The Polk County Sheriff's Office Detention Weekend Work Program is made up of individuals who have been sentenced to spend a certain number of weekends on a work program as opposed to completing their sentence in jail. The Weekend Work Program serves a three-fold purpose: it allows an individual to pay their debt to society without going to jail, allows an individual to maintain gainful employment, and also eliminates the expense to the taxpayer to house these individuals in the detention facilities.
In 2013, a weekend average of 289 individuals performed tasks such as picking up trash along county highways, mowing, laying sod, tearing down abandoned buildings, and cleaning out the canals of local lake systems. Statistical data for this program has increased due to joint participation from various county agencies. Due to the size of the county, litter pick up for county roadways is scheduled by the program coordinator on a rotation basis so that adequate coverage is provided for the entire county.
The Central County Jail, South County Jail, Central Booking Unit, and other city/county agency properties also benefit from the labor provided by the Inmate Work Program Inmates by maintaining the grounds, washing and detailing Detention Transportation vehicles, cleaning up parking lots, and building revitalization/clean-up projects.
Provided the person successfully completes the program, his/her sentence is completed. If, however, the Inmate Work Program Inmate fails to obey the rules or fails to show up as directed, the sentencing judge is notified and a warrant is issued which could result in confinement to the jail for the remainder of the inmate's jail sentence.
Individuals may also be assigned to serve program time Monday through Friday, if eligible and in need of weekday hours. Those assigned to the Weekday Work Program assist local city and county agencies with various projects. This also reduces expense to the taxpayer.
In 2014, 148,482 labor hours were utilized during the weekends for a labor savings of $1,349,701.38 based upon minimum wage.
Inmate Work Program Coordinator
Contact Point: Sgt. Jonathan O'Neill
Phone: (863) 519-4707