPS Corporation, a private training and consultation firm of founded in 1982.  CENAPS is committed to providing the most advanced training and consultation in the chemical dependency and behavioral health fields.

Gorski has also developed skills training workshops and a series of low-cost book, workbooks, pamphlets, audio and videotapes. He also works with a team of trainers and consultants who can assist individuals and programs to utilize his ideas and methods.
Terry Gorski is available for personal and program consultation, lecturing, and clinical skills training workshops. He also routinely schedules workshops, executive briefings, and personal growth experiences for clinicians, program managers, and policymakers.

Mr. Gorski holds a B.A. degree in psychology and sociology from Northeastern Illinois University and an M.A. degree from Webster's College in St. Louis, Missouri.  He is a Senior Certified Addiction Counselor In Illinois.  He is a prolific author who has published numerous books, pamphlets and articles.  Mr. Gorski routinely makes himself available for interviews, public presentations, and consultant.  He has presented lectures and conducted workshops in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.  

For books, audio, and video tapes written and recommended by Terry Gorski contact: Herald House - Independence Press, P.O. Box 390 Independence, MO 64055.  Telephone: 816-521-3015 0r 1-800-767-8181.  His publication website is

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This article is copyrighted by Terence To Gorski.  Permission is given to reproduce this article if the following conditions are met:  (1) The authorship of the article is properly referenced and the internet address is given;  (2) All references to the following three websites are retained when the article is reproduced -,,,; (3) If the article is published on a website a reciprocal link to the four websites listed under point two is provided on the website publishing the article.

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