Dodge County Sheriff’s Column Covers Huber Law

(Juneau) The Dodge County Sheriff touched on Huber law in his most recent monthly column. Dale Schmidt says Wisconsin has a work release program authorized under state statute allowing any person sentenced to a county jail for crime, nonpayment of a fine, contempt of court, among other qualifiers, the privilege to leave the jail during necessary and reasonable hours if they meet certain criteria. The purposes for release can include work, performing community service, attending court proceedings, medical treatment, obtaining counseling or meeting with their parole officer. Schmidt says this privilege is not authorized by the sheriff, but is approved by a judge at sentencing. He adds that his ability to deny Huber privilege is limited. A sheriff can suspend Huber for only five days if an inmate commits a jail rule violation. Schmidt says from time to time there are Huber inmates who fail to return from a pre-authorized appointment and when this happens they commit a new crime of felony Escape. He says his office has chosen to implement a new policy making these walk-aways public to seek help in locating them. Schmidt says this does not mean there is a problem with the jail, but more accurately, there is an issue with the inmate’s poor decision making. He says the sheriff’s office does everything possible to ensure compliance with the Huber laws that are in place. Adding, overall it is a great program for inmates to keep their job and be productive members of society.