Lieutenant Matthew Higley
The Utah County Sheriff’s Office Work Diversion program provides inmates the opportunity to serve their court ordered sentence performing community work projects as opposed to serving a sentence in secure jail confinement. The inmates sentenced to this program continue to work at their full-time jobs as they complete work projects either on the weekends or their other scheduled days off throughout the week.
The work performed by the inmates is classified as general, unskilled labor. Work projects in the past have included: highway trash removal, set-up and clean-up after city or county celebrations, landscaping projects, snow removal, vehicle cleaning for Utah County Fire and UDOT as well as a wide array of other projects. The only requirement placed upon who is eligible to have work performed for them is that is must be a public entity such as a city, municipality or county government within Utah County, no private individuals or companies are allowed to have work performed for them.
The inmates in the Work Diversion program are directly supervised by deputies from the Sheriff’s Office who monitor their attendance, behavior and quality of work. The Sheriff’s Office requires the inmates to perform their work to a high standard. Non-compliant inmates who either do not work hard enough or do not complete their sentence in a timely manner are removed from the program and returned to the judge who originally sentenced them.
The Work Diversion program puts inmates who have violated the law back to work in our local community to pay their debt, perform needed work and serve their sentence. The program is visibly successful and a great public relations tool for the Sheriff’s Office.