The primary job of the Benton County Work Program is to oversee individuals that have been court ordered to perform hours through this office in lieu of jail time or as part of probation requirements. Depending on the individual courts needs this office can also supervise public service work for fines assessed or court ordered community service. The Benton County Work Program allows participants the ability to work off their court ordered requirements, provide valuable labor hours to community service organizations while maintaining their employment. It also affords the individual an opportunity to maintain their home life & continue to take care of their families in lieu of spending that time in the county jail which ultimately cost the tax payers of Benton County $55.00 a day therefore alleviating jail overcrowding.
Who is Eligible for Program:
The Benton County Work Program only deals with nonviolent offenders such as; DWI, theft, shoplifting, bad checks, traffic violations, and possession charges.
Individuals are required to be physically able to stand for eight hours daily, bend, stoop, lift, walk and reach. There is a possibility of being exposed to heat, cold, dust, paint, cleaning agents, gas, oil, weed killers and other chemicals. Anyone being considered for this program must have reliable transportation, be capable of following instructions, not on certain medications and live in NWA or surrounding states of MO or OK.
Approved worksites must either be a city, county, state government entity or nonprofit organization.
What To Do / Where To Go:
Any individual that has been seen by a Judge from any of the listed courts and ordered to do the work program are required to contact this office and set up an appointment to schedule these requirements. At the initial appointment provide your documentation from the court that reflects what has been required of you and also picture identification if you have one.
On the appointment date an information sheet is completed that will detail your current status with regards to your work/school/etc. schedule. This information is taken into consideration when making the decision regarding worksite placement.
Individuals coming from the Circuit court should do an intake with the Department of Community Corrections probation office before setting up an appointment with this office.
Individuals on the work program are required to be physically able to stand for eight (8) hours daily, bend, stoop, lift, walk and reach. They may be exposed to the extreme elements of heat and or cold along with dusty, dirty conditions depending on the worksite. There may be an exposure to chemicals such as paint, cleaning agents, gas, oil, weed killers, etc. An understanding of all safety and work site rules and the ability to follow them are also a requirement. Persons under a doctor’s care will be required to provide a release before they are allowed to take part in the program. We do not want to jeopardize anyone’s health and or safety. At the present time we have limited worksites available to accommodate handicapped individuals or pregnant woman. We are continually working to secure more sites that could utilize these persons and their services. This office also works with the Veterans Services office to find community service organizations suitable for our disabled veterans that have been assigned to this program.
The following rules are an overview of what is expected of anyone going through this program:
- Have reliable transportation to the worksite
- Be able to work an 8-hour day unless otherwise noted
- Be physically able to stand for long periods of time
- Be able to bend, stoop, and possibly lift up to 50 pounds
- Be able to withstand hot/cold weather
- Be capable of following instructions
- If on medications that could alter your work performance or are under a doctor’s care, you must provide a release from the physician before being assigned to a worksite
- Live in Northwest Arkansas or the surrounding States of Missouri or Oklahoma
In order to become an approved worksite, you must either be a city, county or state government entity or a nonprofit organization. Have set days and work hours that you would be able to utilize anyone sent to you to work, provide supervision for that person/persons, maintain their timesheet and provide weekly reporting forms to the Program Coordinator and keep open communications with that office as
well. We ask that you provide a safe working environment with breaks and a lunch period. Also your agency must be able to accommodate a person to work an eight (8) hour day (not including their breaks & or lunch) unless otherwise stated on their timesheets. We ask for a contact person’s name and phone number who will be responsible for the supervision so that it can be noted on an information sheet
handed out to the clients at the time of worksite placement. This will be valuable information for them in the case of an emergency/illness resulting in them having to call in on a scheduled workday.